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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Suspense! My opinion... (and it is only that)

for what it is worth. I believe in capitalism and the right to make money from land deals. If the city wants to pay $1 million for the property they propose putting a road through and the owner takes it, well, good for him! If they want to buy land from 10 Wilmington Place and spend $100,000 moving the pergola structure at the apex AND the owners of the property agree to this then that is OK in my books too. I don't think they want to do that though. In fact, I don't think the planners have a plan at all. They submitted something to the State for funds with no real plan in place so they got the money with a bold LIE!
If nobody got wind to what they had done then they would have tried to acquire the brick house on the hill by imposing eminent domain. With this plan proposal they would have tried to buy it for fair market value which would be considerably less if it wasn't listed on the National Register. In fact, it would have had less value because of the proposal! Well, they won't be able to touch that house and they know it. Now they say that they will move the pergola structure back 20 feet at the apex of the Y but have no clue that this structure was put on the National Register with the main building in 1979. I have been trying to tell the city engineers this but they don't want to hear it from me. I have suggested in November that they have a public meeting NOW to find out what problems they will face so that they can re-allocate the funds to a truely worthwhile project in the city. So I set one up in December 2005 and they rebuffed "That is too soon. January would be good". So I set one up in January and they said that they "needed time to put a few proposals together". So I said screw it! Let them drag their feet and I will slap them with the details when it is too late to try to reclaim the funds for another project. I believe that this one is a complete waste of money and that any congestion can be fixed by re-calibrating the traffic lights and putting up a "No left turn between 3-6PM" sign or by closing off Stewart Street as has been suggested and removing the one set of lights. If they want to pay me $1.9 million for that advice then I would be happy to take it.
Then I got clever. I spoke with one of the city staff at our priority board and asked them to set up the meeting. See, now it looks like this enterprise has been initiated by the city. To my surprise, it worked AND they have agreed to have the meeting at..... wait for it... 10 Wilmington Place! The Heart of it all!
Widening Wayne Avenue and putting in a center turning lane from Anderson to this junction isn't a real problem. There are grass verges on both sides of the road that could be eliminated but the cost to move all the street lamps would be excessive. The problem arises when they try to widen the turn onto Wilmington Pike which is currently one lane coming out of the city widening to two lanes at Beckman Street..

What would I like to see happen? To be truthful, nothing. I think it is a waste of money.

If 10 Wilmington Place is agreeable then that would be my other option. They do have the land to give up but that pergola structure would be in the way and they would have to agree to move it. I am not opposed to the idea of improving this junction if the affected parties are agreeable to the plan. I will say that I don't approve of how this project acquired its funding though. I am of the opinion though that the city will proceed with this project whether or not it is necessary. They will proceed with it whether or not the general public opposes it. See, they need grants to stay in business. They can't make make enough money from taxes so they apply for every grant that they can get. Unfortunately many of the grants are designed to help low income families buy $160,000 homes in a city where homes sell for $40,000 to $90,000. Middle income families can't afford these homes for low income families and if they could, don't "qualify" to buy them. We have grants to help the homeless but no grants to help the people who pay city wage tax! The middle class has left the city. The city offers them nothing so they sell up and move and if you do decide to buy historical property and keep it they come up with a grant that gives them an excuse to knock it down to build a road that helps only people living outside the city.... see, they were willing to lie to get the money. I'll bet they are willing to lie to get to keep it.

5 Comments:

At 2/01/2006 8:51 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I am amused by the city and its spending on various projects. While I am all for the city trying to improve itself, its hard sometimes to understand why they take on projects that seem so stupid. Its not like fixing the Y is going to suddenly pave the way for attracting more businesses and residents, or reduce the crime rate. Ahh, the ingenuity of city government.

 
At 2/01/2006 12:04 PM, Blogger Patricia W said...

Really. Why don't they add a few more full-time police officers and improve crime rates if they want to attract more people to the idea of living in the city.

Oh yeah, that would mean a long-term commitment....

 
At 2/01/2006 1:18 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I work downtown, and at the bus stop at 3rd and Main there was so much drug trafficking and fights that they are now at peak times putting officers down there. So the deals just move down a block or so. But the fights have lessened. They are working on getting more officers in, not sure how many, the had a report the other night on the news about it. If they could attract more retail downtown, perhaps they could renovate the Arcade, I have seen pictures of the inside, what a beautiful old building.

 
At 2/01/2006 3:23 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I just read through the posts on this subject. I'm so glad you're doing something about this. It so ticks me off when governments come in like a bull in a china shop.

In the town where I work, the city got a federal grant to build a new federal court house, even though they JUST RENOVATED the old courthouse. Old buildings will be torn down to make way for the new courthouse. Ugh. It's all such a waste.

 
At 2/12/2006 6:28 PM, Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

I linked to this from my own blog.

http://yearningtobreathefree.blogspot.com/2006/02/lets-strangle-this-eminent-domain-baby.html

 

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