To the editor:
The regional recreation center seems like a super good deal for the developer but not such a good one for the taxpayer.
The developers, Fritzel Construction Co., will get: a) a no-bid job to construct the stadium, b) gas, water and sewer lines out to the stadium and shopping center paid by the taxpayers, c) roads out to the stadium and shopping center paid for by the taxpayers, and, d) automatic zoning approval for a 100-acre shopping center, without consideration of its impact on the neighborhoods or the rest of city retail.
The residents of Lawrence will get for their payment to Fritzel Construction Co. of $100,000 a MONTH: a) a large track and field stadium and soccer field shared with Kansas University and national youth tournaments, but no provisions about when it will be available to local people or how it will be available to be used by individuals, small groups and clubs, b) the cost of maintenance and security, c) increased sales tax on users of the facility and for purchases at the shopping center, d) bonds will be retired but replaced by monthly payments that will prevent lowering the mill levy, e) a shopping center so far at the edge of the city that there is no public transport and therefore is unavailable to many people, and, f) more struggling retail in their neighborhoods.
Sounds like a “wreck center” indeed.