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Surprise proposal brought in front of Jefferson City Council

During Tuesday’s Jefferson City Council meeting, the Chamber of Commerce proposed a joint venture between the city, Parks and Recreation, and Special Olympics to build a multi-purpose room on land owned by the Jefferson City School District, off Highway 179.

ABC 17 first reported on this multi-purpose room in July.

The Chamber suggests using $9 million from a lodging tax that was supposed to be used on a new conference center. Under the Chamber plan, Special Olympics Missouri would contribute about about $10 million, and Cole County could bring about $2 million to the table.

In a separate idea, Lincoln University has free land that could be used for the site of the proposed multi-purpose room. The university is planning to break ground later this year on a new athletic center. Lincoln has $5 million in the bank that could be used to help fund a joint project.

Special Olympics would bring an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 room nights to the Capital City, while the conference center would have brought nearly 20,000 nights.

Hotel owners were at the meeting and were not in favor of using lodging tax money to build a multi-purpose room instead of a conference center as voters intended.

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