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Top 10: #7 – Civic Center Expansion

7St. Cloud — We continue our countdown today of the top 10 stories of 2010. In at number 7 is the expansion of the St. Cloud Civic Center.

It was about 12 years ago that city leaders started pitching a plan for a convention center near Interstate 94. But, St. Cloud area residents and state lawmakers quickly shot that idea down.

Since then, efforts have been underway to expand the St. Cloud Civic Center. And, despite the project making it into the last two bonding bills, the expansion never got state money thanks to vetoes by Governor Tim Pawlenty.

So, Mayor Dave Kleis came up with a plan to pay for the expansion by using existing food and beverage tax dollars.

Kleis says this project will create jobs, bring back conventions and stimulate the local economy.  In fact, Kleis says they have already received reservations for the new space.

The expansion was whittled down to $24-million after the city took out some amenities and a parking ramp.

The civic center is also getting a new name. Once it is completed it will be known as the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center.

Tune in tomorrow when we will bring you number 6 on our list of the Top 10 stories of 2010.

Civic Center
Jim Maurice, WJON News

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