Destination 2014 deserves fair but probing review

City Council is on the verge of reviewing the $15 million grant application and drawings showing the vision for a multi-purpose arena and developments at Destination 2014.

Council members have left lots of indications they are prepared to examine that application with a fine-toothed comb.

They didn’t endorse the city’s capital projects budget over concerns for the unknown variables that the grant application might create.

To get the grant, the city must demonstrate commitments for the “one-to-one” match of the $15 million. The city is looking to get that between the investments of the developer, Dan Klingerman, and partners such as the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania and Lycoming County Visitors Bureau and other sources.

Council members are understandably concerned that those “other sources” and unforeseen project costs not involve the city budget and we share that concern.

The administration has indicated that should the match fall short of $15 million, elements of Destination 2014 could be scaled back.

That’s the correct approach to begin with.

The overall concept an all-purpose arena, convention center capabilities and upscale apartment housing in addition to a “green” entrance that gives the downtown a community feel is a good one.

And the block bordered by West Fourth, Elmira, Third and Hepburn streets needs a jolt.

But the city’s coffers are in no position to provide that jolt.

Destination 2014 deserves a fair, positive and thorough examination that, if anything, improves it while assuring city coffers are kept safe from commitment.