MINNEAPOLIS – The city council approved spending an additional $25 million Friday to help renovate the city owned-Target Center.
The total cost of the renovation will now be nearly $130 million dollars with the city picking up the $74.5. The Timberwolves would pay an additional $5 million bring the team's total to $49 million.
"I'm thrilled," said Councilwoman Lisa Goodman. "If we're going to make a renovation, we better do it right."
Lisa Goodman and 10 other council members voted in favor of the additional money, claiming it was necessary for the Target Center to compete. Supporters argued the renovations would attract more business.
But not everyone on the council agreed.
"Frankly I think our money could be put to better use than that," said Councilman Andrew Johnson.
Johnson, along with Councilwoman Lisa Bender, voted against the new plan saying the money could be spent elsewhere.
"We have a $15 to $20 million shortfall every single year in basic road maintenance. We also have some of the worst disparities in the nation," he said.
Goodman argued this makes good fiscal sense.
"This action has us spending less money than we would have under the original agreement," she said.
In city council documents, staff tell council members instead of paying $50 million dollars in the original agreement to maintain and repair the Target Center over the next two decades, the city would spend $20 million.
But in that same document, city staff tells city council members, "significant additional investments will be required" well beyond that $20 million figure.
"In the recent past, annual capital/maintenance appropriations have averaged approximately $5 million and staff would anticipate that after the renovation project, generally similar levels of requests will be forthcoming through the annual budget process," it reads.
Critics believe the city got a raw deal.
"If the council voted no on it, the Target Center renovation still would have gone forward," said Johnson.
The renovation will start next year with much of it happening in the summer. It is expected to be completed in 2017.