ANDERSON – It appears all the pieces have fallen into place from private investment dollars to the transfer of ownership to save the iconic Wigwam from the wrecking ball.
The two-year effort to save the Wigwam complex took a major step forward when the Anderson Redevelopment Commission agreed to accept the complex from Anderson Community Schools and then transfer the property to Wigwam Sports & Entertainment (WSE) LLC, with everything to be completed by a July 8 deadline.
The Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday unanimously adopted two resolutions that will keep the Wigwam from becoming a parking lot.
The first resolution will allow the ARC to accept the transfer of ownership of the Wigwam complex from Anderson Community School Corp. with the understanding that WSE would accept the property as is and accept title to the facility.
The second resolution formally approved the transfer of the property, which includes the athletic field to the west, from the Redevelopment Commission to WSE with the transaction to be completed by July 8.
Commission attorney Ann Marie Bauer said the transfer was allowed by state law and said the appraised value of the property is less than zero.
The steps to transfer the ownership came a day after the Anderson Community Schools board of trustees voted to provide WSE $100,000 if the transaction is completed by July 8. The plan includes the use of the facility five times a year for the next 20 years at a cost of $150,000.
Greg Winkler, director of the Anderson Economic Development Commission, said the Anderson Board of Public Works will be asked to consider providing $100,000 to the private investors from food and beverage tax revenues for a similar use agreement.
Terry Thimlar, president of WSE, said with investors added in the past month the group has met the requirements to move forward with the project. The amount required was $600,000.