Milwaukee County executive pushes for lawmaker support on Bucks funding plan
Time is set to expire soon, yet there is still no agreement on a Bucks arena deal.
So, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is doing whatever it takes to make sure this big shot for economic growth doesn't miss.
\"It's a generational inflection point for economic growth,\" he said. \"I've been trying to reiterate to people this is an investment with a huge return.\"
Abele is taking his plea to Madison, meeting with Republicans and Democrats on why this Bucks funding proposal is beneficial for the entire state.
\"The fact that you're not talking about a sales tax, you've got a quarter billion dollars of money before anything, thousands of jobs, big increase in property values around the area,\" he said.
He's referring to Park East, an area that's been vacant for decades. But talk of a sports and entertainment complex there is already generating interest in developers.
\"It saves a lot of money and a lot of time,\" said Jim Barry, DTZ Barry president. \"It's a ready to go economic development project that would be tragic if we didn't move forward upon.\"
Some state leaders are crying foul. They want the arena separate from the budget.
\"This is much bigger than politics, much bigger than an arena, much bigger than a basketball team,\" Abele said.
Abele's preference is to do whatever gets the deal approved, because if not, \"what's the statement we're making to the rest of the country?\" he said. \"It isn't we're open for business.\"
And who be accountable for that? It's a question Abele said taxpayers need to ask of their lawmaker.
\"Help me understand how you justify the big hole you're going to create in the state budget, because nobody disputes that's going to happen,\" he said.
Governor Scott Walker has said taxpayers could lose more than $400 million over 20 years if the Bucks deal doesn't go through.
The deadline to approve the state budget is June 30.