Dennis Janson: Why the debate over funding Music Hall, Union Terminal repairs? Do it.

CINCINNATI -- As the lines are drawn over whether or not to fund refurbishment of Union Terminal and Music Hall, I find it hard to believe there is any debate at all.

Both Cincinnati icons must be preserved.

The cost, north of $300 million is staggering but it is hard to fathom Cincinnati heading into the future without a grasp on its past symbolized by these two venerable buildings.

Proponents of the plan to repair Music Hall and Union Terminal have asked Hamilton County commissioners to place a quarter-cent sales tax on the November ballot. Such an increase would raise Hamilton County's total sales tax from 6.75 cents on the dollar to 7 cents on the dollar. If the commissioners agree, and if voters approve the measure, the tax increase would fund about $225 million of the cost of the overall project.

Public hearings on the proposal is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 23 at the Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, and 11 a.m. July 28 at the Hamilton County Administration Building in Cincinnati. Commissioners have until Aug. 6 to send the measure along for placement on the November ballot.

It is tempting to draw some equivalency between these expenditures and others I’ve considered over the years as being less worthy. We’ve not batted an eye as skywalks, traffic alert systems, a stadium, a subterranean riverfront parking complex that no one knows exists let alone uses, sop up tax dollars, then largely disappear.

WCPO Insiders can read who Janson calls upon to band together outside Union Terminal, model for the Hall of Justice, and be today's superheroes.

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