The center hasn't made any payments on a taxpayer-funded loan from the
The harsh winter weather -- which in total cost the center more than
"Every show lost money from what it did the year before," he said.
The OEAA has a history of financial woes, starting in 2009 when it was discovered the nonprofit had been denied tax-exempt status due to a paperwork error and owed more than
The association, which operates the expo center at the
The campsite fees are an issue that is being worked out, according to fair board Executive Director
"It's not a big deal," Hess said. "It's something the fair board and the Champions Center are trying to work out."
The board will get it's money, Maine said, and the amount currently owed pales in comparison to the sum the center has paid over the past decade.
"The money that we have saved the fair board in tents alone is incredible," Maine said. "This facility has paid the fair board, in camping fees and building rental fees, well over
When the property tax bill was discovered, the port authority stepped in with a
The port authority was created in 2009 and received
The money OEAA borrowed from the port authority was supposed to be paid back by
The most recent payment was received on
"Their communicative about it, they just can't pay," he said.
The port authority hasn't pushed the matter too much, Foreman said, because the board members believe the Champions Center is an asset for the region and brings in large events that benefit the region's tourism industry.
"We bring thousands of people into this community. The money that the (
The reason the center is currently struggling to pay its bills, he said, is because of the extraordinarily cold winter. Heating costs for the facility were
"We have to heat this entire facility with natural gas, and this place eats us alive," Maine said.
The center wanted to have a geothermal heating system, but federal grant money to install the system fell through. The plan now is to replace the gas system with radiant heat, Maine said.
"That would cut our heat bill by at least 50 percent," he said.
The OEAA has been steadily paying down its delinquent taxes under a contract with the Clark County Auditor's office. The association is now properly classified as a nonprofit and is therefore tax exempt going forward.
According to auditor's records, the association made its most recent payment of
"The property tax has been the biggest drain," Maine said. "But no matter what, we're going to pay the property tax."
"They're paying (the property taxes) back and then they're going to be in good shape," Lohnes said
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