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City Council televising Kalahari discussion
City Council televising work session on Kalahari Resorts tonight.

 The city is working out its incentives package for the developers of Kalahari Resorts.
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Date published: 2/26/2008

BY EMILY BATTLE

If you want the latest on the city's study of the proposed Kalahari Resorts water park hotel, turn on your television at 6 tonight.

The county government broadcasts are on either Channel 23 or 24, depending on the service you have.

The City Council is going to televise its work session, which will be in council chambers, not in the usual meeting room on the second floor of City Hall. It will discuss the incentives agreement it is working out with Kalahari.

Council members have approved a letter of intent laying out an agreement that would return 47.5 percent of all of Kalahari's local taxes to the company over 20 years.

The resort would also get more than $3 million in up-front fee waivers.

Proponents have said this is a smart way for the city to lure a more than $200 million project that is expected to generate $125 million in local taxes over its first 20 years of operation.

Others have argued that the city is giving away too much by sending $61 million of those taxes back to Kalahari.

A public hearing on the final agreement that will govern those incentives will be held March 11.

Tonight, council members will hear James Prost, of the Basile, Baumann, Prost and Associates consulting firm, which the city hired to study Kalahari's claims about its economic impact and to evaluate the project's feasibility.

City staff will also talk about how the resort could affect city operations.

Emily Battle: 540/374-5413
Email: ebattle@freelancestar.com