The administration of Mayor John Hamilton wants to pay the county about $4 million to take over the Monroe Convention Center to jump-start the facility’s expansion, expected to cost tens of millions of dollars.

Administration and local tourism officials hope the expansion would allow more local and out-of town organizations to host events there and allow the city to bring in more tourism dollars. That additional spending, the officials say, would boost the local retail and hospitality industries and create more jobs.

“We’re missing out on opportunities” because the center is too small, Deputy Mayor Don Griffin said.

For subscribers:Downtown Bloomington leaders weigh in on proposal for city to buy convention center

The administration hopes to get an agreement in place by the end of September, in part to be able to forestall any action by the state Legislature that might rescind the food and beverage tax, which is to pay for the center’s expansion.

“We don’t want to sit on this,” Griffin said.

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