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Group backs out of deal for Anderson's Wigwam

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Officials say a private group has backed out of a deal to take over Anderson's closed Wigwam gymnasium, leaving its fate uncertain.

Anderson economic development director Greg Winkler told The Herald Bulletin that the attorney for Wigwam Sports & Entertainment informed city officials on Tuesday about the decision.

That action came on the same day that the Anderson School Board was expected to transfer ownership of the 9,000-seat gym to the city redevelopment commission.

The school board voted to give city officials until Sept. 2 to take over the Wigwam. That's a day before demolition bids on the building are set to expire.

Mayor Kevin Smith said he still hopes to save the Wigwam, which the school district closed in 2011 as a cost-cutting move.

School district officials have said it will cost an estimated $700,000 to demolish the Wigwam complex and mitigate asbestos in the building, which also includes classrooms and offices.

The Wigwam was built in 1962, and the only larger high school gym in the country is the Fieldhouse in New Castle.

Organizers had planned to operate the gymnasium as a venue for various events and have had discussions with a foundation and a not-for-profit organization about the potential use of the classroom space.

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  • Let logic prevail
    For years Anderson has spent tax dollars maintaining an antiquated building based on emotions. This money could have benefited the city and tax payers in other much needed areas. It is time to forget the emotion. The Wigwam has no functional need. Let logic prevail ---TEAR IT DOWN!!!!

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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