CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — There are just a few days until early voting begins. Cameron County voters will get to decide if a new multi-purpose arena and convention center will be built.
If Proposition 2 is approved Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. said the new arena will be located near the intersection of Highway 77 and Highway 100.
“We need to go to the voters for their approval in order to make this an approved project in order to use those types of funds,” Trevino said. ” We are seeing a lot of growth in Cameron County, South Padre is a tourist destination, and we are just trying to add additional venues and additional attractions to bring people down to Cameron County.”
Trevino said local taxpayers will not have to pay for the new arena if Proposition 2 is approved. Instead, the money will be coming from the taxes that are paid by tourists when they come to visit Cameron County.
“That tax is paid by the visitor as part of his or her’s motel tax and in this case rental cars. But it is paid for by the visitors in the area,” Trevino said. “Then the local government whether it is a city, or a county gets to take advantage of those venue dollars and put them to use in an economic development or quality of life projects.”
Since voters will have to approve that money to be used, there are questions about how much it will cost to build this new arena. Trevino said the bill will be split between the visitors’ tax as well as federal and state funds.
“Now the price tag is approximately about 100 million dollars, the venue tax we anticipate being able to pay a third of that,” Trevino said.
While there are already two arenas over in Hidalgo County, Cameron County just wants to give more entertainment opportunity’s not only to its residents but also to the entire valley.
“It’s not necessarily in competition, it’s to compliment and to give people in the valley additional resources and additional avenues in which to enjoy concerts, theatre sporting events, community events whatever it is that we can try to present,” Trevino said.
Early voting starts on October 18. Election Day is on November 2.