Wexford Co. Commissioners Accept Proposal For Wexford Co. Civic Center By Narrow Vote

“Give Boon Sports and your community a chance.”

A close vote as the future of the Wexford County Civic Center was in the hands of county commissioners.

Wednesday they heard a new proposal from the group that currently manages the building.

This debate started back in October when commissioners lifted deed restrictions.

Boon Sports management proposed a way to take full responsibility for the facility and revised the proposal.

They say they would pay for all operations and maintenance, for ten years.

The county would still pay a required management fee of $50,000 per year.

“We’d really be put at a hardship if we couldn’t have this facility to put on our shows,” Mike Burnside said.

From those who run shows at the Wex….

“In Northern Michigan there aren’t a lot of facilities to put on a show of the size that we like to put on,” Mike Burnside, Burnside RV said.

To community organizations like Project Christmas.

“And if we don’t have the Wex. We are going to have to look at the program because we cannot serve it another way,” Joy Martin said.

And families of generations of athletes who’ve skated at the Wex.

“The impact on these thousands and thousands of kids over the last 20 years can’t be measured. We know that keeping them involved in sports team activities, it’s valuable to them,” a Cadillac resident said.

Dozens of people came to show their support and ask county commissioners to do the same. Boon sports management presented a new proposal to pay for all operations and maintenance, for ten years while the county pay’s fifty thousand dollars in management fees.

“We’re only asking that we be given a chance to continue our work on behalf of the community,” Mike Figliomeni, Boon Sports Management said.

But some commissioners expressed concern with the proposal.

“These gun shows, coin shows and all of that they can pay a little more. Everybody is for it but I just know that the taxpayers that have talked to me who don’t skate are not happy,” Michael Maccready said.

By a 5-4 vote, commissioners accepted the proposal.

 “We’re just very excited that the county commission has placed the faith in us to continue our efforts out there. Our hope is that with a period of tranquility without the talk of selling the facility we’ll get more commitment to the facility which will translate into more revenue for the facility,” Mike Figliomeni said.

 And Boon Sports Management is hoping with extra revenue they can start asking the county for less money over the ten year period.