Putting Cart Before the Horse
It seems city council is again putting the proverbial cart before the horse by wanting to purchase land negotiated on the promise that the the owner would take less if the city doesn’t get a grant to demolish and clean up a possibly contaminated former industrial site for its proposed safety building.
First question: Was the site checked for hazards first? No, because the building is still standing. Second, what’s the cost of demo? Since the city has demolished many structures, ask the owner to cover that cost first, then check for contaminated soil. Third, is this grant for brownfield cleanup guaranteed, or another pipe dream?
Our residents have seen property given away before, bought with their money on promises a few times in the past with nothing to show for it. Can we be sure this is not the case again with delays and higher costs associated with “we didn’t anticipate that” problem?
Beginning in January the city is going to start collecting the user fee they felt was needed to fix streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure including the new safety building, all desperately needed, but the residents have really nothing to look forward to to. This Council has six months left to serve, we have a building proposed on land that needs demolished, may be contaminated, in a flood zone, for use by our safety forces, but we’re not sure if we can get a grant. Our downtown streets are a mess, we got turned down twice for a grant and now we’re waiting on the state to help us. We have a couple who was given property on a promise to rebuild it, even though studies show structurally a few buildings are in very bad shape. How about the parking garage promised to an out of town developer which is not popular? Finally a $2 million bank development turned down. Time is not on this council’s side, so hitch up the wagon and leave the horse in the stable; our residents will have to pull it again until May.