The Main Stream

Jun 24, 2010 12:45 AM

Rio Nuevo town hall packed

TUCSON - It was a big turnout for the Rio Nuevo town hall meeting Wednesday night.

Laborers and union workers packed the Tucson Convention Center pushing the board to move forward with the TCC Hotel for job creation. But there was some opposition.

An estimated 500 people filled the meeting room at the TCC, the majority armed with signs.

"Our industry has been hit real hard in the past year," said one contractor.

"Small business enterprise contractors need this project," said another.

Contractors and their workers said the hotel is necessary to not only boost tourism to Tucson, but create jobs for the locals.

"We have a substantial amount of work in California, but I want to work in Tucson," one contractor said.

But others came forward, worried the funding is not there to back such a huge project.

"You have a need, you have a desire, but you have to have the ability to pay for it, and I'm not confident right now and I don't think taxpayers are real confident in the ability to do all this," said businessman Rick Grinnell.

Grinnell also said there are other projects that need to be evaluated before any decisions are made.

Others feel we need to focus on the downtown we already have.

"We need to take care of what we've got," said an attendee.

Rio Nuevo Board Chair Jodi Bain said they are just happy to hear public opinion to help guide them in the right direction, whatever it may be.

"A lot of it will depend on financing and how it affects the workforce, and this is what we need. We need to hear what the people want," said Bain.

Bain said they plan to hold future town hall meetings, and urge the public to attend.


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