Councilman questions use of Fairgrounds money for MLS projects a - WSMV News 4

Councilman questions use of Fairgrounds money for MLS projects at special meeting

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What's being built at the Fairgrounds? Your tax dollars are paying for it, but who approved the project?

News4 I-Team Reporter Nancy Amons is asking tough questions about money used to design the city's controversial new soccer stadium that was set aside for upgrades to the existing Fairgrounds 

"Did you know this was going on?" Amons asked District 12 Councilman Steve Glover.

"No!" Glover said. "When you bring this to me, it drives me crazy!"

Glover is reacting to what the News4 I-Team uncovered -- that some of the money set aside for improvements to the Fairgrounds is instead being spent on a Major League Soccer stadium, a project yet to be approved by Metro Council. 

"That's not what the money was for," Glover said. "It was supposed to be for improvements for the Fairgrounds."

All of this was found in a stack of invoices obtained by the I-Team -- documents we fought City Hall to release -- so we could tell YOU where your money is going.  

The $12 million Metro Council approved to upgrade the Fairgrounds was supposed to be used for things like new paint and better air-conditioning.  

The Council authorized another $3 million to build a park with public soccer fields now under construction. 

However, bills found by the I-Team in that stack of invoices clearly shows that some of the Fairgrounds' improvement money went to things like paying architects for "stadium planning services" or "a work session with stadium team."

The problem is, Metro Council hasn't voted yet to put a soccer stadium at the Fairgrounds. They've only authorized the bond money.

"I don't understand why they think they can constantly go around the Council and spent money and act like it doesn't matter," Glover said. 

Questions posed by the I-Team prompted a special meeting of the Council's special committee that oversees the Fairgrounds. 

In that meeting on Wednesday night, councilmembers pressed hard on the same kind of questions we've been asking. 

Glover asked about those invoices and why money that was supposed to be for Fairgrounds improvements instead paid for architects for the soccer stadium. 

"I'm trying to understand what I'm looking at," Glover said the committee's finance director. "It says right here stadium planning services and lots of money has been spent on that, and you just said we're not doing that yet"

The finance director did not know, but told Glover, "I will absolutely get you an answer."

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