VANCOUVER, WA-Clark County says it is considering action that would provide the City of Vancouver the much needed ongoing financial support it needs to assure voters that a planned $10-million convention center won’t be a constant drain on the city’s coffers.

On July 23, County commissioners will have a public hearing on the formation of a public facilities district. If it is formed, the PFD would automatically receive a small slice of sales tax revenue currently flowing into state coffers, but enough to provide Vancouver $500,000 annually toward the ongoing operation and maintenance of a convention center.

The date of the meeting is important because the district must be created by July 31 in order to get the tax revenue. If it happens, the city will likely get the money, because even though the county could use the money for other things instead, the state requires the money go toward a project of $10 million or more and one that will be underway by Jan. 1, 2004.

Vancouver created its own public facilities district in 1999 to finance the special events center project south of Esther Short Park. The economy has since caused revenue from the district to fall well below projections, forcing officials to shelve their plans for the events center.

The events center was part of a larger plan that includes the publicly-financed convention center and a privately-financed hotel. The concern about the convention center, however, has been that it will be a perennial money loser. The county’s money would help assure that the city wouldn’t have to take away from other services to keep it in the black.

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