ROBSTOWN, Texas – Nueces County Commissioners have begun the process of removing a planned amphitheater for the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairground from a $ 30 million energy savings contract awarded to ABM l ‘last year.
The motion, brought forward by Ward 4 commissioner Brent Chesney, asks the county attorney to engage ABM in discussions to remove the amphitheater from the current contract and, or replace it with a comparable energy-saving project .
The motion also stops all work on the amphitheater until the issue is resolved.
Chesney said ABM has indicated there are potential substitutions and that he appreciates the company’s willingness to work with the county.
He added that besides the fact that the amphitheater was a “want” and not a “need”, the installation would cost the county money, which is why he could not support it.
“I don’t think this is a project that will do anything other than potentially lose additional revenue in the fairgrounds,” Chesney said. “I have spoken to people who run amphitheatres, it is a very difficult way to make money, it is something that generates very limited income and I think it will potentially lead to further financial loss. . “
County Judge Barbara Canales said the majority of the $ 30 million contract was used for items that will save the county energy and that, by law, the county could build the amphitheater. .
The cost of the amphitheater is $ 1.9 million. Each year the county receives a payment of $ 1.5 million, so the amphitheater is worth around $ 145,000, Canales said.
Even though it had never been rented, she said, Spectra, the company that runs the fairground, said the facility would bring in $ 75,000 a year in sponsorship.
Concrete Street amphitheater owner Bill Durrill last week told commissioners that building an amphitheater violated a 2007 settlement agreement.
3 Pregnant Nueces County Commissioner John Marez said the differences between what was proposed 15 years ago and now are very different.
He said that the amphitheater proposed 15 years ago was a 20,000 to 30,000 seat amphitheater and that the current amphitheater will be below the 1,000 or 500 seat mark. He also maintains that the maintenance will not be expensive.
“It wouldn’t be costly in terms of maintenance because it’s right outside,” Marez said. “It’s going to be basically a concrete pit with a few amenities. But it’s just going to be kind of a tiered setup that they would have over there in a little corner of the acres and open acres that they have over there at the park. exhibitions. “
Once the county attorney meets with ABM, she will report any resolution to the commissioners.