Sunday, January 07, 2001

City report opposes Olympic grant




By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati City Council will consider a report Tuesday that recommends against giving $1 million to support a bid to bring the 2012 Olympics here.

        Bill Moller, the city's assistant finance director and one of the authors of the report, said with city officials looking to cut $52 million over the next six years, Cincinnati can't afford it.

MORE COVERAGE
  • Details of Cincinnati's bid
  • Map of proposed venues
  • Status of venues
  • A look at Cincinnati's competition
  • Four annual festivals would precede Games
        “We need to make significant cuts and the city manager is recommending against any new spending,” Mr. Moller said.

        Councilman Phil Heimlich, a finance committee member, said he does not expect council to approve the grant. The city has approved its 2001 budget, and Olympic funding was not included.

        “It's just one of those things that should be funded by private dollars,” Mr. Heimlich said.

        The city had a public hearing on Olympics funding last fall. After that hearing, council members requested the finance committee produce the report, which was released about four weeks ago.

        This would be the second setback in as many weeks for Cincinnati 2012, Inc., which has asked Hamilton County for $500,000 over two years. Two of the three county commissioners — John Dowlin and Todd Portune — appear unwilling to support the funding request. A decision on that request will be made in the next few weeks.

        Nick Vehr, president of Cincinnati 2012, said his group will just have to work harder at raising private money if neither government is willing to kick in.

        The organization has a budget of more than $7 million for its bid effort, and it has raised more than $5 million in private donations.

        Cincinnati is one of eight cities competing to become the U.S. candidate city, which will then compete internationally for the Games. The U.S. candidate city will be selected in the fall of 2002.

       



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