From the Could've-Seen-That-Coming Dept.: The debate over the 1% prepared meals tax took an interesting direction on Tuesday, with a city/county panel endorsing a target list of projects to be funded by the mechanism.
As expected, the Minor League Baseball museum is proposed to receive $14 million in funding from the tax, which would provide both cash outlays and support for borrowing.
An expansion of the Hayti Heritage Center, which has also been identified as a recipient of funding, is projected to receive -- why, $14 million in funding, too.
As Ray Gronberg notes in the H-S this morning, it's clearly a political maneuver to try to garner support among Durham's black voters, and possibly members of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, whose chair, Lavonia Allison, has come out strongly against the tax.
The Museum of Life and Science, Durham Civic Center, a Parrish Street "Black Wall Street" museum, and an environmental education center would share borrowed funds slightly larger than each of the MiLB and Hayti projects. Trails and upgrades to the Durham Co. Stadium would also receive some funding.
As Gronberg notes:
Allison's recent comments about the tax never really seemed to trouble Bell, who a couple weeks ago signaled in a conversation with a Herald-Sun reporter that he saw an opportunity to do some politicking.
Other sources confirmed Tuesday that there had been talk of the city's trying to "put some carrots out there" to sway the Durham Committee.
If the comments at the H-S, which are running pretty virulently opposed to the tax, are any indication, it could be a long slog for Bell, Clement and others to push this one across the victory line this November.