On Tuesday, June 30, the Rhino Times posted an article headlined, “Outling Questions Public Benefit of Bourbon Bowl Incentive.”
In the article, City Councilmember Justin Outling said he didn’t see the public purpose in a new boutique bowling alley having an “enhanced patio.”
The resolution to approve the $80,000 incentive for Bourbon Bowl currently under construction at 531 S. Elm St. states that the public money will be used to enhance the patio, not to bring the new business to Greensboro.
Evidently, the article had an effect at city hall, because Wednesday, July 1, a new item was added to the agenda for the special virtual City Council meeting on Thursday, July 2 at 3:30 p.m.
That new item, “ED Incentive Bourbon Bowl.pdf” is a PowerPoint presentation on the economic incentive for Bourbon Bowl. Needless to say, it is unusual to add a presentation the day before a meeting that has one action item on the agenda.
It would appear that Outling’s concerns with this economic incentive struck a chord with someone and the decision was made that they needed more ammunition.
However, the presentation makes the same points that Outling did in stating his opposition to the $80,000 economic incentive. Outling said that while the Bourbon Bowl was going to bring 20 new full-time jobs to downtown Greensboro, enhancing the patio would not result in any new jobs and Bourbon Bowl was going to open whether it had an enhanced patio or not.
There is nothing in the new presentation about the patio enhancement creating any new jobs.
The presentation states, “Developer Request: A City investment of $80,000 in the form of a grant to fund patio enhancements to include pavers, lights, trees, and water fountain.
It also states that one of the reasons that this economic incentive meets the guidelines is “’But For’ the City assistance patio enhancements cannot be funded.”
“But For” means that without this money the patio enhancements could not be made, but doesn’t address the concern expressed by Outling that enhancing the patio is not going to bring any new jobs to downtown Greensboro.