Longview, TX — Results of an informal public survey appeared to lower the curtain Monday on the likelihood of a Gregg County Event Center being built anytime soon.
“I’ve got to be candid,” Commissioner Gary Boyd said. “I’m not so sure if we spend this kind of money for it that the people shouldn’t have a more extensive voice than they’ve had before.”
Boyd was reacting to survey results showing people want more than a modest, covered rodeo arena. Three out of four want a venue for concerts, which means air conditioning which means a $20 million facility, at least.
Initial projections, which County Judge Bill Stoudt and the commissioners were mulling, put the 4,500-seat venue at $10 million to $15 million.
“That number is way beyond what we talked about up here,” Stoudt said of the higher price.
Stoudt said after Monday’s meeting the $20 million estimate did not include some support projects such as a 200-stall pen estimated to add another $2 million.
The survey, conducted since mid-summer online and in a Longview News-Journal insert, asked respondents 17 questions about themselves and the events they expect a multi-use facility to host.
At 232 out of 303 people responding, concerts drew the most support at nearly 77 percent.
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