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On Details emerge about agreements between Fritzel entity and KU on Rock Chalk Park project

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blindrabbit 1 year, 1 month ago

Ma, where did you hide the Lasix?, need it after trying to keep up with this story!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Let them know!!!

Mayor Bob Schumm schummfoods@gmail.com Home (785) 842-6729 Work (785) 842-7337

Vice Mayor Michael Dever mdever@sunflower.com (785) 550-4909

Commissioner Hugh Carter hughcarter@sunflower.com (785) 764-3362

Commissioner Mike Amyx mikeamyx515@hotmail.com Home (785) 843-3089 Work (785) 842-9425

Commissioner Aron E. Cromwell aroncromwell@gmail.com (785) 749-6020

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del888 1 year, 1 month ago

• Bliss would have the authority to use any of the stadiums and other KU-related facilities rent-free. KU Athletics would have limited ability to deny Bliss use of the facilities.

So.... KU wants to host a major sporting event at their own facility, but can't because Fritzel would like to use the facility for his own personal use (like a family picnic)! KU: did you REALLY agree to this. Did anyone from KU read this agreement or was it rubber stamped? This is like building a house and then giving the builder the right to use your house for his own personal use. I can't stop laughing.

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del888 1 year, 1 month ago

This project should not have ever been referred to as a "community center". It is clearly not designed to benefit the community and it appears the the community will have very limited access to the facitity, as there will be other 'events' taking place all the time. The name should be changed to "Lawrence/ KU Sporting Complex". Question: if there is an 'event' taking place at the facility and parking is being charged, will I also have to pay for parking if I am going just to use the facilitiy for recreational purposes? Maybe the 'city' should build a parking lot across the street from the new facility and put in meters. My belief is that if the community doesn't currently use Holcum Park or the East Lawrence Rec Center, it will probably not use this facility either. It's not exactly located in a convenient area.

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Jason Johnson 1 year, 1 month ago

I think I'm going to run for City Commission. My sole platform will be to vote no against all these rich people and their projects that benefit no one but themselves.

Matter of fact, I would go through city Code line by line and try to weed out any ordinance that even had a whiff of benefiting anyone but the grand majority of the citizens of Lawrence.

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beezkneez 1 year, 1 month ago

We pay for this and Fritzel sits back and gets rich. On top of the construction money he's going to make he wants the parking and consession money?!?! He's getting greedier as this thing moves along and the commissioners are allowing it.
I agree that we need gym space but we don' t need to sell our souls to get it. Why aren't we negotiating a fair deal and not what Fritzel proposes? He can't make any money if it's not built, so we do have leverage to use. Duh.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 1 month ago

Where's a good injunction when you need one?

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57chevy 1 year, 1 month ago

I just have a really hard time believing that the city ever thought the current financing deal was reasonable. I think this just proves once again that corruption and undue influence of city officials seems quite benign until people find out what it really costs. I am a fervent supporter of the concept of a rec center, but, at this point, have to agree with all the naysayers that the city manger's oversight has completely failed. The only thing that seems to be assured is that the state (read KU athletics), the KU alumni and the citizens of Lawrence are being offered something good (a rec center) in exchange for a deal with the devil (Fritzel). I think we have reached the point where a public vote is needed and, unless a clear and uncomplicated deal can be reached, the rec center needs to be canceled until a responsible city manager is put in place that can ensure that public funds are haphazardly handed out to greedy developers. In local politics corruption really is black and white. First you fix a few speeding tickets in exchange for KU basketball tickets, the next thing you know, half the athletics department is in jail and city and KU are selling their future for a rec enter with no oversight. Vote accordingly in the current city election. At the next candidates forum a good question for someone to ask is: WIll you retain Dave Corliss as city manager?

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 1 month ago

Excellent article Chad - can you print out and staple copies of this to the front door of the commission's meeting room?

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 1 month ago

You like to believe that very qualified people are making these decisions. I believe that might be naive.

Perhaps it is time to look at what safeguards are in place to protect our community from very expensive mistakes made by individuals who manage to get elected to the city commission. Getting elected does not automatically make you a financial wizard but it does give you the ability to sign off on huge amounts of money that does not belong to you.

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reality_check79 1 year, 1 month ago

and this town thinks sgt. Monroe is a criminal lol... While people are worried about a few tickets getting fixed Fritzel, Compton, and the city commission have been robbing you blind lol...

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 1 month ago

Congrat to Thomas. Well played sir, well played!

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 1 month ago

Since this appears to be a done deal, I think it would be reasonable for the city to now adopt a policy that Fritzel must step aside from consideration from future development partnerships with the city and major projects in town. He's benefitted enough from preferential treatment so far ~ let other entities have an opportunity for a change. Same with Compton.

