Cheaper to Keep Them – Bucks Getting $2 million More Expensive

Nass: Taxpayer costs could increase up to $10 million more.

Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) is raising the alarm over another $2 million in costs associated with the new Bucks arena that wasn’t included in the arena legislation. The State Building Commission, on Wednesday, will authorize up to $10 million in bonding (financed by general purpose revenue – tax dollars) for maintenance and repair projects on the existing Bradley Center. The Building Commission action would authorize at least $2 million for modifications of the Bradley Center directly related to the construction of the new facility.

“Bradley Center costs directly associated with the construction of the new facility should come out of the $250 million of taxpayer funds approved in Senate Bill 209. This is just the beginning of the drip-drip-drip of increasing taxpayers costs in building and operating a new Bucks’ arena,” Nass said.

Nass also pointed out that the proposal before the Building Commission authorizes use of the remaining $8 million for maintenance and repair expenditures in the Bradley Center, which will be torn down upon completion of the new facility. After the expenditure authority is granted by the Building Commission, the money is somewhat fungible and its actual use controlled only by officials in the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

“There are legitimate questions on why we would spend all of the $8 million in a building destined to be torn down in three years. Worse yet, is the fact that bureaucrats could decide to use more of this taxpayer money for hidden costs of the new arena development,” Nass said.