3rd Time Not A Charm for ‘The Link’ Project in Kennewick
So far, the third attempt at passing a measure that would add more space to the Three Rivers Convention Center, a number of other convention and business attracting features, and upgrade the badly aging Toyota Center is failing. This picture is artist's rendition of the renovated entrance to the Toyota Center, among other projects.
After two previous attempts to pass a proposition that's become known as "The Link", supporters put it on the ballot again. Armed this time with a bit more logistical backing, they reconfigured the project, but voters appear to be stuck on the 'tax' word.
The plan would have added a sales tax, which would be 'sunset,' or go away when the facility was paid for. It would bring and additional 2,300 seat performing arts and convention auditorium, a lot of additional parking, expand the convention center, and refurbish many areas of the Toyota Center.
It was called The Link because the new structures would have linked the Toyota Center to the existing convention center.
The plan would have been paid for a with a sales tax that would have added $.2 cents for every ten dollars of goods purchased.
However, the plan, after narrowly failing last time, appears to be trailing badly by a margin of 57 to 43 percent with about 9,000 votes counted so far. According to the latest update from Benton County election officials, about 10,000 more are left to count, so it's not out of the woods yet.
But most experts say such double-digit deficits are rarely made up, and it appears it's not going to pass.
Apparently voters are OK with ceiling tiles that fall down in the Toyota Center, with locker rooms that are known throughout the WHL as the worst -they're called "Alcatraz," and pipes that leak as well as a suspect ice system that provides the surface for the Americans. It was believed the project would eventually result in up to a $66 million increase in over all convention, concert and other related tourism business to the Tri-Cities.