April 18, 2014 |
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The rec center smells much like zest Hills business park. Douglas county taxpayers paid $750 thousand for 300 acres. Taxpayers got no property tax relief with new buildings.
Public /private partnership never has revealed the private partners who have profited. Thank the JW for not inquiring.
Now 25 years later , lots selling for $70 thousand, which puts the value of the park at 21 million.
Taxpayers get nothing. Taxpayers will get nothing from Rec Center.
Not much hope for Dever. Anyone who assigns two private parking spaces on aublic street that has parking on both sides, well. Not much hope.
And continued dirty downtown, that the taxpayers have subsidized heavily for years.
Even Amyx and S humm have businesses downtown and they don't get it either.
I hope that all those above complaining about Mayor Dever and the City Commission's approach to this insanity will take the time to e-mail Dever et al directly. The only way this Commission seems to pivot on issues is when there is a direct public outcry. Cut and paste your comments, and e-mail them. These commissioners need to hear that not everyone is in love with this process.
P.S. Is there any way to get the new City Commission to re-vote on the whole project...?
Normally, I too would be worried. But my hidden antenna tell me that the real reason for this project is to get the new running track finished ASAP so that the old track can be removed from, and the seating expanded in Memorial Stadium between the next two football seasons. For KU's conference affiliation of the future, and Lawrence's economy, this is a very important, past-due project.
Fritzel’s people are telling subcontractors they have the rec center job, First Managements people are telling subcontractors they already have the rec center job. So, who will it be Fritzel’s company or Compton’s company, or will it be a combination of the two per Dever's instructions.
It's a shame City's leaders chose to waste other contractor’s time putting together their bids, spending time and money going over plans and specifications for what they were told was a open bid, public project.
When It was rigged from the beginning.
I am sure a lot of Lawrence citizens feel the govt knows what is best for us and
can make our decisions for us, after all we have the money, and they need it
so just open your check books, it is all part of the grand plan, hope and change
spread the wealth you know
First off, the process of selecting the lowest bidder is absolutely the worst. I work for the federal government, and every building I have ever seen go up has had so many problems after occupancy; all because you have the lowest bidder building it. They bid low and then take all kinds of shortcuts to save money so they can still make a bundle. It's horrible. Building something w/o any kind of bid or limit to what it can cost is totally assinine. I will not vote to re-elect anyone who voted for this rec center. it is being built in the wealthiest part of town which will limit it's use to those who live out there for the most part, and if KU really needs it, let them use some of the money they get from sports to build it. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen and I for one think all of the commissioners who voted for this need to go away at the next election.
I am relatively new to the area (a few years) and I must admit, I've never seen anything as fiscally irresponsible like this before. Have your city commissioners always been this ignorant or is this a recent administration that just doesn't have a clue? I think the residents of Lawrence are getting the shaft on this one.
25 million will buy a lot of fake grass.
Mr. Dever poster child for YOU CAN'T TEACH STUPID.
"City officials believe the value of the rec center is $31 million"
Yes, and if you check my property taxes, they also believe my house is worth $30k more than I paid or ever could sell it for. I don't CARE what the city thinks the rec center is worth versus what they will pay. If you're going to take taxpayers money without a vote, AT LEAST have the courtesy to be a careful caretaker of that money. No bid contracts by a city commission should be a criminal act.
The biggeest surprises will be saved for the end. By the time this is all finished everyone will be in agreement about how badly the city (you and me) got screwed. This is wrong on so many different levels but lets hurry before anything else negative comes out and people come to their senses.
Dever said. “I don’t think he would carry on with the project without having quotes. There is no way he would do that.” Why would any builder not go ahead? EVERYONE but the city knows this project is going to actually cost less then $20m and the builder has an open check book from the city to spend $25m. The price tag is going to be $25m after bills are padded and kickbacks are paid. This is one of the most foolish transactions any city has ever conducted "investing" tax payer dollars. If a division of a company behaved this way, everyone in management would be fired.
It is so very disappointing to see Mr. Dever and others continue to defend this process. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Fritzel does not have figures available. It will be easier for him to charge the total $25 million and not have to be accountable, sad thing is, the city will not make him accountable just as in the past. It honestly does make us wonder why the commission continues to let Fritzel run the city. It is frustrating as a taxpayer and citizen of Lawrence to see the commission and city officials feel like they do not have to be accountable to us. Wow! Accountablilty, doesn't seem to exist, especially on any projects Fritzel is involved in. Seems like in only applies to us small fries, shoveling sidewalks, jaywalking, garage sale signs, etc..
