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Local Agenda: Gainesville City Council to get update on convention center study

POSTED: September 24, 2013 12:53 a.m.

Gainesville City Council is expected to get a presentation at its work session Thursday on the first phase of the convention center and hotel feasibility study.

Recommendations were expected this month after the state granted the city an extension to Oct. 1. The original deadline was the end of August.

The council awarded the bid for the convention center and hotel feasibility study to consulting firms Key Advisors Inc. and the Bleakly Advisory Group in May. The award was $24,500.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development gave the city a grant of $25,000 for phase I of the study. If the city continues with phase II, which would be more detailed information, it would pay the entire cost.

The study is designed to address several specific issues, including market demand, economic impact, construction costs and facility operation. Gainesville approved the study to see what options it has to develop a successful event venue that would attract large meetings, conferences and entertainment acts.

Ideally, the request for proposal stated, the city would play a supporting role to a primary developer, hotel operator or other party. The purpose is to create a large economic impact and strengthen Gainesville’s position as an economic leader within Northeast Georgia.

Hall County moves meeting

Thursday’s meeting of the Hall County Board of Commissioners is at 3 p.m., not its regular 6 p.m. meeting time. The meeting time was changed due to a scheduling conflict. The location is the Hall County Government Center at 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

Hall commissioners schedule final vote on digital billboards

The Hall County Board of Commissioners is expected to take a final vote Thursday on changing county code to allow digital billboards.

Fairway Outdoor Advertising, based in Greenville, S.C., owns all of the billboards, which is 32 signs, in the county. Company executives have said they will remove two static billboards for each digital billboard they are allowed to put up.

Besides advertisements, the signs could also be used by local government and law enforcement to broadcast alerts and warnings, such as missing person alerts, severe weather information and national security information.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:

smueller@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/TimesSarahMueller

@SMTheTimes


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