Marietta's Armory Square renovation project was dealt a blow this week with the news that, under current plans, it may not be able to be financially self-sustaining once up and running.
That information came from the board of the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which was creating an updated business plan for the site. The plan projected at least a $40,000 annual shortfall for Armory Square operations.
We think this latest twist in the decades-long path of the armory becoming a usable building again is a perfect example of why a detailed business plan should have been in place before grants and other funding was secured and before construction bids went out last fall.
But even more importantly now is what comes next.
Those behind the project are working hard to come up with a viable plan to gain more income.
But we're concerned that a hasty solution might be found that's not all that financially sound, as they're trying to salvage this project before bids and secured funding expires.
We urge those planning this project to think beyond those deadlines and to the long-term implications.
It may be heartbreaking to lose a large grant for the armory construction but even worse would be spending more than $2 million on the renovation and then having a site that either local taxpayers would be forced to fund or that would sit empty once again.
The most important thing to ensure is that local residents aren't forced to foot the bill on this project.
We would all like to see a great community facility there but not at the cost of other services or increased taxes.
Now is the time for those who want the armory project to succeed to slow down, carefully plan and make the right decision for the residents and not just the project. If that means putting the brakes on the current plan and taking more time to plan and crunch numbers, then we support that.