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Proposed Plan Front and (City) Center

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Discussion on the College Station City Center has gone on for years, and it will last another month.

After another presentation of the project's conceptual design to the city council, Council member Nancy Berry motioned to table the item until the June 23rd meeting, which comes after the council's retreat. The council unanimously approved the motion.

"I asked to have it tabled because there were a lot of questions that went around that all the council members were asking the same type of questions," said Berry, who sits in Place 6.

Questions about the extension of Dartmouth Street, which would run through the center, and also a proposed lake, and how big it could be. In 2003, voters approved a $4.3 million bond, but the proposed plan has been estimated in the $30 million range.

"That is what the voters approved the bond issue for, the relocation of city hall," said Berry. "They did not approve it for a promenade or for a 20 acre lake."

One of the most vocal officials was new councilman Ron Gay, who said that despite citizens approving multiple bonds over the years, they don't know the full scale of the proposed plan.

"Never has anyone sit down and said to the citizens, 'OK, now if we tie all this together, this is what it could look like. This is how much it could cost.,'" the Place 3 councilman said.

But the 30 million dollar price tag remains a major issue with some citizens, and an issue Mayor Ron Silvia is quick to dispell.

"This particular issue came up at the same time as an election year, and I believe it was just used as election rhetoric, and it's unfortunate that it was," the mayor said.

He is adamant that citizens would not have to foot any bill unless they decide to. "We can't expend any money that citizens don't approve first to expend," he said. "How can I get this to certain people in our community that insist that we're spending $30-40 million without their approval."

But more questions will be raised, with final answers still months in the making.