- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Johnson County supervisors have agreed to contribute $200,000 for a development in Coralville that is centered around a $46 million arena designed for hockey.

The supervisors unanimously approved the money Thursday and directed it to be used for the relocation and construction of the Johnson County Historical Society Museum, the Antique Car Museum of Iowa and the Hawkeye Model Railroad Club, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/1VQnC8u ). The museums are already at the site of the new development but will be relocated and expanded.

The project at Coralville’s Iowa River Landing, which is expected to total $190 million, would attract a U.S. Hockey League team and house the University of Iowa’s club hockey team and youth leagues. Hotels, a fitness institute, parking ramp and retail also are planned.

“While the arena is certainly a central project, it’s almost $190 million dollars of between five and six elements, depending how you want to count them, with the arena tying it all together,” Supervisor Janelle Rettig said.

The county money is contingent on Coralville getting a $12 million grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which could award the money at its June 17 meeting. The agency indicated last month it wanted the county to contribute money before it approved state funding.

The grant would be repaid to the state through a sales excise tax, which Rettig described as a state version of a local hotel/motel tax.

If the grant is approved, Coralville will have raised $32 million for the arena, with the rest of the funding coming primarily from naming rights, tax credits and land sales, said Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The city of Coralville is not going to move forward the arena unless the funding for the entire arena can be secured and it opens debt-free,” Schamberger said. “That’s been stated from the beginning, and that’s the plan.”

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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