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Government and People
|THE COMMITTEE OF 100 ON THE FEDERAL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Committee of 100 Calls for Public Hearings on Convention Center Siting and Financing
The Committee of 100 on the Federal City is calling for public hearings on the siting and financing of the proposed D.C. convention center -- the largest construction project ever proposed in the District amid new evidence that the Washington Convention Center Authority has repeatedly misrepresented costs associated with the project.
Reports in the Washington Post and the Washington Times indicate that the WCCA deliberately exaggerated potential costs of the Union Station North proposal to blunt growing criticism that the Mt. Vemon Square proposal would carry a premium cost to the city of at least $300 million and would result in a convention center with no room to expand and no parking.
"Oversight authorities should examine the disturbing evidence that fundamental facts about this critical economic development project have been pushed aside, and, in some cases, misrepresented," said Chairman Tersh Boasberg. "We are hopeful that D.C. will build a new convention center with parking and room for expansion at minimal cost to the city. Now is the time to honestly examine the Union Station North proposal."
A September report by the Committee of 100 (see "Unconventional Finances") estimated that a Union Station North convention center could be built for $465 million including a new Metro station far less than the $737 million Mt. Vemon Square option, as priced by U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO).
Over 50 citizens organizations have questioned the wisdom of the Mt. Vemon proposal for a new convention center as costs have spiraled toward $1 billion with sweeping tax increases on businesses proposed to overcome financing shortfalls.
Tersh Boasberg is available at (202) 736-2782.
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