The proposed Bill Snyder museum has hit a snag, and at the moment, it looks like it isn’t going to happen.
We’re disappointed by that; we’d love to have a museum dedicated to Manhattan’s legendary college football coach and favorite celebrity. But we do understand the reasons behind the latest developments.
The city had hoped to divert some of the STAR bond money that was essentially “left over” from the downtown redevelopment.
That area is complete, and the city expects to pay off debt earlier than expected. City officials had hoped that the state would let it use the extra $25 million to improve roads and infrastructure in the North Campus Corridor.
The inclusion of a Snyder museum in the city’s plans for the North Campus Corridor was intended to justify the use of the STAR (State Tax and Revenue) money, which is meant to be used for projects that draw tourism.
The previous secretary of commerce apparently gave the city an unofficial go-ahead on that plan. But the new administration brought a new secretary, who has said he won’t support the “noncontiguous nature” of the project.
Others said state officials thought the museum project required hotel and retail components to be considered.
We understand that the state wants to maintain the integrity of STAR bonds, which have been under additional scrutiny lately.
We want the state to be judicious in its use of taxpayer money, so that makes sense.
Still, it is a shame that the decision by the secretary of commerce may put the brakes on the Snyder museum project, which officials said is not exactly dead, but in “a deep sleep.”
We think Manhattan and the rest of Wildcat fandom would love a place to learn about Snyder and K-State football.
We hope that the city will find another way to fund it.