Friday, October 19, 2007

Candidates Look To River Option

Candidates scrutinize North River land option

Republican mayoral nominee Matt Kelty said Thursday the city should buy property north of the St. Marys River if there is proof it is environmentally clean.

Kelty said he was concerned there hadn’t been enough public discussion on the environmental safety of the land and it was particularly important to start those discussions with only a few months remaining until the purchase option expires. He called on the city to release all environmental data on the property.
Democrat Tom Henry said he supports examining the land for reuse but said he would like more time to study the option. He said he plans to ask Richard to extend the option until next year to allow the next mayor to make the decision to buy. The option expires Dec. 31.
Kelty said if elected mayor he would move to rezone the property so it couldn’t be used as an industrial site but instead would be used for “light commercial” development.

He said he would like to see mixed-use retail, professional offices and some residential on the land.

Kelty, however, said he would let any developer interested to use the land however the developer wanted within those zonings. He said he wouldn’t restrict the land to development encouraged by the city’s task force.

Kelty was unsure whether he would sell the land back to developers at cost or give it away to lure a developer.

Kelty asks for details on North River
Candidate seeks info on city's option agreement, environmental tests
Gary Lyman, the city's brownfield manager, said the city has conducted a variety of testing and is in the process of receiving the results, which should be released next week.

“I don't think anybody has an idea about anything,” he said. “There's a lot of variables right now.”

Lyman said any environmental problems could be fixed — depending on how much the city is willing to spend.


J Q Taxpayer said...

While I would like the property used to improve the area and then our city as a whole is what the goal should be.

It that mirrors the North River concept, then that is great. If it is just a nice combination of housing and small stores is fine.

The major thing is we should not be paying untold millions to clean up the property we did not make. We all talk about special interest groups getting a piece of the financial pie yet we have many wanting to fork over millions of dollars to purchase OmniSource and then face millions more in cleaning it up.

We will until the report is released by the city. That inludes the total report and the scope of work they where ask to do.

John B. Kalb said...

I asked Gary Lyman a couple weeks ago about any soil contamination in the commercial sites in Harrison Square and he informed me that they will be analyzed when the contractor starts to remove dirt for the necessary excavations. I do remember at least one gasoline station that was located along Jefferson and I am sure that the underground tanks were not removed when it closed up some years ago. This may give us some idea of what might be involved in the old OmniSource land. Rest assurred, Lyman will be very cautious about anything found, since Redevelopment knows we are going to be "looking over their shoulder". We hope that no "Executive Sessions" are held by the Redevelopment Commission to keep the facts from the public on this part of the project. John B. Kalb

J Q Taxpayer said...

John, they may try but any report furnished to the city is public record.

The two running for Richard's seat are putting space between him and the OmniSource property.

Also, Karen Goldner has come up to repeat again we should be buying this property.

Do I hear a pin drop.

I wish the property would be clean but life tells me it is not.