Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Ogden RDA Shells Out $242,000 For "About" an Acre of Land

We don't know who negotiated on behalf of Ogden Chrome, but believe us, we'll be sure to find out and retain them, the next time Boss Godfrey's "A" Team decides to purchase a property from us

As a followup to Monday's David S. writeup, we'll spotlight this morning's Standard-Examiner story, reporting that "the city's Redevelopment Agency board approved a $242,000 expenditure Tuesday night for the purchase of about an acre to aid the cleanup of a polluted downtown stretch of the Ogden River":
Ogden RDA OKs purchase of land downtown
Nope. That's not a typo. That's two-hundred and forty-two thousand taxpayer dollars for "about" an acre of land, situated in the heart of dilapidated Leshemville, where existing structures will still have to be torn down at taxpayer expense, and valid soil tests yet need to be performed.

We don't know who negotiated on behalf of Ogden Chrome, but believe us, we'll be sure to find out and retain them, the next time Boss Godfrey's "A" Team decides to purchase a property from us.

In other news, "the RDA board adopted a fiscal 2011 budget that includes a $183,275 allocation to begin the process of demolishing 40 vacant houses in the Ogden River Project area owned by Ogden Riverfront Development Company."

The Standard course does not report whether Ogden Riverfront Development has actually agreed to this latter demolition plan, which includes provisions requiring "that funds used for demolition by the city be recovered through liens placed on properties or a value-for-value exchange for land in the river project for a public park."

Our guess? In classic Godfrey Administration style, the ever-agile "A" Team, at this point, no doubt "plans" to "wing it," as always.

Comments, anyone?

21 comments:

OneWhoKnows said...

$242 Grand for Jed Clampett land? What a PUTZ!

Watching from the grandstand said...

If memory serves correct, I believe the WCF went through this analysis some time back. I recall the consensus was that, even though the price of land in that area is inflated due to the various projects coming on line, the land owners should be charging an arm and a leg for their parcels and the City should pay that expenditure to get the River Project, and others, moving forward.

Now, the WCF is gripping about the land costs. It's apparent that nothing the City does, in an effort to clean up that area and move forward, is satisfactory to the WCF--or Amy Wicks.

Wicks seems intent on "serving the public" by simply voting AGAINST any and every issue the Mayor/Administration puts in front of the Council. I'm hard pressed to understand how her rational is good for the people.

The reasoning behind her vote on this issue is that the chrome plant's land MIGHT be contaminated. Hmmm. It probably is, but it is 2010 and the DEQ surely has the means to clean the land in order to make it habitable, let alone using it for a catch/holding basin.

Wick's position shows her naivete and does not bode well for Ogden as it seems she will fight tooth and nail to derail ANY project that the Mayor initiates, even those that are good for the city.

RudiZink said...

There are two legitimate competing interests here as I see it, WFTG:

1) The property business owner, who has every right to negotiate for the highest price for the value of the property itself and the hassle of being driven out of town;

2) City officials, who have a interest (and fiduciary obligation) to obtain the property for a reasonable price.

In the final analysis the issue does come down to the question of what is "good for the city," as you suggest;" and I'm not at all sure that's the result which was accomplished in this instance.

In my general view, Ogden City officials have once again proven themselves to be incompetent in real estate development transactions, and the instant case illustrates that they should get out of the business of meddling in the real estate development business.

The Ogden Chrome transaction is just more evidence of this.

And what say our other readers about all this?

googleboy said...

"If memory serves correct, I believe the WCF went through this analysis some time back. I recall the consensus was that, even though the price of land in that area is inflated due to the various projects coming on line, the land owners should be charging an arm and a leg for their parcels and the City should pay that expenditure to get the River Project, and others, moving forward."

Got a link?

LOL! I didn't think so.

Dan S. said...

Hmm. The city's rejected RAMP application for the "field house" (aka velodrome) says it'll cost $900,000 to purchase the 11.59 acre parcel that's proposed for that project. Said parcel is just a couple of blocks southwest of the Ogden Chrome property. Anyone wanna bet on what the actual price will end up being?

Curmudgeon said...

