Frisco Council to act on petition to block Arts Hall

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on May 31, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Updated Monday, May 31 at 10:49 PM

FRISCO — The long-debated Collin County Arts Hall faces another hurdle Tuesday night. Frisco city leaders will act on a petition calling for a November vote.

Tea Party members want the city to revoke the remaining bonds to build the project. If that happens, it could spell doom for the tri-city arts complex.

The dream is a sprawling performing arts facility in Collin County. Back in 2002, Frisco voters followed Plano and Allen in approving $19 million in bonds to pay for the project. McKinney dropped out.

"The original project that was voted on in 2002 is not what this project is today," said Lorie Medina, Frisco Tea Party co-chair. Tea Party members say voters who approved it thought it was a four-city project. They claim operating cost estimates have more than tripled since the election eight years ago.

Former Frisco mayor Mike Simpson, who now heads the Arts of Collin County, questions why the Tea Party would call for the election now. "The ironic thing is, nothing has changed since 2002," he said.

Council members are expected to discuss whether it's legal to have a vote on bonds that are already approved by voters.

"I always support our citizens voicing their opinion, but frankly — in this case — I believe they have voiced their opinion," said Frisco Mayor Maher Maso.

The mayor says without any of the three cities involved, the project is destined for failure. "But I don't believe that will happen," Maso said.

Tea Party leaders want the voters to decide, but the Arts Hall supporters say they already have.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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