And kudos to Mr. Amyx for having the gumption to stand against this project.

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Wayne James 1 year, 1 month ago

Sounds like aa rip-off scheme to this reader! Structures, I don't care how well planned or constructed, will NOT last 50 years! The only structures lasting 50 years or more were built PRIOR to 1900. Today's materials and labor are not what they used to be. Houses were mostly constructed out of yellow pine and today's houses are built with a much softer white pine or other cheaper wood. Build the "Rec Center" build another sports facility and it might last 10-25 years before it is torn down to make way for someone else's bright idea. And where will the citizens of Lawrence (mostly KU students that come and go) be? Still paying for something that doesn't exist. Let private investors pay for and build these fancy projects...NOT the taxpayers. Let these investors then form a corporation to operate these facilities and charge one hellacious fee to those who then utilize these facilities. Sounds fair to me. That way those who do not use these wonderfully built facilities won't be left holding the bill for the money that it took to build something that will not be worth anything 25 yrs from now!

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lunatic 1 year, 1 month ago

boo-flipping-hoo. The lack of ability to understand the well written english language is astounding here.

And by the way Pepe, it is the other way around. We had 4 commissioners with the courage to make a well informed decision. I will remember this at the polls next week

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Stain 1 year, 1 month ago

Kudos to Chad Lawhorn for doing actual journalism - something that is not seen often enough in today's corporate controlled media world.

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Pepe 1 year, 1 month ago

4 commissioners need to be voted out. Amyx should stay.

This deal is so unbelievably bad for the city, I have a tough time blaming it on mere stupidity of the 4 commissioners. I doubt any of them are stupid men. Thus, this raises a question of why would they possibly vote for this abomination. I hope I am wrong, but this thing smells rotten and corrupt.

If this project is such a sure fire money maker, let KU and/or private industry build it.

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lunacydetector 1 year, 1 month ago

i want to break down the KU portion and city portion, and see where this $1.3 million applies percentage wise...then amortize the KU Athletics construction cost to get a ball park rate of return, not counting concessions - i hope this comment doesn't get censored.

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toe 1 year, 1 month ago

This deal will have stink on it for 50 years.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 1 month ago

If the city (see taxpayer) is paying a significant portion of the infrastructure and parking, why are parking revenues not split between the two entities? Are we building them a parking lot for their own profit?

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Joe Hyde 1 year, 1 month ago

“It (the concessions business) will be run just like Allen Fieldhouse, 100 percent like Allen Fieldhouse,” Fritzel said (on Jan. 18th) when describing whether his entities would be in a position to make any money off the Rock Chalk Park. “The important thing is Kansas Athletics controls everything.”

And from today's news story:

• A signed operating agreement between KU Athletics and Bliss Sports states Bliss “shall have the exclusive right to control and manage concessions associated with any use of the stadiums, including athletics-sponsored events, developer-sponsored events and third-party sponsored events.” (italics added)

That's a major change in operational control to accomplish in just 30 days. So...does Thomas Fritzel control KU Athletics?

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irvan moore 1 year, 1 month ago

i don't blame fritzel, i blame corliss and the city commission

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jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

He's a liar, plain and simple.

We shouldn't do business with him at all, and especially not with these sorts of deals.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 1 month ago

There is something disturbing about committing the citizens of Lawrence to a 50 year long debt to the Fritzel family.

Maybe we cannot afford this.

This city commission likes to buy things with other people's money.

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Pork_Ribs 1 year, 1 month ago

Why is it that the poor expect charity from the rich? You don't get rich by giving it away. You make money by signing into deals that benefit you. I'm sure all of you have turned down raises out of the goodness of your heart and for the good of your company..??

Secular society, education system, and pop media teaches total independence, that money is everything, that you must be highly educated to make the cash, and that you're a failure if you don't. Then when an 'indoctrinated disciple' becomes rich...that same society jealously demonizes the person out of one side of their mouth and expects charity out of the other. Modern liberalism at its best.

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kujayhawk7476 1 year, 1 month ago

Mr. Fritzel had an opportunity to help his alma mater and the city of Lawrence, who have given him so much opportunity and basis for success for many years. However, with this one scenario, he has shown his true colors and ruined his reputation and that of his families and friends who are associated with him in this play for greed!

Both the University of Kansas Endowment Association and the City of Lawrence shoud distance themselves from Mr. Fritzel immediately and forever.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 1 month ago

When is the athletic dept going to pay rent at VarsityHouse apts? Football players need a place to live.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 1 month ago

Net revenue may not be too much. It's easy to create expenses.

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Lawrence Morgan 1 year, 1 month ago

Chad, you are a wonderful reporter - New York Times quality!

Thanks for your work in this area to keep us better and better informed.

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