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On As city prepares to bid recreation center, officials still waiting to receive cost numbers from Fritzel on infrastructure

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Has Fritzel paid the $50,000 fine for violating site plans?

Thomas Christie 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

Gene Ramp 1 year, 7 months ago

If Amyx and the anti-development crowd keep screwing w/ this, Lawrence is going to lose $Millions....but what's new?

Orwell 1 year, 7 months ago

Right. What the city should do is to give Thomas Fritzel whatever he says he wants. It's only the taxpayers' money, and why should the city be concerned about that?

Kendall Simmons 1 year, 7 months ago

I've never understood why anyone would advocate throwing good money after bad. Perhaps you could explain?

Catalano 1 year, 7 months ago

Ooooh...BOHICA. Haven't seen that in awhile.

irvan moore 1 year, 7 months ago

I think it's pretty reasonable to know what something costs before you sign off on it, I sure miss wildgen

Kate Rogge 1 year, 7 months ago

Graft and corruption masquerading as civic pride and prosperity.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 7 months ago

well put. I might have to reuse that line at the dinner table tonight.

WilburM 1 year, 7 months ago

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!!!

Bob Forer 1 year, 7 months ago

"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.

Hudson Luce 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

Bob Forer 1 year, 7 months ago

Kinda makes you wonder why certain city commissioners wanted to push it through so quickly. The only obvious beneficiary was Fritzel.

Something is very very stinky. Just sayin.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 7 months ago

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...

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

I thought we were building it out in the middle of nowhere because Fritzel was donating the land, but I guess not, we're paying him nearly $800,000 for 26 acres. That's a lot of money for farm land that generally sells for less than $5,000 an acre.

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

Did it already have the roads, sewer, electric, etc., in place and otherwise ready for development or was it farm land? The joke is that we're paying a premium price and we're also providing all the infrastructure to make the land more valuable. And we don't even know yet what our infrastructure costs are going to be??? This joke just isn't funny!

Currahee 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

blondejuan 1 year, 7 months ago

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

Patty Buchholz 1 year, 7 months ago

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..

seenitall 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 7 months ago

"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.

Tomato 1 year, 7 months ago

Seriously. It's not like there's a big market for rec centers. It's not as if they're going to be able to sell it for $31 million dollars if they decide they don't like it. Who's going to buy it?

It's a bit like telling your kid that you think his art project is worth $31 million dollars when you put it on the fridge.

leftylucky 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. Dever poster child for YOU CAN'T TEACH STUPID.

pizzapete 1 year, 7 months ago

I've never heard of or seen anything to compare this with. Heck, I didn't even think something like this would even be possible. But after the recent housing bubble, the banking crisis, and Bernie Madoff, I guess we should just hope for the best but be ready and open for anything. Maybe if we all cross our fingers and wish at the same time it'll all work out as planned, that is if we ever had a real plan in the first place.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

I think these commissioners really believe that this project is a good deal for the city. But I think they are so enthralled with how "neat" it will be that they are in denial about how ugly and non-transparent the process is that birthed it. And they are incapable of accepting that the general public would like to have something more than Dever's word on this that it's a good deal for taxpayers.

Beth Ennis 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

patkindle 1 year, 7 months ago

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

average 1 year, 7 months ago

Are you paying the slightest bit of attention? It's the 'hope and change' annoying liberal gadflies who are raising the most stink about this and were the ones against it in the recent (too late) election. You surely don't think it's still a Boog-n-Rundle kinda commission running things, do you? Because, dopey as you may have considered them, they were smarter than this kind of razzle-dazzle.

Orwell 1 year, 7 months ago

This is the opposite of "spread the wealth." It's taking tax revenues from everyone and giving those revenues to a single beneficiary; that's called "concentrate the wealth," and it seems to be government's primary function.

bidrigging101 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

LogicMan 1 year, 7 months ago

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.

bidrigging101 1 year, 7 months ago

LM, adjust your antenna... KU's problem with conference affiliation will not be solved by the taxpayers of Lawrence over paying for the infrastructure and rec center building at RCP.

All that does is make Thomas Fritzel more money on this project.

EJ Mulligan 1 year, 7 months ago

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...?

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