Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Ogden OKs Letter of Support / City Seeks Funding for Hotel, Parking Garage at The Junction

Once again it appears to us that our part-time City Council has been seriously outsmarted and outgunned
It's a great opportunity for the city to get this funding, We're just showing our support at this step of the process. The RDA board will have an opportunity to review or tailor its support with further information in the future.

Caitlin Gochnour, Council Chairwoman
Standard-Examiner: Ogden OKs letter of support
July 14, 2010

We have a significant need. This is not the last point in the process. We are simply moving down that path.

Terrence Bride, OBDD Senior Project Coordinator
Standard-Examiner: Ogden OKs letter of support
July 24, 2010

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the City Council has taken the Godfrey administration's bait, and voted unanimously last night "to approve the letter supporting the allocation of two tax-exempt bonds totaling $12 million":
Ogden OKs letter of support / City seeks funding for hotel, parking garage at The Junction
Although SE reporter Roy Burton carefully notes that "[t]he letter does not bind the council to approve the bonds," we have serious doubt whether the council will ultimately have the wisdom or political will to put the brakes on this project, once Housing and Community Development Division of the Utah Department of Community and Culture approves this massive bonding, Boss Godfrey moves us farther "down the path" to municipal bankruptcy, and puts on the full court press for more reckless borrowing and spending.

Once again it appears to us that our part-time City Council has been seriously outsmarted and outgunned.


OneWhoKnows said...

Three Ogden hotels empty and now he wants a fourth to complete the crown jewel of his legacy of "The Junction" block. All he has given Ogden is massive debt, mistrust and incompentant leadership from an inept micro manager that suffers from short-man syndrom and visionary dillusions. Hopefully the citizens have finally had enough of this guy ??? God help us!

Dan S. said...

I'm still waiting to hear what the risk to the city will be on these projects. Has anyone on the council, or at the Standard-Examiner, even asked?

oldguy said...

Excellent question Dan. The most significant "anyone" has to be the City Council but experience tells us that once the Godfrey Express starts rolling it is pretty hard to put the brakes on. Appears that the Council and the Council Staff have some work to do before this gets out of hand. What is it going to cost is the first question most of us ask when we are considering a purchase. His nadaness once again has his foot in the door so watch out City Council! Nuf said.

Dan S. said...

Regarding parking garages, I'm not necessarily opposed to building more of them, if this can be done without taxpayer expense (or the risk thereof), and if they are balanced by equal or greater investments in non-auto transportation.

Meanwhile, I'm especially skeptical of the argument that lack of parking is the only thing that's keeping so much downtown real estate undeveloped or unoccupied. The Junction parking structures are still very much under-used. If free, abundant parking were enough to guarantee full occupancy, why is the Earnshaw building still unfinished and only 1/18 occupied?

Caitlin Gochnour Fan Club said...

With Caitlin Gochnour's latest public Godfrey ass-licking statement...

"It's a great opportunity for the city to get this funding," said Council Chairwoman Caitlin Gochnour. "We're just showing our support at this step of the process."...

We've now disbanded the fan club.

Little did we know at the outset that she'd become a shameless Godfrey Tool.

Danny said...

I don't mind people hitting Gochnour and the rest one bit.

But realistically, the city council did not fund the asinine velodrome, and has not funded the motel, nor Godfrey's parking garages, at least not yet.

But Gochnour does try too hard to appear to be getting along with our abysmal mayor.

Garcia's assertions that he agreed with Godfrey 99% of the time is what caused the low voter turnout in his district and lost him the election.

VanHooser and Blair ran against Godfrey, and won.

They need to remember that, and stop acting like his suck ups, whether they are or not.

Disgusted said...

What the City Council doesn’t realize is that they have back door endorsed the whole project. If the letter that the RDA Chair signed (pre-prepared by the administration) to the State for the bond funding causes the State to then offer the funding to the City then the council will feel obliged to have to accept it. The State would not be happy with the Council if they go back to the State and say, just kidding, we don’t want the money now.

Thus the city is financially on the hook to subsidize not only the financing of the project through bonding but also for paying some of the cost that should have belonged to the hotel developer. Come on now think about it, most development projects are responsible for their own parking. So why is the city funding the developers parking garage? Does anyone truly believe that the hotel would make a parking garage under their hotel/condo project actually available to the general public? Wake up City Council.

Biker Babe said...

People keep saying it's good for the city to get this funding ... but what developer for the parking and Washington buildings - Octagon Partners - takes the $$$ right back out of the city/state/region! Jobs created: 0

Construction Company: as yet to be named - jobs created: unknown

Future Hotel: jobs potentially created --> 40, which will be service employees probably paid less than a living wage (most likely less than $10 an hour and less than full time) - maybe they can afford to shop at Winco or Walmart (because they would qualify for a Horizon card)

Money added to Local Economy: negligible at best --> more FOM's in far off lands getting the deals then jumping ship.


Anonymous said...

This is not a good time to incure more debt, based on future occupancy rates for hotel rooms in a city that is simply not a major tourist destination.
Unless you consider, say, Gary, Indiana to be tourist'ee.

None who were without ego would this madness allow, let be concoct and nurture. Hubris, and some others easy money is not a good city plan.

Bob Becker said...

It is not clear the city will incur more debt to build the hotel project. But that's a question to which we need a clear and definitive answer before the Council moves ahead on this. A clear and definitive answer.

Bob Becker said...


You wrote: Future Hotel: jobs potentially created --> 40, which will be service employees probably paid less than a living wage (most likely less than $10 an hour and less than full time) - maybe they can afford to shop at Winco or Walmart (because they would qualify for a Horizon card)

I don't think we ought to disparage businesses creating low-end jobs. There are people among us with little or no education who work such jobs, and more of them looking for them in these parlous times. A healthy city economy has a full range of job opportunities, or should, and that includes entry-level low pay service sector jobs. That a hotel will bring a couple of dozen of those kinds of jobs to Ogden doesn't seem to me to be an argument against the hotel's coming, but the reverse.

There are people getting by [just], feeding their kids, paying the rent by holding down two such low-paying jobs at once. They define the term hard-working. I wouldn't sneer at a project that would open more of those jobs up here merely because it would provide more of those jobs here.

And if I were hard up against it [happily, I'm not], living from pay-check to pay-check, with no reserves, and in danger of going under into debt if I had to repair the car or take a kid to a doctor or dentist, I'd be shopping wherever I could spend the least for what I needed too --- and that's probably Wal-mart these days.

Really now.... said...

Honestly, we should just stop trying to move forward and listen to everything that Disgusted, Danny and all those others naysayers tell us and we'd all be better off.

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