Budget cuts versus economic development

Register
Dec 24, 2013

 

Some city commissioners are concerned about promoting economic development. It all depends on what exactly the commissioners are referring to when mentioning economic development. Does economic development mean moving City Hall but certain commissioners will not express it in that way when trying to negotiate cuts with the union? Until the city’s budget is stabilized, the notion of moving City Hall should be suspended indefinitely. 
 
There can be economic development that doesn’t have to cost the taxpayer anything, or it can cost the taxpayers the whole expense. Development can bring in revenue, but the city should not allow a development to place so much demand on the budget that the city must cut services and personnel to make it all happen. 
 
At the last budget meeting, there was a hint that the city might be talking with the unions. Could the unions possibly renegotiate the contract and how far are the unions willing to go to save their jobs? The unions should make it a stipulation that if the unions were to amend the union contract, that there should be a clause in the contract that the City Hall move will be suspended for the duration of the three year contract.
 
No one knows what the outcome of the budget will end up looking like but some things need to be changed in the way the city operates. The continuation of robbing Peter to pay Paul should no longer be practiced and certification of funds will have to be adhered to more often so the city doesn’t come up short of funds.
 
Section 22 of the City Charter states: No contract, agreement or other obligation involving the expenditure of money shall be entered into, nor shall any ordinance, resolution, or order for the expenditure of money be passed by the City Commission, or be authorized by any officer of the City, unless the City Treasurer shall FIRST certify to the City Commission or to the proper officer, that the money required for such contract, agreement, obligation, or expenditure, is in the Treasury, to the credit of the fund from which it is to be drawn, and not appropriated for any other purpose, which certificate shall be filed and immediately recorded. The sum so certified shall not thereafter be considered unappropriated until the City is discharged from the contract, agreement, or obligation.

Comments

The Bizness

Wouldn't moving city hall into the county building downtown, and then selling off the property of current city hall save money on both ends? Why is Sharon talking like moving city hall would only be a losing proposition? If done right it would be a win win.

T. A. Schwanger

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@Biz

What do you think should happen to the Keller Building?

The Bizness

It should be torn down and a lein should be put on the property and a have the property for sale to whoever wants it. While being for sale, the land will have grass planted on it.

reader

Shame on the commissioners and commissioners - elect for not taking a little time to explore the concept the developer brought to them Monday.

The city needs leaders who can think can do.

The Bizness

What did the developer propose?

Stop It

Why do you even ask, Biz? If the person who made the comment can't extrapolate, and try to make you guess, they aren't worth the time.

T. A. Schwanger

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The Bizness has become speechless.

reader

The developer, who said he has done similar projects in over 30 downtown buildings across Ohio, proposed stopping the demolition process after the asbestos removal is complete and allowing him to apply for historic tax credits and remodeling the structure into market rate apartments.

He said if the proposal was accepted he would have work begun within a week to stabilize the north side of the structure to reopen Shoreline Drive.

The drawings he shared showed a really beautiful adaptation of the Keller building, inside parking on the lower 2 floors, 2 bedroom apartments running from a hallway along the front of the building with windows facing the bay side and a terraced rooftop with a private patio area for each apartment.

There's the choice...complete the demolition and have another grassy lot for city crews to mow or explore this proposal to have a historic structure adapted into a beautiful apartment building.

The law director discouraged any consideration citing the difficulties with halting the demolition contractor mid contract. I don't think it would have hurt to at least approach the demo people and explore what the cost would be to change course. The work done to date, asbestos removal, was necessary whichever route is taken, demolition or remodel.

Once again, Sandusky's leaders fail to dream big.

Darkhorse

So, where was this developer five years ago? Developers that come in the middle of the game shouldn't be considered. Stopping the project would cost the city more money that the city cannot afford. It is a little bit too late and not practical to stop a job that is already in progress.

Nemesis

Duh - waiting for someone else to remove the asbestos.
If the developer is serious, his proposal should include an offer to buy the property and a cashier's check for a deposit on the offer.

Nemesis

Duh - waiting for someone else to remove the asbestos.
If the developer is serious, his proposal should include an offer to buy the property and a cashier's check for a deposit on the offer.

T. A. Schwanger

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Absolutely

reader

Maybe always being practical has got us where we are?

Merry Christmas to all!

DEATHnTAXES

Just finshed watching the CC meeting.

Let's tell the whole story here.

FROM THE MEETING:::
The potential developer and architect are well aware of the Keller Bldg saga. In fact, the architect filed renovation plans for the building 4 years ago. The developer was in the building this past June.

As Law Director Icsman indicated " this is not the 11th hour, it's 3 o'clock". The wrecking ball is ready to swing.

The demolition crew on scene is $200,000 plus into the $500,000 contract. There is high potential the demo. crew will expect to be made at least partially "whole" if they are asked to terminate the contract.

The developer wants the City to give up an additional $400,000 plus ownership of the building with nothing in return should the development fall thru.

The Old House Guilds position of preserving buildings of stature is noteworthy, but at what cost to the purse string holders?

Nemesis

The developer should be making an offer to buy the property. Money talks; cattle feces walks.

reader

Commissioner elect Murray did mention guarantees that would be needed from the developer if the proposed renovation did not proceed.

All details that could have been worked out.

By the way, I am not a member of the Old House Guild.

DEATHnTAXES

@reader

Didn't state you were a member of the OHG. I mentioned OHG because they read a prepared statement at the commission meeting favoring Keller Bldg preservation.

T. A. Schwanger

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It's probably safe to say if the community weighed in on the issue of preserving the Keller Building, the issue would be nearly split with a slight lean toward preservation.

However, the issue would be cost to taxpayers. Besides DEATHnTAXES concerns, it will be interesting to see if the developer's request of $400,000 in TIF from the Chesapeake Lofts Tax Increment Financing Agreement is even legal as his request is not for a "public infrastructure purpose" as defined by TIF requirements

Nemesis

Thus, he's just another of your fellow statists, asking for yet another handout.

T. A. Schwanger

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Absolutely

Nemesis

Which would be OK by you if he were a thug who was down and out as a result of rejecting the social contract.