Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday Morning Emerald City News Roundup

The Ogden River Restoration Project goes full speed ahead; and there's grousing about a special assessment from a Friend of Matt

1) Scott Schwebke reports in the Standard-Examiner Digital Edition that the there's some apparent progress with respect to the Ogden River Restoration Project. The city administration has selected a general contractor, and everyone seems to be raring to go:
OGDEN -- The city is poised to award a $1.4 million contract next week to a Willard company for the first phase of the Ogden River Restoration project, slated to begin later this month.The contract will be finalized within the next several days, Justin Anderson, the city's engineer, said Friday.Ormond Construction was the low bidder for the project and selected over four other firms, he said. Company officials could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Schwebke mentions one of the reasons that construction work will commence at the beginning of the winter season:
One reason restoration work will start this month is because the river's natural flow is at its lowest ebb during winter months, [city engineer] Anderson said.
And here's perhaps an even more important reason. As regular WCF readers will recall, Ogden City scored a $1 million state Water Quality Board (federal stimulus) grant in June of this year, subject to this express condition:
In order to collect funds, the city will have to have construction under way or a construction contract signed by mid-December for the restoration river project, [Assistant Director for the State Division of Water Quality Ann] Lamb said.
During our last discussion of this topic, we also identified yet another hurdle standing in the way of the funding of this state-administered federal grant, namely the failure of the administration to have obtained easements from a number of property owners along the river. This was also a condition precedent to the payment of the federal funding, as we recall.

According to this morning's story, the obtaining of the necessary easements is a contingency which yet remains unfulfilled:
The city has obtained more than a dozen riparian easements for the first phase of the project, most of which belong to Ogden Riverfront Development, a company that has ties to California businessman Gadi Leshem, Anderson said.
Negotiations are under way with other property owners for easements involving three parcels, he said.
(An oddly abbreviated version of this story also appears in the SE Online Live! Edition, which entirely neglects to mention the yet unperfected easements, btw.)

From the tone of web version of the story, a casual reader could easily conclude that the project is "practically a done deal."

We'll see, won't we?

2) Also from the Digital Edition, we'll shine the spotlight on this Scott Schwebke story, which suggests that some business owners on the periphery of Ogden City's Central Business Improvement District believe they're being "gouged" by Ogden City, with respect to a special assessment designed to promote Ogden City events:
Dan McEntee, owner of Bingham's Cyclery and Peloton Cafe located withing the district at 1895 Washington Blvd. said he supports Downtown Ogden Inc.'s events and promotional activities.
However, he said he believes all businesses in the city should share in the costs and benefits from the assessment.
"Everything (sponsored by Downtown Ogden Inc.) seems to be relegated to the 25th Street area," he said. "That's good, but if we are going to do something, we should promote all of Ogden."
Bingham's Cylery is a Friend of Matt, of course.

Anyone wanna lay odds on whether Mr. McEntee will get some relief in this matter?

That's it for now... who will be the first to comment?

10 comments:

David S. said...

It's interesting in the Friends of Matt link in Rudi's article, that Goode gave $5000 to Godfrey.

This same David Goode has exclusive access to the 21st Street Pond, a public property.

As far as we are aware, the $5000 contribution to Godfrey is the only thing David Goode has ever done to be afforded his own private lake, courtesy of the taxpayers.

This should be near the top of anyone's "Godfrey Outrages" list.

Curmudgeon said...

DS:

Having to delve a bit back in my memory now, but wasn't Goode's obtaining use of that pond one of the key elements in enticing Goode to bring its operation to Ogden? If it was, it'd be wrong to attribute Goode's exclusive use of the pond only to a campaign donation, seems to me. [Let me add that I think Goode's coming to Ogden was a good thing.]

That said, whether granting Goode exclusive use of the entire pond was a wise decision is another matter. Let us say, just hypothetically, someone proposed another recreational use for the pond that did not impede in any way the Goode's use of the larger part of the pond for competitions, testing, etc. Could Goode ban the non-interfering recreational use of a portion of the pond it was not using? And would that exclusion serve Ogden's interests best?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Wade said...

Does it always smell like gas when it snows to anybody else?

A Dose of Reality said...

Maybe the Godfrey administration will pull this project outta their ass.

Until they nail down the "holdouts," however, this project is going exactly nowhere.

Curmudgeon said...

Speaking of grants, it's a week into December. Shouldn't we have heard by now about the grants the new operations of the MWC were going to get to keep on financing MWC activities after Jan 1?

Farmer Ferb said...

Like the supposed beginning of phase two of the union square condos, which is mostly just a guy pushing dirt around on the vacant lot one say a week, for about an hour, going on month three, this is just going to be for pr and visibility.

Parking a back-hoe in plain sight, and having the kid come run it on occasion? We'll see.

what will it cost us said...

Speaking of grants what happened to the monies for the Winsor Hotel, did the city get the money back on that eyesore?

I keep asking for an audit of city funds especially the use of the water and sewer fees.

OgdenLover said...

While we're discussing FOM, what about a citation for Thayne Fisher's Star Noodle Company building. There couldn't be more of an eyesore right in the middle of Historic 25th Street. Anyone notice that it became even uglier and rundown looking after Thayne's buddy, David Phipps, was disqualified from his run for City Council?

another humble servant said...

More smoke and mirrors by the City Administration

Jennifer Neil said...

Another humble servant :

I read the article, and I agree about the smoke & mirrors thing ... the headlines contains the word "clarified," yet there be no clarification in the article ...

Hmmm.

TLJ

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