Union Terminal rehab headed to Nov. ballot, Music Hall excluded - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Union Terminal restoration headed to Nov. ballot, Music Hall excluded

A packed house at Wednesday's Hamilton County Commissioners meeting. (Photo: FOX19/Gordon Graham) A packed house at Wednesday's Hamilton County Commissioners meeting. (Photo: FOX19/Gordon Graham)
(FOX19) -

Hamilton County Commissioners voted 2 to 1 Wednesday to add a quarter-cent county sales tax hike to the November ballot to help pay for the restoration of Union Terminal.

Music Hall will not be included.

"Save Our Icons," the cultural task force campaign in support of the levy, intended to raise funds to preserve both Union Terminal and Music Hall. Both historic buildings need an estimated $300 million in renovations.

Those behind the Save Our Icons initiative say both structures suffer from deterioration and need extensive restoration to guarantee their use for future generations. Supporters came out in full force for Wednesday's meeting.

Two of the three commissioners, Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann (R), were in support of keeping Music Hall off the ballot because they didn't believe the city of Cincinnati's proposal in pledged funding for the projects was enough. Approved by Cincinnati's council committee, the city would commit $10 million, or $400,000 for the next 25 years.

Hartmann has said he wants the city "to show that this is one of their top priorities" and added on Wednesday that the request to include Music Hall in the tax levy is "a bridge too far."

Commissioner Todd Portune (D) was in support of the original plan to restore both historic buildings. On Wednesday, he expressed his intent to bridge the gap between Hamilton County and the city.

Wednesday's vote means residents in Hamilton County will vote in November on whether to fund Union Terminal's renovation with the sales tax. If approved, the quarter-cent hike would be in place for about five years.

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