Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Important Ogden City Council Work Session Scheduled for This Evening

A funding request for demolition in the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area (Leshemville) is on the agenda

As a followup to our earlier articles on the topic, we'll provide a heads up regarding this evening's Ogden City Council/RDA Joint Work Session, wherein, among other things, the council will discuss the funding request for demolition in the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area (Leshemville). We accordingly incorporate the notice from the city website :

Notice is hereby given that the Ogden City Council and Redevelopment Agency Board will meet for a Joint Work Session on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 immediately following the Regular City Council meeting that begins at 6:00 p.m., in the Council Work Room, located on the third floor of the Municipal Building in Ogden City, Weber County, Utah. The purpose of the work session is to discuss the Funding Request for demolition in the Ogden River Redevelopment Project Area; Notice of Proposed Ordinance – East Central Neighborhood; RDA Board business and Council business.
Check out tonight's full council packet here, which includes relevant details concerning the Leshemville demolition matter:
08/03 City Council Work Session Packet
We'll note in passing that we're delighted to observe that the Council/RDA is following up on our earlier advice and moving forward on this important matter. Any readers who will be in attendance at tonight's meeting are of course invited to chime in with their own comments and observations about tonight's council discussion; and we'll leave our lower comments section open for that purpose. As a matter of fact, we'll be happy to entertain any relevant comments which our readers may see fit to lodge even prior to this event.

Update 8/4/10 7:30 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner provides a story this morning, reporting on last evening's council work session discussion:
Burning 45 vacant homes still an option


Ogden Watcher said...

Here's what the council packet doesn't mention. Veteran firebug Marianne Mancuso could probably be retained to do most of the initial demolition for free.

Anonymous said...

Scott Brown back in town ???

Burnum said...

@Anon - as a matter of fact, I do believe so.

Skeezits said...

Oh the biggest most knowledge infested contractor in the wide wide west is in town! Hold onto yer wallets.

Curmudgeon said...

The money should be approved. Those in nearby areas have lived with the collapsing Leshamville slum buildings long enough. My only concern is that some rock-solid mechanism be put in place to recover whatever is spent from Mr. Lesham and associates... some mechanism a lot more substantial than the Mayor telling us he's "confident" Lesham and associates will make good on the debt. I believe a lien against their property in the River Project was mentioned as one way to go.

Curmudgeon said...

Let me be more clear: the money should be provided for removing the slum buildings. As to how they should be removed --- restaging the Last Days of Pompeii in Ogden with summer long fires, or using more traditional demolition methods --- I can't say at this point. But I note the difference [in $] between burning and knocking down doesn't seem to be all that much, and might not be enough to justify the pollution that would result from a mass burning. Needs some thinking on.

Perhaps a combination of methods would work: the FD gets to use half a dozen houses for training burning, and the rest get knocked down, hauled away. Worth, as I said, thinking on some.

Dan S. said...

Curm: I'll buy you a six-pack of your favorite locally available beer if the city ever gets those liens repaid in cash. What'll undoubtedly happen, assuming that the River Project ever gets built at all, is the liens will be forgiven in the context of a complex development agreement. The city may get some land for a park, as the article suggests, but it'll never get any cash.

Curmudgeon said...


O ye of little faith! The Mayor is, I am sure, "confident" that the money will be repaid. Surely that's enough....

Curmudgeon said...

Mostly off topic, but not entirely: interesting post on "blight" designations as a way for cities to "take" properties without going through the usual eminent domain processes. It's from "The Volokh Conspiracy" blog [libertarian/conservative legal blog] and a link to the full piece plus comments follows:

Ilya Somin • August 3, 2010 11:43 pm

Historian David Beito, chair of the Alabama Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights, has an interesting post documenting the abuse of “blight” condemnations in Montgomery, Alabama:

“[E]minent domain through the back door” has become commonplace in Montgomery, the cradle of the modern civil rights movement. Under this system, Montgomery has demolished homes without the normal due process of conventional eminent domainan often gives little notice. The city alleges that these homes are “blighted” but, as the story on Jimmy McCall shows, at least some are in excellent repeir.

Typically, under eminent domain through the back door, the city of Montgomery bills the owner for the cost of demolition and he or she is left with an essentially worthless property. The victims are often low-income blacks, many of home live near or in Rosa Parks old neighborhood.

Beito and I described the broader implications of these kinds of takings in this 2008 op ed. Unfortunately, abusive blight takings are not confined to Alabama. They are a serious problem in many parts of the country. For example, New York’s highest court recently upheld two such condemnations in the Atlantic Yards and Columbia cases. Unlike many other states, Alabama has actually passed a fairly strong post–Kelo eminent domain reform law that defines blight relatively narrowly and forbids condemnations that transfer land to private owners for pure “economic development” purposes (see my analysis of that law and other states’ reforms this article). Unfortunately, sometimes the law on the books is one thing and enforcement is another.

Link: “Blight” Condemnations in Alabama

what a bunch of doughheads said...

Is it $654 K or 750 and now over a million? Seems to me that Community Development has Scott Brown bidding work again while he should be burning for free and receving insurance payments on honest buddy Gadi's properties.

Does anyone down there know their ass from a hole in the ground anymore? This project should have been done years ago and now they can't even figure out how to demo the site cheaply. What a bunch of dough-heads running this city, makes me both laugh and then puke!

Biker Babe said...

Oh, Dan: speaking of Beer --> many a good Samaritan project has been initiated/motivated by just offering beer to willing participants: maybe you're on to something here ...

Put up cases of PBR or Bud, invite folks who have large trucks and back-hoes and hammers, bring in a couple rent-a-dumpsters (if you get 5 neighbors to ask for one, it's free) -- obtain the proper permits and turn them loose ... then put a lien for all the folks who ponied up for the beer, equipment wear & tear (including trucks, shovels, hammers & back-hoe buckets - any smashed thumbs or torn jeans, etc.) -- simplify and get it done, and get it out of the mayors office. We've been hearing his changing plans on this area for way too many years, it's time for action

i may happen to know some folks who know other folks etc. etc. who would be more than happy to tear stuff down for beer! Could probably get it done in a couple weekends even ..

Just sayin

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