David's Blog

Friday, December 01, 2006

And the survey says …

Advocate for the development of the Kroc Community Center!

The majority of Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce members support the City of Duluth’s involvement in developing the Kroc Center, including using the Community Trust Fund (also known as the Casino Fund and the Street Improvement Fund) to help fund the project. Members also support selling a portion of Wheeler Field to the Salvation Army to provide the needed building site for the Center.

Earlier this week, the Chamber distributed a survey to our members to find out their opinions about the Kroc Center project. 346 members took the time to let the Chamber’s staff and board of directors know how they feel about this important community issue. I applaud each of these members who made their voice heard.

Specific survey results are: 83% of survey respondents believe the Chamber should advocate for the project. 79% of the respondents are confident of the Salvation Army’s ability to separate its religious activities from those of the city. 70% supported using the Community Trust Fund to provide the city’s funding of the development. Finally, 84% supported selling city property to the Salvation Army to provide the building site.

The Chamber’s board of directors is listening to our members’ voices. As a result, the Chamber will publicly advocate for the Duluth City Council to approve the city’s funding of the Center and the corresponding sale of city property to the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is poised to proceed with a $40 million investment in the Center - $20 million for ongoing operations and maintenance and $20 million for the building of the 85,000 square foot facility. The city’s investment will combine with the Kroc monies to infuse the beautiful and proud West Duluth neighborhood with new energy and optimism. The Center will bring private investment, construction jobs, and recreational offerings to a part of our community that deserves our community-wide support.

The city council will vote on the proposed Kroc Center Monday evening, December 4, during a 7:00 p.m. council meeting.

This is no time for us to be shy about having our voice heard. It would be a welcome sight to see the council chambers filled with community members interested in sharing their views about the proposed Center. If you choose not to attend, I hope you will let the city councilors know of your view on this important decision. Councilors can be reached at council@ci.duluth.mn.us. You can listen to the council proceedings on radio at 103.3 FM or by tuning into the Public Access Community Television (PACT) cable station.

This council vote will be one for the record books. It will be a decision that has been three years in the making. I hope you will be a part of the culmination of this great community effort.

posted by David Ross at

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