The Anti-Transparent government running city hall wants to move forward on the failed Bunker Ramp project with even less transparency than what got us in this pickle to begin with;
Powers and chief of staff Erica Beck also have updated the City Council multiple times, answered questions and solicited feedback.
“It’s important to note that some of the interest is because of the confidence we’ve been able to share with the industry and because of the collaboration between the administration and council,” Beck said. “We’ve been transparent that we’re conveying the questions, concerns and comments … and I think that will lead to a process and ultimately applications that may be more than what we first thought we might receive. We’ve received a lot of good feedback both internal and external of the city and state for that matter.”
The city plans to use a negotiated sale process to either sell or lease all or part of the site, including potentially the ramp itself.
A committee of city and community representatives will lead the evaluation process and make a recommendation. The team will start reviewing submissions in January, but there’s no hard deadline yet.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with an initial review process to boot out the ridiculous, underfunded and impossible, serious finalists and contenders need to present their proposals publicly to the city council during a special informational meeting as long as they meet investment criteria (a little problem we had the first time around).
It certainly sounds like to me a process has been set in place that will make the final decision of who takes over the property up to the non-elected planning staff, the non-elected mayor’s staff, the mayor himself and handed over to the council for rubber stamp approval.
And who can resist a property that has PLUMP utilities;
I would challenge the city council to demand that at least 3 finalists need to present publicly their plans to the council, and allow the council to have an up or down vote on those proposals.
As of right now, it would be like going to the shoe store and asking to see all of their running shoes they have in size 8, and the salesperson bringing out one pair from the store room stating, “These are our best shoes sir, you don’t need to worry about what else is in stock.”
One of the biggest reasons corruption and bad decisions are made not just locally but nationally is because those decisions are made in the dark with very little if any input from the public. Bring the public along this time and it could be less complicated.
As I have predicted, the developer will probably be a usual suspect that will get all the handouts and goodies anticipated with a deal like this. There will either be a much lower purchase price or lease agreement negotiated(?) and a tax break or TIF to boot. No developer in their right mind wouldn’t go after this opportunity WITHOUT asking for the full reach around from the city, and they will quickly oblige, heck it is even mentioned in the proposal online;
For property that is being considered for sale, the value of the property is established by a market value appraisal prepared by an independent appraiser hired and compensated by the City. Projects that will provide tangible public benefits may be eligible for various forms of financial assistance, such as tax increment financing (TIF) and property tax reduction. Consideration of the purchase/lease price, incentive request, or other request of the proposer will be weighed to determine the best project and offer to the City
In other words ‘just ask’ and you may get what you want.