$5 million set aside to improve local venues

The Augusta Richmond County Coliseum Authority adopted a resolution Tuesday to issue $24 million in bonds, including $5 million for improvements at James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium and $19 million for construction at the new Trade, Exhibit and Event Center.

They might take the form of taxable "Build America" bonds, a stimulus-funded program that repays local governments about a third of their bond interest payments, authority attorney Ed Enoch said.

The authority also approved its fiscal year 2011 budget, which projects $804,600 in hotel-motel bed tax revenues and a $799,578 operating loss, before depreciation.

Global Spectrum, which manages the arena and auditorium, is bringing in someone who specializes in enhancing revenues, authority treasurer David Hogg said.