Archived Story

City to act as agent for Vision 2020 Visitor Center design

Published 10:07am Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Austin City Council will likely handle the money for the design portion of Vision 2020’s project to build a new Visitor’s Center for the city of Austin.

The council voted unanimously Monday to formally approve an agreement with Vision 2020 and The Hormel Foundation to funnel funding for the project at its next meeting on March 17.

Vision 2020 Gateway to Austin Committee Co-Chair John Gray updated the council on the visitor’s center subcommittee’s plans to move forward with a centralized tourism hub the committee has discussed since 2012.

The subcommittee, which includes Mayor Tom Stiehm, is interviewing seven architecture firms to get community input, create a conceptual design for a visitors center and help determine where it should be built along the Interstate 90 corridor. Though The Hormel Foundation is the largest contributor to the project, it can’t enter into a contract with a firm as part of its nonprofit status. To that effect, Vision 2020 is asking the city to take charge of the contractual work and act as the financial agent for foundation funding.

“We’re looking for someone to partner with The Hormel Foundation,” Gray said.

Gray said the project’s first phase will likely cost the foundation about $3,000 to $52,000 for the first phase of the project. Though Vision 2020 organizers will likely approach the city to act as the financial agent for the project’s construction phase, the council won’t be tied to the project after the design phase is finished.

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