Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Ogden City RDA Meeting Tonight

Boss Godfrey is pining to get moving on East Washington Urban Renewal Project, which represents the biggest Ogden City boondoggle since The Junction Money Pit

For those readers following the pending East Washington Urban Renewal boondoggle, we'd like to provide a heads up regarding tonight's Ogden City RDA meeting, set for 6:00 p.m. in the City Council chambers, wherein the RDA Board will hold a public hearing "on The Draft 'East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Plan' dated June 21, 2010 and on the related Draft East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area Budget." Check out the full council packet below:
City Council-RDA Regular Session Packet
Boss Godfrey is pining to get moving on this project, which represents the biggest Ogden City boondoggle since The Junction Money Pit. Despite continuing evidence of a horribly languishing economy, there's no doubt that the Godfrey "A" Team will be putting on the full-court press tonight, to put the Emerald City taxpayers into even deeper debt. Our one-trick-pony Mayor has borrowing and spending in his blood; and the only hanging question is whether our hopefully financially prudent Council/RDA Board can be lured to go along with him.

We're getting a strong sense of deja vu on this; and we're hoping that we're not witnessing the rebirth of something similar to the notorious Gang of Six Council of 2005, which recklessly approved the Junction Boondoggle, even on the eve of being unceremoniously ushered out of office by the angry Ogden voters.

We'll devote this article thread toward a discussion of tonight's RDA meeting event; and we accordingly invite any readers who plan to attend tonight's meeting to chime in with their post-meeting observations and comments.

Update 8/11/10 7:37 a.m.: Scott Schwebke provides the lowdown on last might's RDA meeting, in which the RDA Board continued the matter to August 24, pending input from the Ogden City Redevelopment Agency Taxing Entity Committee (TEC):
Decision on area in Ogden delayed
Yes, Gentle Readers; that's the same Taxing Entity Committee which, in the summer of 2009, allowed itself to be persuaded to forego for another 11 years their rightful share of Junction Money Pit tax increment revenue, in order to keep the Junction Project financially afloat. It'll certainly be enlightening to find out on August 24 whether this hapless TEC Committee will be prepared to meekly bend over for Boss Godfrey once again,


Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: there's no doubt that the Godfrey "A" Team will be putting on the full-court press tonight."

The Mayor has an "A" team? Where's he been hiding it?

Curmudgeon said...

We ought to note, before the pounding of the Administration on this thread gets fully up and running, that there is good news for Ogden in today's SE, and for Hizzonah. An ski supplies company has moved into the facilities formerly occupied by Descente. From the story:

Chris Farni, chief executive officer of Hart Ski Corp., said he will discuss his company's move from Minneapolis during a news conference called by Mayor Matthew Godfrey.

A few weeks ago, the company moved its headquarters and distribution operation to a warehouse at 159 23rd St., which was previously occupied by Descente North America, a ski apparel company, Farni said Monday....Hart was recruited to Ogden two years ago by Godfrey during an outdoor sport trade show....

Ogden's burgeoning reputation as a hub for outdoor sports equipment companies and its downtown renaissance also persuaded Hart to relocate, said Johann Furr, national director of sales and marketing for Hart. "It's a great place to be," he said of Ogden.

Mr. Furr is right about that. Welcome to Ogden, guys. Glad to have you here.

Link to the full story here.

blackrulon said...

Will someone at the meeting please inquire about the status of the Mexican import shop, which Godfrey announced was imminent,just prior to last years municipal election.

Curmudgeon said...


And while they're at it, they can ask about the Chinese importers the Mayor recruited to open shop here in Ogden when he visited China on the public's dime last year, and also about the manfacturers outlet stores who were, were were once told by Hizzonah, were going to be moving into the city rehabbed properties on Washington [now designated a blight zone] in time for last Christmas selling season.

Minuteman said...

Blackrulon, we do not need a Mexican import shop. We have enough Mexicans importing themselves illegally. Stop living in the past and be thankful that those plans have hit the back burner. Besides, if we did get one of these Mexican shopping centers, et al, I have no doubt that you'd find something wrong with it, as you do most everything else.

Observer said...

"At its peak in the late 1960s, Hart shipped 144,000 pairs of skis per year, achieving revenues in the tens of millions of dollars, says the website."

The company peaked 40 years ago?

Sounds like they should fit right in.

Their economic impact should at least equal two, that's right, TWO taco carts.

Observer said...

Eminent domain will be used, contrary to assurances that it would not be.

A. Project Area Budget. The projected tax increment (100% over
20 years) is $19,086,962 of which $14,315,22 will be used for
development and relocation costs, and public and infrastructure improvements, $3,817,392 will be dedicated to housing, and
$954,348 will be used for administrative costs.

