To the editor:
The recent decision by the city of Lawrence and Douglas County to finance the purchase of a west Lawrence building for $2.9 million should be a major cause of concern for taxpayers. This is almost twice as much as the building’s documented worth. While speculative real estate purchases by local government are hardly new, often there is some due diligence performed. In this case no independent appraisal was performed and there is no tangible evidence that this space can meet its occupancy rate for the next quarter century.
Economic development should not be about government picking winners and losers. This is especially true when it is our money that is subsidizing the considerable risk.