Task force. The very term invites rolled eyes and low expectations. When public officials appoint them, it often signals they just want to kick a problem down the road.
The civic-minded volunteers, who may or may not have read the final report much less written it, will be thanked for their hard work and the tome will join reams of its fellows in the land of neglect.
Problem solved, or at least forgotten.
Mayor Jim Gray turned that scenario on its head with his Arena, Arts and Entertainment District Task Force.
The members — an interesting and diverse group that included some prominent people who hadn't supported Gray in his race for mayor — raised the money privately to do their work and produced a report that will not be forgotten.
They've already accomplished much, including bringing almost two decades of chatter about building a new arena for University of Kentucky men's basketball to an end.
Equally important, the work of the task force and of the urban planner it hired, Gary Bates' Space Group, re-imagined the industrial-like complex surrounded by parking lots that we now have into an exciting urban magnet.
We won't forget this. The question is, will we build it?
The answer rests firmly on the next phase of this ambitious project. Financial feasiblity studies are due in October.
The current estimate for "freeing Rupp" from the convention center that encases it, upgrading the interior and building a new convention center is $250 million to $300 million.
Last week, the task force's final report offered ideas on potential funding, ranging from the familiar, like tax increment financing and selling premium seats in Rupp, to the more adventurous, such as selling stock.
However, in the next step, estimates and ideas must give way to hard numbers.
Here again, history produces a credibility gap. Painful examples of big ideas drowning out bad numbers are close at hand.
Just down the street from Rupp some of Lexington's most historic buildings were destroyed because of promises of a huge hotel development financed by a mysterious foreign investor. Instead there's a block of grassland.
The CentrePointe debacle also included a financial feasibilty plan that contained projections that defied reality.
Down the road in Louisville The KFC Yum Center is struggling to pay its bills because a TIF is not producing the revenue that had been anticipated, leaving the city holding the bill.
Even in these tight times, there are worthy public investments. But both the state and Lexington have little to spare and UK President Eli Capilouto has rightly made it clear he's going to argue in Frankfort for funding education before athletics.
So, the numbers presented in October need to be real, not based on projections of unachievable revenues, fantasies about abundant public funding or wishful cost savings in construction.
Kentucky has too often hunkered down in bad times, leaving it unable to capitalize when the economy picked up. We'd like to break that cycle with this visionary project in downtown Lexington. So, please, show us the money.