That means the city taxpayers will be "in" for $19 million in new debt.

rotrow said...

Let me get this straight....all jiggy about the potential of 5...count them 5 employees in the future?...in the meantime how much work goes to out of town vendors that locals could be doing?

PS...check this little tid bit out... old scotty...

Utah's Right to Know - Public Employee Salries

not sure if this is current or what, but there it is

Curmudgeon said...

Observer and Rotrow:

Ah, yes. Complain about the arrival of a company that moved its business to Ogden. That makes lots of sense.

We have, because they came here, a formerly empty property [the Descente company site] now occupied by a business. There are five more jobs in Ogden than there were before the company came. And all that that is a reason for complaint --- why?

I'm glad they're here. Any other similar companies employing "only" five people want to move into empty retail or warehouse space in Ogden, I say come on down, and welcome.

googlegirl said...

Richard Maybury on Government Malinvestment

Dan S. said...

Meanwhile, on the City Council (as opposed to RDA) agenda, we have funding for a long list of additional water projects.

It seems that the city over-estimated the cost of all the projects that were already funded. Now, instead of returning the surplus to the people in the form of lower water rates, the city is going to fund a bunch of lower-priority projects.

One of these projects is the transmission line between the 36th Street and 46th Street tanks. The proposal is for the council to allocate the money for this project now, but to leave all the details, including the alignment of the line, up to the administration. (After all, the administration always chooses what's best--right?)

Even though the line would go right through WSU property, it doesn't sound like anyone has bothered to ask for WSU's opinion.

The preferred alignment would cut yet another swath of trees going up the hillside, this time on the south side of Strong's Canyon.

Lots of maps and photos in the council agenda packet, but it's a 20MB download.

Dan S. said...

Forgot to mention this fact about the water transmission line: It can also serve as a supply line, to new buildings in the Strong's Canyon area. And coincidentally, the mayor's golf course committee just happens to have recommended putting a bunch of new buildings in the Strong's Canyon area.

Observer said...

Curm, as so often, you miss the point and state the obvious.

Yes, it's nice the company is moving here, nice they are taking up an empty building.

The more important point is it a virtual non-event in the natural ebb and flow of business, of coming and going.

It's not news. It's not that important. It's not worth Godfrey doing a conference call, and not worth all the PR he will get for it.

He played the paper, you, and many other people, as he usually does.

Observer said...

Dan, if you would, can you say what specifically it is that you think about it?

Do you feel the new projects should not be done?

Do you feel the transmission line should not be built?

Does this transmission line take the place of the 1.6 million gallon tank, whose sole purpose was to despoil the bench open space with crappy McMansions for Godfrey's contractor cronies?

Is the 1.6 million gallon tank mentioned?

Your knowledge is appreciated.

rotrow said...

Crum...I am not complaining about the 5 new "possible" jobs..its the amount of dollars that flow out of this place to other places because we just aren't good enough here ....how many small companies are getting "5'd" in layoffs these days because of that? I don't know the exact answer, but have experienced it.

Observer said...

OK, this is big.

The city council, it appears, has denied funding for the 1.25 million gallon tank, whose sole purpose was to despoil the bench open space with crappy McMansions for Godfrey's contractor cronies.

They have allocated that money go instead, to work at the water treatment plant.

This was a key issue for Godfrey's cronies, as well as for the residents of Ogden, who were on the opposite side of the issue,

Dan S. said...


My opinion at this time is that the council should withhold approval until more of the questions have been answered. I'm especially wondering about WSU's position. If and when the council does approve the project, they should specify the exact alignment of the pipeline rather than leaving that up to the administration. They should also specify what sort of revegetation will be done, and so on.

Regarding the additional water tank (which I believe was proposed to have a 1.25 million gallon capacity): The consultants' report now admits that that tank might not be necessary at all. It also says that the previously preferred site above WSU is not feasible for geologic reasons. It suggests that if such a tank is built, it could be near the existing 46th Street tanks. But the actual ordinance that the council is considering tonight still mentions the proposed tank as a likely possibility for the future. The council is not currently proposing to provide any funding for such a tank.

blackrulon said...

Minuteman, I do not understand your response. The mayor made a public announcement that a import store was coming. I merely asked for a status update. If merely questioning our city leaders upsets you should we not ask for accountability?

OneWhoKnows said...

The City Council has the power to stop this little madman if they want to, question is, do they have the guts and integrety to do so? Based on past behavior, the answer is no. To finance this proposed project during the second worst downfall of the American economy, on the backs of already debt burdened taxpayers is surely a hangable offense. Taxpayers should notice that his wonderful River Project is going on ten years now and they still can't figure out how to demo the site. One should ask themselves if this is the guy we ought to have running the show? In my book..he's Putz, always has been, always will be!

