by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First
In a unanimous vote Tuesday in Branson, the Board of Alderman said yes, to plans to bring a 46-thousand-square-foot aquarium to the city, with special financing assistance from the tax payers.
Now, there’s just one more step to go, before the proposed “Aquarium at the Boardwalk,” becomes official.
After hearing the details of the contract from the city’s special counsel for economic development, the vote was on.
“We were very excited that the alderman voted 6-6. So, hopefully in two more weeks when we have a second read, we’ll be able to move forward right away,” said Tej Sundher, a partner with Kuvera Partners, developers of the project.
Sundher says now, the clock is running.
“We have a very short amount of time between now and high season and 2020, which is our goal of opening. So, we have to make sure that every week we utilize it very efficiently and effectively.. to make sure we make that promise to Branson itself,” Sundher said.
Kuvera Partners are asking tax payers to finance 7-million dollars of the 51 million dollar project — and Sundher says right now, his goal is to keep up with their end of the deal.
“It’s gonna be a lot of working a lot of focusing..making sure that we’re ready,” Sundher said, “Making sure that we deliver on the promise of a great, fun aquarium in Branson.”
Billy Ong, another business developer in the city of Branson, says he’s looking forward to how this Aquarium project will be a benefit to him as well.
“I’ve spoken to everybody from the alderman to all the businessman. Everybody seems to be in favor.. Again, this is all about a win/win situation,” said Ong.
“We are in a tourists market. We do need something like this, to provide the tourists,” Ong said.
The next step is one more Board of Alderman meeting coming up in two weeks. If the project is approved then, The city of Branson gets a new aquarium in March of next year.