Watching From The Grandstand:

I notice that in your criticism of Councilwoman Wicks, you concede that the property probably is contaminated with toxics. The Administration, however, reported to the Council that it conducted tests for toxic wastes that are associated with metal shops doing the kind of work done on this site, and found no serious deposits that would require clean up. Interesting that you presume the Administration was not being honest, but you criticize Ms. Wicks for voting "nay" anyway.

I also note that you're not worried about the toxic cleanup you think will be needed because "the DEQ surely has the means to clean the land in order to make it habitable, let alone using it for a catch/holding basin." That means, if the toxics you think are there truly are there, the public will pick up the cost of removing them.

But the city insisted last night that any cleanup of toxics that might have to be done after the sale will be paid for by the seller. I looked at the purchase agreement in the packet that went to the Council and it said the property was being sold to the city "as is" and that the seller was not responsible for the condition of the property at the time of sale "including environmental." There may have been a clause committing the seller to environmental clean-up costs buried elsewhere in the purchase agreement, but I didn't see it. I may have missed it.

The Mayor's representatives told the Council that extensive testing had been done, that it revealed no significant toxic waste problems, and that the Economic Development office would supply the details of the testing to the Council members on request. Fair enough.

But I'm not yet satisfied that, should any problems turn up after the sale [as they did on the mall site] that the seller would be responsible for the fix as the Administration said last night. Until I was satisfied on that point --- until they could show me specific language in the purchase agreement so stating --- I'd probably have voted "nay" myself, though what I'd have preferred was a delay at least until my doubts were addressed and resolved.

The Ogden Council Sucks said...

With the departure of Jeske, Wicks remains the only councilperson who doesn't have his/her head completely up his-her ass.

David S. said...

In reality, this is where we are. You get the city in so deep in these projects that they feel they have to keep moving "forward" whatever the cost.

"What other plan is there but mine?" asks Godfrey.

Here's one: What they ought to do is stop, quit spending money, auction all the land off, and use the money to pay down debt.

Wicks was right. I theorize the reason she is running for county commission is that she begins to feel more and more alone.

It is just so much easier to listen to the Godfrey administration and assume they are correct.

But they are not correct. Not even close.

Just a bunch of borrow and spend socialists like in every other poorly run city in America.

The bill will come due like it always does.

nicely done said...

Who are the owners of said property ? Reid or Brown...hehe

Rita Skinner said...

For as crazy as Ogden and everyone that lives there is...this is interesting. Not that I want land negotiations being performed by Ogden City for my community (which is in Weber County and never mentioned, this site should be renamed the Ogden City forum). My question is for Dan S. I have viewed your web page and notice that you are engaged with environmental issues. In fact I noticed a link to the Ogden Chapter of the Serria Club and you are an officer. I can appreciate your good reads. My question is..."Are you for the purchase of Ogden Chrome or against it?" I wonder how a Chrome Plating company ever received a business license to begin with being next to a river. I am not against a chrome plating company but having any type of business like that bordering a river is irresponsible. Why not have an oil pipeline running parallel? We all know how well that has worked out for SLC. Anyways it is just not a good combination in my opinion. Just curious of yours.

douche bag said...

Hey Rita,
The Chrome plant has been in business for over fifty years, that's how they got a business liscense.

Dan S. said...

nicely done,

Not sure which property you're referring to. According to county records, the 153 18th Street property, which the RDA has decided to purchase, is owned by MCK5 LLC of Sandy, UT. The 11.59-acre parcel that's intended for the field house (aka velodrome) is owned by Ogden Mall Development CO LP of Chatsworth, CA (aka Gadi Leshem and/or his associates).

Dan S. said...

Rita Skinner,

I don't have a position on the Ogden Chrome purchase. I do have a lot of questions about it, and if I were on the city council, I would have tried to get the answers to those questions before making up my mind.

You raise a good point about the likelihood of toxic pollution getting into the river. I'm not an environmental chemist so I don't have the expertise to evaluate that risk on my own. But I would imagine that there are ways to prevent the pollution that wouldn't require the city to actually purchase the property. The city can't afford to purchase every property along the river, so it has to prioritize. Maybe this parcel should get top priority, but I don't know enough to make that call.

Watching said...

I agree with Rudizink--the price of this parcel is way out of line. I take issue with much of what Curmudgeon said in refuting my premise regrading the land and environmentals. And Douche Bag answered the question as to how the Chrome Plant got their license: it was issued over 50 yuears ago way before all of this tree hugging became vogue.

