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Archive for Saturday, June 22, 2013

Letter: Fair share?

June 22, 2013

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To the editor:

The Rock Chalk Park sports complex was sold to the taxpayers as a partnership with Kansas University, although KU has never been a party to the deal. Our partners are Fritzel Construction, KU Athletics, Inc. and the KU Endowment Association.

We were told that we would pay for a $20 million building and share the costs of the infrastructure (parking lots, drainage and landscaping), with the KU Athletics. The taxpayers would pay about $4 million for infrastructure, and KU Athletics would pay about $5 million. The taxpayers would purchase the land from KUEA and pay architects fees.

When the public called for public bidding, the cost of the building from Fritzel dropped to $10 million, but the taxpayers will not see any savings because the flawed development agreement shifts a larger share of the infrastructure costs to the taxpayers. Now the infrastructure costs have risen to $12.3 million. We can only imagine how much less these costs could be if they were put out for public bid. The taxpayers must now pay for all of the infrastructure costs, and KU Athletics will pay for none.

So we get a $10 million building, we buy $6 million of infrastructure for our recreation center and give away $6 million of infrastructure to KU Athletics.

This $6 million mistake leaves the taxpayers with two questions:

  1. Will our City Commission renegotiate this very bad development agreement?

  2. Will our partners — Fritzel, KU Athletics and the KU Endowment Association — contribute a fair share toward the infrastructure?

Comments

Phil Minkin 1 year, 6 months ago

This project was rammed through by Schumm and the 3 stooges despite weekly revelations of bad conduct and false promises. Sadly Amyx is the only commissioner to question this boondoggle that will cost Lawrence taxpayers a bundle and give very little benefit to anyone but developers. I say pay whatever costs have been incurred so far and get out before it costs us any more.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

Excellent letter. Thanks for brining the facts to the public.

I say if the taxpayers health is the concern the taxpayers money being spent questionably could very likely provide each live in taxpayer a work-out system for the home, two ten speed bicycles plus about 8 pair of running and or walking shoes for use on existing walkways and shared use pathways. This concept puts taxpayers tax dollars into the hands of the rightful owners. An provides each live in homeowner the opportunity to improve their health on their terms.

This project is moving forward AGAINST the will of many many taxpayers.

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