Curmudgeon said...

One Who Knows:

Were I on the Council, I'd be asking myself this about now:

"The Mayor's business judgment has not proven itself to be particularly good in the past. He assured the Council there was no risk in backing the Junction bonds with the city's full faith and credit, and we're still paying six figures a year for that mistake in judgment. He urged the council to ignore the advice of the city's own consultant and developer and to add two more floors of office space to the tower block at the SE corner of the Junction. Fortunately the Council said no, for the floors the consultant approved of are still largely unrented. He recommended Mr. Lesham as the best man to develop the River Project and today, nearly a decade later, we're looking for ways to find money to demolish Mr. Lesham's abandoned homes in the project area that he and his business partners cannot afford to demolish. He recommended a particular developer to rehab the Windsor Hotel on Historic 25th Street with a large city subsidy. The property remains unrehabed today and the subsidy has not been returned to the city. He recommended that the city apply for stimulus funds to rehab three properties on Washington, assuring us that the rehabbed buildings would soon draw retail tenants. None have appeared. And in fact those buildings are now in a "blight area" and we're discussing to night allocating more public tax revenues for a bigger rehab project that the Mayor assures us will draw retail tenants.

"Given all of that, I have to ask myself, what reason is there to believe the Mayor's judgment regarding this new RDA project will be any better than it has proven to be in the past?"

Anonymous said...


Very good examples of a few past blunders on the part of Ogden's Boy Mayor. There are so many more, but we can discuss those another time. I agree with you 100%

you who said...

What incentives did the City and State give the the ski company for locating in Ogden?

Curmudgeon said...

MY SE inexplicably not having arrived on my porch yet [very rare; usually it's there by six AM], I checked the free SE online site, where I cannot find a story about the Council meeting last night. [I refuse to agree to the SE's "stiff our print subscribers by making them pay again for access on line to the paper they've already paid for" policy so I can access the E-edition.]

Anyone attend? Anyone know what happened?

RudiZink said...

Check the 7:37 a.m. article update at the bottom of the main article page, Curm, which I posted a little under an hour ago.

blackrulon said...

According to the criteria used by Bonneville Research to determine a blighted area is anywhere is Ogden safe? Consists primarily of nongreen field parcels-does this include lawns and parking areas? Is zoned for urban purposes-does this include resedential areas? At least 50% of the parcels contain non-agrictularal or non-accessory buildings intendeded for resedential commercial or industrial uses-does this mean single family neighborhoods. The present conditions or use of the project area substantially impairs the growth of the municipality-do established neighborhoods impair future growth. Using the rules Bonneville stated nowhere is immune from being declared blighted including the mayors area, or Rudis or mine.

Curmudgeon said...

Slippage, Godfrey style....

When this RDA proposal first came up, Mr. McConkie, speaking for the Administration, assured all and sundry that eminent domain proceedings were not planned as part of it all. Well, a little rhetorical slippage seems to have occurred. From today's story:

Other residents expressed concern that the city may use the plan to exercise eminent domain to acquire their properties. However, McConkie said that's unlikely.

We seem to have slipped from "not" to "unlikely." Wonder what's next down the slippage slope? "Only if someone makes us do it by refusing to do with their property what we want them to" perhaps?

Strongs Canyon said...

Has anyone noticed that there seems to have been work done up on the Peterson property? It almost looks like the path (cut over a year ago) has been bladed or at least the weeds along the cut path poisoned?

From the Valley floor it appears darker then it should and more pronounced. Really just wondering if anybody has been hikng up there lately?

Eastsider said...

Fencing had been installed along with a gate at the top of 29th Street. The fence runs from 29th along the east side of the trailhead parking lot and terminates on the north edge if the trail. There has been some grading done. According to the neighbors it went up last week. If we had a forward thinking mayor or county commission that land never would have fallen into the hands of Chris Petersen.

What's next? A gondola?

Biker Babe said...

Curm -- I'm a little more than a bit worried about any FOM's that have names ending in 'i' .. seems they make promises,then poof!


Strongs Canyon -- you call that work? Seems like search and destroy ,,, namely all organic life in the basin ,,, to me.

just sayin'


seems to me petered-peterson just has too much time and land on his hands, with a F-I-L that won't let him play in His yard (i.e. Snow Basin), so he's just moping about, wrecking his stuff, cuz he is of the mindset --> hey, it's mine and I"ll do what I want with it.\

also js ...

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