Thursday, April 26, 2007

Moving Forward

City ready to deal with developers
Seeks talks with Wizards on Harrison Square plan
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/fortwayne/17137487.htm

From the article:

"Becker said the council approval allows the city to be more aggressive in pursuing final deals with the developers."

"Brody also said Hardball plans to make a trip to Fort Wayne within the next month to talk to potential buyers of luxury suites and businesses interested in buying the naming rights for the stadium. The city and Hardball will split the naming-rights fees up to $300,000, with the city keeping anything above that amount. Those fees will be set aside in a fund dedicated to long-term capital improvements for the stadium."

"Becker said the city plans to meet soon with county and IPFW officials to determine whether there is a desire to create an endowment fund to keep the stadium. The city set aside $1 million that could be put toward that endowment, but the study estimated $2.5 million to $3 million is needed to operate the stadium for 20 more years. The stadium would also need about $2 million in immediate capital repairs, according to the study."

"The demolition of the stadium is estimated to cost $1 million, and Brown said he hopes the city will contribute to that cost."

Council catches breath after vote
Harrison Square decision was still on people’s minds a day after vote
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/fortwayne/news/local/17138116.htm

From the article:

"While the mayor has his own team of officials to craft the agreements, council members said they’ll do their due diligence by keeping a watchful eye on the process."

"Patrick Stelte, government access coordinator for City TV, which televised Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, said there’s no way to tell for sure how many people watched from their homes. He estimated, however, it was several thousand during the course of the six-hour meeting. Stelte said City Council meetings are the most- watched shows on the station."

"Did you miss the public hearing and discussion on Harrison Square during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting? Here’s when the entire six-hour meeting will be shown on City TV, Comcast Cable channel 58:
10 a.m. Saturday
7 p.m. Sunday
10 a.m. Monday"

Harrison Square advances
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/editorial/17137519.htm

From the article:

"The Tuesday vote wasn’t the last on Harrison Square. By late summer, the council will likely be asked to approve a bond issue of about $46 million, the key piece in the financing puzzle. Council members will still be able to stop the project if they receive information that brings its viability into question."

6 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

"Becker said the city plans to meet soon with county and IPFW officials to determine whether there is a desire to create an endowment fund to keep the stadium. The city set aside $1 million that could be put toward that endowment, but the study estimated $2.5 million to $3 million is needed to operate the stadium for 20 more years."

Let's do everything we can to ensure the success of Harrison Square. That means the city shouldn't spend a single dollar propping up a venue that will be a direct competitor w/ the new stadium.

Memorial stadium is now the Coliseum's problem and they can do what they wish...

Anonymous said...

Did you catch the article on the front page of the News-Sentinel last night in regard to the potential 24% increase in homeowners property taxes in Indiana for 2007 payable 2008? The article also asked "why?" Answer was given, "a much higher portion of property taxes is being charged to homeowners and less to industrial commercial properties".
We have been trying to point out why this has been happening over the last 15 years or so - a large part of it can be traced to the state-wide extensive use of all the TIF districts. Once these are set up, the redevelopment groups will NEVER let them go - witness the original Apple Glen TIF going back to 1992 - set up covering the area that now is Apple Glen and Jefferson Pointe- for 30 years. All normal property taxes over and above what property taxes were paid previously, when it was farmland, go into a fund that is available for use in paying off the principle & interest on bonds issued to fund the redevelopment. AFTER THE BONDS ARE PAID OFF, or when the fund reaches an amount to cover this cost, these property taxes, per Indiana Code, are to revert to the general property tax fund. What has happened is that once a political entity gets something like this started, they can figure a way to "extend it forever" Witness: the original TIF district, set up in 1992 to last for 30 years, was changed by redevelopment resolution in 2005, to include the "Jefferson-Washington corridor to the Grand Wayne Center - three miles away -AND EXTEND IT FOR A NEW 30 YEAR PERIOD! The same commission has, going through the works at the present time, a resolution to further extend this TIF district to now include the entire Harrison Square area - AND AGAIN EXTEND IT FOR ANOTHER 30 YEARS. People, this will not cease until a court puts a stop to it(a la the federal excise tax on long distance calls). As our city attorney pointed out, they are not worried that a court challenge will occur because, "remonstrators will have a difficult time proving that the public is being harmed by these actions" and "to take a remonstrance to court will require a large bond to be posted", both items per Indiana Code.
Maybe it is now time to take this step so that the property taxes paid by ALL are used as required by our system of mutually benificial distributions - not give it to out-of-state developers.
John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...

Scott - I also thank you guys for your work on this blog and I repeat my hope that you stay in our area after graduation. Do you plan to post the article on page 8S of tonight's (4/26/07) News Sentinel? "Fort Wayne ranked high on Forbes.com list." It seems to say that Fort Wayne is looked at very highly by business men outside our area - just the opposite of what the business men in our town said in regard to the baseball stadium. I still see many, many, many young people returning to Fort Wayne and for some reason - it sure isn't a class A baseball stadium!!! John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...

John,

Just think if we achieve a vibrant and trendy downtown. We could be #1 on Forbes list. OH, that might just be too progressive of a goal for
Fort Wayne. As an over 40 yr. old I would yelled to the YLNI to answer what will attract young people to our
city.

Ken

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding. Since when has a minor league ball team attracted anyone? When is the last time you said, " Hey honey, Let's go to Toledo, I hear they have a good minor league ball team. Wouldn't that be a great weekend? Or, better yet, lets just pack up the U-Haul and move there so we can be close to all of the baseball excitement." To assume that this downtown ballfield will attract major business is crazy. I believe Fort Wayne should look for something that will appeal to the masses like a nice waterpark, instead of a few locals looking for a cheap 3-4 hrs of weekly entertainment.

Jeff

Joe said...

News Flash Jeff, the city IS looking at a water park.

And as a matter of fact, I know of plenty of people who have gone down to Indy to Victory Field for a game, and to do other things downtown (Like shop at Circle Centre). That's why the retail part of the project is just as important as the ballpark.