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City Leaders Merge Civic Center, Experience Rochester Operations

City Leaders Merge Civic Center, Experience Rochester Operations

November 30, 2018 10:29 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- The city of Rochester’s financial forecast is indicating the Mayo Civic Center's expenses will far overshadow its revenue.

That's why city council members are moving forward with a plan to bring operations for the Civic Center and Experience Rochester under one roof, run by a single entity, and governed by a new board of directors.

City Administrator Steve Rymer says the goal of this merger is to enhance market competitiveness, optimize the use of the civic center, maximize revenue and limit public expenditures.


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Right now, it's unclear if the organizations will be run by the city or a non-profit entity.

There are those who are concerned about the merger.

“I feel disappointed in the way this whole thing is laid out. I really would have appreciated a little more transparency,” explained one woman to city leaders.
“We've asked for years, what do you want our building to do? Because you've never told us,” said one man who was upset that the timeline of the decision was moving too fast.

“One of the biggest concerns of our existing employees for the city as well as Experience Rochester, is what does it mean for them, what does it mean for the jobs they have today? Will they continue to be employed? We want to make sure that they are employed with the city or if there is a new entity. That's what we're going to look hard to achieve,” Rymer explained.

City councilors say this change shouldn’t come as a surprise, claiming the need for change hasn't gone away.

“10 years ago we were having discussions about budgets and where things were going at the civic center. I want you to know I care about the people there, but I also have to care about what happens to tax dollars throughout this city and how we spend every body's money. We're not discarding anybody. We're looking for a path for a better way for all of us,” said Councilman Mark Bilderback.

Council is expected to vote on whether the city or non-profit entity will oversee operations at its meeting in December. Overall, transitioning to the new operating model will take 12-14 months.

KAAL-TV

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