Dublin City Council members have hit the brakes a bit on an endeavor to explore the feasibility of a cultural and performing-arts center in the city.
Members decided July 2 to table a proposal to hire an agency to help with the next step in the ongoing study, and the dialogue could resume as soon as next month.
The study dates to a City Council goal from 2013 and 2014 to create a complex for educational resources, performing arts and exhibit space for the visual arts.
Since then, the city between 2014 and 2015 undertook a market study to assess need and created a business plan. Last year, with input from Ohio University, the Dublin Arts Council and Crawford Hoying, the city came up with a framework for a 52,859-square-foot center that would cost about $30 million and be built in the Bridge Street District.
City officials asked council members to approve a professional-services agreement with Ohio University of between 18-24 months for the next step in the investigation.
But a majority of council members expressed doubts and ultimately tabled the proposal, asking the city to tighten the services contract included in the proposal and add additional potential partners.
The passage of time since city staff initially began assessing the interest of a center was an issue for Councilwoman Christina Alutto, who said she could support an initiative with some differences.
Alutto also said she wanted the city to incorporate maintenance costs into cost assessments for a center.
Councilwoman Cathy De Rosa suggested multiple partners share the cost of the feasibility study.
"I think that's important," she said.
Councilman Michael Keenan, however, voiced support for the proposal, saying "if we don't dream it, it doesn't happen."
Councilwoman Chris Amorose Groomes said the city needs to take a step back to reconsider what type of venue makes sense, for example, an outdoor public space, a performing-arts space or a concert venue.
"In my mind, this is the second question, and we haven't asked the first question," she said.
Representatives of Ohio University attending the July 3 council meeting declined to comment.
City staff members could come back to council with a revised resolution as soon as August if council's requests are able to be taken care of this month, said Assistant City Manager Michelle Crandall.