Actually, it should be obvious to anyone that a chrome plant would be given to some contamination over the years, but that said contamination can be gotten rid of due to today's technology. Wicks just shows either her naivete to expalin her "nay" vote over that or my real premise, that Wicks will simply cast a "nay" vote ANYTIME the Mayor/Administration proposses an initiative, even when said initiative would be good for the citizens of Ogden.

Such is the case here--one only has to look back at WCF posts to read that most here have bitched about the length of time that it has taken the River Project to get up and started. Now that it appears that a start up is just around the corner, with the purchase of this acre of land, here we go again--bitching about that.

And no, the land is not, nor ever has been, as the research of Dan S shows, owned by Scott Brown or any other Godfrey cronie.

Hell, even Van Hoosier voted "yay" for this, with the only dissenting vote coming from Wicks because of her personal agenda against Godfrey. As I may have stated, I doubt that her position will ever change, even if it costs the good people of our fair city.

Watching said...

By the way, "Goggleboy," I didn't provide a link because I didn't want to take the time looking up specific dates, etc. to back up my statement. I'll leave that to you. But the gist of the discussion, back then, was two things: (1), the gripping done by the WCF about Ogden City paying some $800,000 for an environmental clean-up of the FFD (?) area so that WynnCo could be built (if you'll notice, there is a beautiful new complex where the old blight use to be and it was built quickly and is well financed and Ogden's share of $800K is a pretty damned good deal, especially in today's economy; and (2), the WCF's cheering on Irene Pappas for trying to extoll an exhorbitant price for her couple of river front acres that are overslowing with trash and old cars.

I was writing opinion, the facts speak for themselves, if you, Googleboy, have a problem with that, you can take the time to dig out the links as I'm sure that they are there because Rudi, even though we often disagree, does run a fairly tight ship when it comes to some of the things he portends as journalism.

Happy browsing.

ozboy said...

Watching

You are obviously a Godfrey partisan here in the lion's den!

A couple of things in your last two posts that I am curious about.

First being your statement:

"Now that it (the River Project) appears that a start up is just around the corner...."

What does "just around the corner" mean to you? 2 months, 6 months, a year, ten years? I haven't seen anything that would indicate the project beginning is eminent, if you have we all might appreciate it if you let us in on the secret.

The second is your ranting about Wick's voting against the mayor automatically regardless of the subject. I think you might be misinformed on this one. If you really looked at her voting record I believe you will find that she votes with the mayor's proposals a lot more than she votes against them. Maybe you can assign some one to do your homework on that one as well?

blackrulon said...

Watching- It is nice to have Blaine Carl return. Since you claim the River project is about to start paying off I have a question? Considering the length of time we have been strung along on the River project any forecast on the debut of the downtown outlet stores? Or the downtown Chinese import store? Or the downtown Mexican import store? Spending tremendous amounts of money does not always mean success is imminent or even possible.

Watching said...

Oz--the operable word is "appears."
As for Wicks, I'm not talking the generic initiatives that any dunce would vote for. I'm talking the significant proposals that need thought, understanding, and a concept of what is good for Ogden thrown in the mix.

Black--old Blaine really stuck in your craw, didn't he? You should just let the guy go. There's much more relevance to discuss.

RudiZink said...

LOL, Watching.

If you're "Blaine" back posting in "other clothes," Welcome back.

If you're somebody else, we'll issue a simple Welcome to the WCF discussion.

Either way, it's good to have input from the slavish toadies of the Big Spending Godfrey camp.

Sadly, we don't get much of that around these parts.

;-)

blackrulon said...

Watching- Sorry to confuse you with Blaine Carl. I should have referred to you as May Smith

Watching said...

I thank you, Rudi--my position has always been that of addressing the message rather than that of shooting the messenger.

I agree, every now and then the soup does need a little stirring up, eh? Makes for good thought provocation and blog interaction.

:)

I do find it interesting, and somewhat humorous, that much of the time, when somebody posts a pro-Godfrey piece or a challenge to the WCF take on things, that it instantly becomes "Here's that SOB Blaine Carl, again." My gawd, is old BC, who does seem to illicit a little response now and then, the only guy with big enough cohones to occassionally jump into the lion's den?

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