Emergency ordinance over Q renovation met with opposition

CLEVELAND -- It’s now Cleveland City Council’s turn to take up the controversial proposed plan to renovate Quicken Loans Arena.

Labor workers have already spoken in favor of the plan and the possibility of new jobs; while many citizens have protested it and say the money could be better spent on infrastructure and security.

Currently, Cuyahoga County Council is considering their part in the plan which would include contributing $16 million from a reserve fund.

Destination Cleveland would also kick in over $40 million, but the bulk of the $140 million would come from Cleveland; $88 million would be raised using existing admissions taxes to events at Quicken Loans Arena.

An emergency ordinance was introduced at Monday night's Cleveland City Council meeting and was immediately met with opposition from several council members.

Councilman Jeff Johnson, Ward 10, said the money would be better spent on “business development and fighting violence,” while Councilman Zack Reed, Ward 2, questioned whether or not the city was being shortchanged in the deal.

“We must ensure we get some of the jobs, construction jobs and some of the permanent jobs... some of the equity going forward,” said Reed.

The Q attracts two-million people to Cleveland each year and brings in over $2 million in income taxes alone annually.

Council President Kevin Kelley says, they will be extensively reviewing all considerations and the actual economic impact of Quicken Loans Arena.

“Also, what is the cost of doing nothing, what happens if we do nothing,” said Kelley, “ We can’t ignore that possibility.”

This was the first hearing. The ordinance will now go to committee and then public hearings will be held before a final vote.

**More stories on Quicken Loans Arena, here**