The commissions spend our money so carelessly on Rock Chalk Park while the planners run off Menards. A place I would actually like to spend my tax dollars to attract to Lawrence. Also Lowes, Olive Garden, distribution centers, etc etc etc
Mayor McClueless! Dever seems to know NOTHING about thus scam, except what he "imagines".
Here's what the city did. You're looking for a new car. You go into the dealer saying you want this car and you're not willing to spend over 25,000. You sign the papers and look online and realize people paid 15,000 for it. But you also remember that the paper said the dealer could charge whatever they wanted. Then you go, "well it only cost other people 15k, they wouldn't charge me 25k for the car, right?" Dealer says nothing.
Nobody has mentioned for a while that this site isn't served by transit. Since the public is investing so heavily in this public facility, it should be built in a location accessible by transit...
Don't worry folks just because Fritzel hasn't kept his word on the last three or four projects he's been been involved they didn't really hurt us because it was with his private investors partners money.
This time it's taxpayers money and he can afford to keep his word with the open check book thats controlled by Dever, Schumm, Corliss and KUED/Zenger. He can't lose when the taxpayers paying for 100% of the infrastructure needed for his entire project, plus management fees, reimbursement of all development fees, refunded permit fees, refunded connection fees, 100% real estate tax abatement, and sale tax exemption on all materials. The City has a responsibility to the taxpayers to manage their funds wisely, apparently they have forgotten that simple fact.
I'd say City leaders and KU Athletics have made the worst business deal for themselves in the history of both entities while helping a private for profit developer make the most lucrative deal of his life.
All FIVE commissioners are pushing this through! Do not think for one moment that they are not in unison!
I can see Fritzel bringing in this project for $15 million, and taking a $10 million profit off the top. He's got a blank check, with a notation on the bottom: "Up to but no more than $25 million", and there's no accountability process with the City Commission to stop it.
"City officials have stopped short of saying Fritzel will make sure the infrastructure price is large enough to ensure the city will spend all of its $25 million budget. In fact, some city officials privately have said it is inappropriate to suggest Fritzel would conduct business in that manner."
The City of Lawrence is like the hapless fool who enters a bar featuring "exotic dancers." The cost of his night's worth of entertainment is invariably the amount of money he has in his pocket.
Don't worry folks Fritzel has only not kept his word on the last three or four projects he been involved with, this time is different he's using taxpayers money and can afford to keep his word this time. Open check book with the checks signed by Schumm, Dever, Corliss, and KUEA/Zenger.
He can't lose with access to 65 million dollars.
Running into hidden or unseen-unnoticed or unstudied buried rock ledges in the middle of laying water mains, sewers..... for either sanitary sewers or parking catch basin drainage lines could get expensive .
Also sounds as if the city needs to provide Fritzel with engineering specifications for the infrastructure to be built, so Fritzel can speak to the costs of that bill.
I am not of the belief that you sign a check with your good faith credit...... and hand it to a builder to fill out as they so choose ( sounds like great work....if you can get it )
The assumption that "giving all of the infrastructure work to one party, will keep the costs down", is just an assumption.....no more....no less .
Honestly, this is just unbelievable, This entire project has been a shifting target and completely lacking in transparency. I'm glad Dever and others are so damned confident. I suppose ignorance is bliss. LJW: Keep digging!!!
Graft and corruption masquerading as civic pride and prosperity.
In my humble opinion, Don't trust the younger Fritzel. He is not of good character. He is not upright and honest.
Just stop the construction until the economy is on good footing.
Make stiff penalties for any construction that goes over the bid and the time allotted to do the job. No more constructions that cost triple the price of the bid. The penalties should be stiff enough to eat up any builder profits from the construction.
This is one time when I support Amyx. Stunning.
Dever is clueless. In a few short sentences a 'confident' Dever said "I'm sure, I imagine, I don't think, there is no way"
I think it's pretty reasonable to know what something costs before you sign off on it, I sure miss wildgen
If Amyx and the anti-development crowd keep screwing w/ this, Lawrence is going to lose $Millions....but what's new?
WTH? What's wrong with city leaders? No one, no one in their right mind would buy a car or house without asking how much it costs first. Too bad Mike Amyx is the only one concerned.
Has Fritzel paid the $50,000 fine for violating site plans?
That's what Dever says!
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