Comment history

City delays action on $40 million bond issue for Rock Chalk Park

Corliss places a two page ordinance 8862 on Cities A+ Transparency 2013 Website last Thursday but delays posting the four documents totaling approximately 110 pages (which comprises the important part of the ordinance) until a few hours before tonights vote.

Thanks to Amyx, taxpayers normally kept in the dark about this Rock Chalk Park/IRB issue will have a few days to review these documents.

Take advantage of this folks.

October 1, 2013 at 10:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City to consider issuing industrial revenue bonds for Rock Chalk Park project

City issues up to 40 million dollars of IRB's to a private investor builder Thomas Fritzel, yet Corliss is quoted "he wasn't sure what todays 40 million dollar cost estimate included".

It gets worse folks...
No ad valorem tax collected for 10 years from this private real estate investment.

Fritzel as builder pays no sales tax on construction materials.

Fritzel doesn't pay for building permits, water meters, sewer pump station fees, and water uses.

Fritzel also gets 12.5 million dollars to build infrastructure without competitive bidding. 8-9 million dollars of that is a gift from the taxpayers to Fritzel for his private real estate project.

Great job Corliss, Schumm, Dever, et al... enabling the transfer of taxpayers funds to benefit a private investment.

September 29, 2013 at 11:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Junction City properties owned in part by Rock Chalk Park developer going to auction for unpaid taxes and fees

Junction City vs. City of Lawrence

The difference is (at least) Junction City had an agreement with Fritzel to pay the taxpayers back over time. The city of Lawrence is giving Fritzel $12.3 million of dollars for 100% of the infrastructure which the city will only use 30% of for the recreation center. 70% of the infrastructure is on Fritzel's 57 acres.

This no-bid infrastructure project pays every cent of the $12.3 million dollars to Fritzel including millions in profit. Fritzel is getting his infrastructure for free and being paid millions to build it.

Why isn’t Fritzel required to pay for the infrastructure being built on his property for his own use?

Thomas Fritzel has kept the same dream team together for the Rock Chalk Park project that he used in Junction City. Same concrete supplier; Bill Penny, same excavation, infrastructure contractor; Dan King, same engineers; Landplan, same architect; Paul Werner, same subcontractors...

August 1, 2013 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Junction City properties owned in part by Rock Chalk Park developer going to auction for unpaid taxes and fees

Is Bliss Sports “the Contractor” who will be paid $12,300,000 million dollars for infrastructure really providing payment and performance bonds protecting the city taxpayers as Corliss states?

Get some proof Chad.

Bliss Sports “the Contractor” could just barely bond a Schumm’s outhouse.

August 1, 2013 at 11:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission approves Rock Chalk Park

Thomas Fritzel and his partners in Fort Development LLC have walked from their project in April giving the ownership rights of the property to Geary County instead of paying approximately 4 million dollars in real estate taxes and special assessments owed on their development in Junction City called Olivia Farms.

Geary County will auction the property at a sheriffs sale in August.

This happened in April, did the Lawrence city staff or elected officials know their builder of the recreation center and N0-Bid RCP infrastructure project has left another community holding the bag. Did Fritzel tell them back in April.

Junction City paid Thomas Fritzel and company 12 million dollars for a N0-Bid infrastructure project at the Olivia Farms development.

Sound familiar.

Fort Development LLC: Thomas Fritzel, Brent Padgett, Bill Penny, and Todd Sutherland.

July 17, 2013 at 3:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

County audit finds no major problems but cites need for additional financial controls

Lets see here...
First, Thomas Fritzel takes Junction City for a $12 million dollar No-Bid infrastructure project and pockets millions in profit.

Douglas County doesn't follow their purchasing procedures and Thomas Fritzel gets a $431,000 dollar No-Bid infrastructure project at the Berry Plastics warehouse site.

Schumm, Dever, Reardon, and Farmer tonight handed Thomas Fritzel a $12+ million dollar No-Bid infrastructure project funded by the taxpayers.

Tonight Farmer showed us all how campaign contributions buy votes. The Fritzel's gave Farmer thousands of dollars during his campaign and it clearly made a difference.

July 16, 2013 at 10:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Public trust

“Due to a desire to have a high-quality environment [at the complex], KU Endowment is going to provide the land to the city at no cost,” Dever said. “In return, they want to make sure what we build is going to be high-quality and will be consistent with the facilities that are constructed throughout the university.”

For the record: Bliss has never built anything for the University of Kansas before. Fritzel and family are just donors.

“We had opted for trying to find a way to build this thing without competitive bid,” Dever said. “The university wanted us to use Bliss because they’re already contracted to build KU’s facilities, and they wanted us to use Bliss to build ours.”


July 9, 2013 at 9:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City set to approve final details of Ninth and N.H. hotel project; construction to begin next week

Rock Chalk Park Fritzel qoutes:

“We’re doing it because we love the community,” Fritzel said in an interview. “We’re not doing it because we’re getting good publicity. You can cross that off as a reason.”

“We’re a financing mechanism for the University of Kansas, just cut and dry,” Fritzel said of his role.

The reason the project is not likely to qualify for the exemption is because a private, for-profit entity controlled by Fritzel — Bliss Sports — will own the facilities and lease them back to KU.

In the interview Friday afternoon, Fritzel also provided other details about agreements that are being negotiated among Bliss Sports, Kansas University Endowment and KU Athletics. They include:
• Kansas Athletics will pay Fritzel’s Bliss Sports $1.3 million each year for 30 years as part of a lease that will give KU full use of the track and field stadium, the soccer field, softball stadium and other amenities in the park. The 30-year agreement will produce $39 million in payments to Bliss. KU officials have estimated the value of the proposed facilities to be about $50 million.
When asked if the $1.3 million per year lease payments were the only revenue that Bliss Sports would receive from the project, Fritzel said: “Yeah, if you want to call that revenue, sure.”

• Fritzel said he and his wife, Dru, are the only owners of Bliss Sports. Questions have arisen why Fritzel is providing the financing through a for-profit company as opposed to a not-for-profit foundation that he previously had established. He said the only reason is because tax and financial professionals he had hired had advised him to do it this way.

“I have been told not do it that way (a foundation) by the people who I pay to make good decisions,” Fritzel said.

July 8, 2013 at 3:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Start over

“We had opted for trying to find a way to build this thing without competitive bid,” Dever said. “The university wanted us to use Bliss because they’re already contracted to build KU’s facilities, and they wanted us to use Bliss to build ours.”

Click Links:


July 8, 2013 at 11:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Start over

"We are doing this because we love the community" Fritzel said.

July 7, 2013 at 11:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )