Early indications are that Racine County officials are keeping an open mind about a proposed arena, even as certain questions remain.
On Tuesday, the Executive Committee of the Racine County board discussed the project with Racine mayor John Dickert—who has already voiced his support for the project in the city’s downtown. If it comes to conception, the arena would have a price tag of about $46 million and could potentially host both a Milwaukee Bucks D-League team and a USHL squad. Talk of the hockey franchise has picked up in recent weeks, with Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold.
Dickert cited some of the same elements of the proposal that he discussed previously, including the potential for job creation both during the construction phase and once the arena is complete. While the funding model still needs to be ironed out, Racine County Supervisors are showing a willingness to at least explore the project. More from the Racine Journal Times:
A few of the county supervisors in attendance Tuesday offered questions and comments following Dickert’s presentation. District 13 Supervisor Mark Gleason of Mount Pleasant had questions about whether the county would be able to prioritize the events center over other projects, but said the proposal was worth considering.
“We should give it a hard look and see if there is something that brings this around full circle so that we will get a return on our investment,” Gleason said. “I think we need to be well-prepared for our decision and and make responsible decisions based on the information we receive.”
District 6 Supervisor Q.A. Shakoor II, who is also a city alderman, voiced his support for the plan.
“We need to look for opportunities,” he said. “We need to enhance and grow where opportunities are all throughout the 333 square miles (in Racine County) and in all 17 municipalities. We need to work together to get things done.”
Racine resident Pamela Zenner-Richards, the supervisor for District 9, said the County Board is “ready to step up and look at this seriously.” She did suggest surveying residents of the west end of the county to make sure the plan had support countywide.
“I think it’s important that we hear from the west end of the county also,” Zenner-Richards said. “I was around when the (Reef Point) marina project was done and I remember the difficulties that ensued with that.”