Something Is Rotten
At the recent Wheeling City Council meeting, they voted to proceed toward buying Frank Calabrese’s “nightmare” property located at 19th and Jacob.
Originally, Mr. Calabrese was going to get $500,000, but people complained, so council went back to the drawing board and voted to buy the property for $150,000, but here is the best part: The city is applying for a grant to be used toward environmental cleanup of the site. If the city gets a grant worth $195,000, the plan is (see Dec. 4 article in The Intelligencer) to put money in escrow and on a later unknown date the money will be given to Frank Calabrese, which means Calabrese will get a total of $350,000.
Nice work!! When I asked about using grant money to pay Frank, they backpedaled and now say the extra $195,000 won’t come from the grant. Yeah!!
That property was appraised at $48,000. Mr. Calabrese will not need to worry about getting rid of “lawsuit waiting to happen” property.
This is nothing more than a shell game.
At the council meeting I mentioned, none of the council would answer questions. They responded with blank stares when questions were asked. Even when a resident asked if soil tests were done, their answer to him was silence. They can’t answer questions because the answers would be revealing.
This deal smells so bad — so wrong on so many levels.
In 90 days, the deal will be finalized. The council is not accountable to taxpayers. There are no checks and balances. What is the situation on the soil? What is the estimated cost for demolition of buildings? What is possible cost of environmental cleanup?
This deal needs the light of day but, as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of wrong is for good men to do nothing.”
Something is rotten in Wheeling!