Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Selected Morning Items for Ogden Political Wonks - Updated

A "bird's eye view" of Ogden City economic development programs; the downtown Ogden IRS building nears completion; bonus submission from Gentle Reader Bob Becker

Just to get the conversation going this morning, we'd like to direct our readers' attention to a couple of interesting items on this morning's Standard-Examiner business page:

As a followup to last Wednesday's column, focusing on the role of Weber State University as an "economic engine throughout Northern Utah," Ogden homeboy, hotshot business entrepreneur and Grow Utah venture capitalist/business startup mentor Alan Hall delivers his second of what the Standard-Examiner expects to be a series [by] individual professional community columnists sharing their experiences and advice with readers. This sounds like a danged good idea to us, so we'll jump aboard the bandwagon this morning and provide a link to this morning's Alan Hall column, which sets out upon the ambitious task of providing "a high level overview of Ogden key's economic development programs" :
Considering the complex and labyrinthine nature of meddling in the local Ogden City economy by the Boss Godfrey administration, we believe Mr. Hall has done a serviceable job of boiling it all down. With the exception of neglecting to make any reference to Ogden City's high density housing projects, we believe Mr. Hall's done a good job this morning all-in-all.

Having said that we also have to admit, however, that we winced a little bit when we came upon Mr. Hall's closing paragraph:
As we look to the future, it is obvious that Ogden will continue to play a major role in economic development. We commend past mayors and city councils for their commitments in this important area and anticipate even more focus on this topic from new government leadership in the months to come [Emphasis added].
So what about it, O Gentle Ones? Does Mr. Hall deserve high marks for this morning's "bird's eye view" column, or is Mr. Hall starting to sound like a government intervention cheerleader?

We'll also make note of this morning S-E story, which reports that "construction on a $21 million Internal Revenue Service facility downtown is nearing completion":
If the prospect of hundreds of Internal Revenue Service re-locating in downtown Ogden doesn't spell good news for Ogden Ogden restaurateurs and retail businessmen, we frankly don't know what could.

So what about it, folks? Can anyone see any downside to this?

That's it for now O Gentle Ones.

Who'll be the first to contribute their own 2¢?

Update 12/28/11 10:18 a.m.: Added bonus... Here's something that just came in from Gentle Reader Curmudgeon, via a comment beneath a lower article:

SE reporting this morning on the Sears corporation planning to close 100 to 120 under-performing Sears and KMart stores nationwide, and possibly more:
National press speculating on whether Sears has begun a death-spiral and will be the nation's next major chain store failure.

If one of the stores closed is the Ogden mall store, that mall will be in big trouble, having lost two of its three anchor store [Mervyn's at one end, Sears at the other.] If that happens, Mayor Caldwell may begin his term with a major hole being blown in Ogden property and sales tax revenues right off the bat. Be best for Ogden if (a) it's mall store is not on the target list for closing, and (b) Sears manages to right its ship and return to profitability.

Not good news, especially on a day when the Trib reports on the miserable snowpack in Utah, that one resort has not even opened for the season, and the there's more snow on the ground at the ski area closest to Las Vegas than there is at any Utah resort:

Think snow!


WCWatcher said...

"Can anyone see any downside to this?"

Yeah.  The federal governement is tax exempt.  That means that  nobody will collect any property tax.

WCWatcher said...

I quit shopping at Sears maybe about a decade ago, when I took a broken socket wrench to the Sears store at Ogden's Newgate Mall.  Sears no longer has a lifetime guarantee on its now Chinese built tools.  I believe the little twit at the counter at the Newgate Mall said it best:

"If you don't like Sears tools, shop elsewhere."

I know said...

WcWatcher-all of the IRS facilities in downtown Ogden are privately owned and leased to the GSA. Your comment is uninformed.

Bob Becker said...

Just can't win for losin' sometimes it seems.

1. Would it be better, do you think, to have had IRS consolidate its operations out of downtown Ogden, to, say, Layton maybe?  I don't think so.  

2. Doesen't the federal government normally make payments in lieu of taxes to various governing bodies [states, cities, counties], to compensate them for services provided [streets, etc.]?  

Smattguy said...


Smattguy said...

Val Holley said...

I agree fully that the new IRS building will infuse downtown Ogden's restaurants and retail with lots of new customers. Excellent news.  I just wish Schwebke had followed up with a status report on that old railroad building on 24th between Lincoln and Grant that was announced as part of the new IRS campus.

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