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SALEM, OR-The Salem City Council wants to know how a convention center and hotel would fare downtown. The council requested bids Monday on an estimated $100,000 study that will determine just that. If the study concludes its feasible, the city has set aside $3 million to buy the preferred site, located on a downtown block where Union Gospel Mission now sits.

Supporters of the long-standing idea say it would create jobs and pump more than $5 million a year into the city’s economy. Opponents don’t like the $600,000 a year in subsidies it would cost the city to operate a conference center.

Current plans have the convention center being built in tandem with a privately funded hotel. The project would cost an estimated $20 million.

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