A resolution to go before the Metro Council next week would essentially let the council ratify the Convention Center Authority’s earlier decision to loan $300,000 to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
In October, the nine-member authority unanimously voted to give a $300,000, no-interest loan to the CVB to help the agency offset funds it used to keep conventioneers in Nashville following May’s flood, which forced the closure of Gaylord Opryland Hotel. The loan, which still hasn’t been transferred, is to be paid back over three years.
Several council members questioned the loan, arguing that Metro’s commissions and authorities shouldn’t be in the “lending business.” In addition, council attorney Jon Cooper opined in a legal analysis that it is “questionable whether the [Convention Center Authority] has the legal authority to loan these funds without council approval.”
A new resolution, sponsored by Councilman Rip Ryman, who chairs the council’s Convention, Tourism and Public Entertainment Facilities Committee, would amend Metro’s agreement with the authority, clarifying the permissible uses of the convention center fund balance.
In effect, signing off on the resolution would authorize the authority to use dollars from the convention center fund balance to provide the CVB the $300,000 loan.
“This resolution allows the Convention Center Authority to do that, whether it’s a grant or a loan,” Ryman said.
Ryman said the resolution stipulates that no revenue collected through the city’s hotel/motel occupancy tax is to be used to pay back the loan.