By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Charles, Mo. – Voters in the City of Saint Charles have approved a new convention center by a wide margin.
The advisory referendum passed 60%-40% in a special election yesterday, and awaits the city council's approval.
"It's been a really long fight," said Council President Kevin Riggs.
"There's a lot of people out there who've worked on this for a long long time. I've only been in office two years, but it's been a long fight and it's very fulfilling to grow up in this town and to now see use being able to step forward like this."
Developers plan to build the $32.5 million facility near I-70.
It is to be paid for with hotel taxes, a one-time state grant, and food and beverage commissions.
Convention center critic David Glidewell says he's disappointed with the public's decision. "We got our message out," Glidewell said."
"I think people are going to be watching a little more closely from now on. They ran a good campaign; I think we ran a good campaign, too.
"We wish them luck and hope this carries forward and becomes a success. That's the whole idea."
A $40 million privately financed hotel will also be part of the complex.
Unofficial totals: Special Election, Feb. 4, 2002 Build a convention center in St. Charles? Vote Total Percentage Yes 6,481 60.3% No 4,269 39.7%