Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday Morning Ogden City News Roundup

A few recent news items, thrown out in the hope of getting a new discussion going this morning

Although we've been somewhat sidelined here at Weber County Forum by this week's tragic 1/4/11 Ogden Shootings story, we suppose it's time to get back into the regular "red meat news" swing of things, and resume our role as community watchdog for all things political, in and around Weber County. So here are a few recent news items, which we'll throw out in the hope of getting a new discussion going this morning:

1) Interesting article on the Standard-Examiner's business page this morning, reporting, that as a followup to Tuesday's RDA session, wherein the the Ogden City Council approved a parking lease agreement between the city and the successor developer of the Earnshaw Building Condo Project, we now learn that the subject parking lot will be turned over to the new developer, Steve Hopkins... get this... rent free.

We are not making this up, folks. Here's the key paragraph from this morning's S-E story:
While the city won’t be getting rent from the deal, Richard McConkie, the city’s community and economic development director, said the city figures that the property tax revenue generated by a completed building would increase the tax increment available to the city by as much as $200,000 annually through 2026.
Read the full S-E story here:
Well, at least the beleaguered Ogden City taxpayers will be getting something out of this "sweetheart" developer deal, right? It's a lot better for the taxpayers than Ogden's last couple of parking lot giveaway deals, no?

Seems that around Ogden City,
the more things change, the more they remain the same, dunnit?

2) Here's something we received by email yesterday from another alert WCF reader:
MAYORAL FAVORS: Yesterday I heard a bunch of pissed off people talking about Kym and Pete taking over the welcome wagon. A gal that was running it was wondering why rent is half of what she'd been paying, and why do they get the equipment etc., for "free"?
The reference to the "welcome wagon" refers to last week's Wasatch Rambler column of course, wherein Charlie Trentelman reported that "Pete Buttschardt, owner of Rooster’s and Union Grill, is making extremely positive noises about taking [the Tourist Welcome Center's Choo-Choo's Cafe] over."

While Mr. and Mrs. Buttschard did make a small ($150) donation to Mike Caldwell's 2011 mayoral campaign, we're not ready yet to suggest that Mayor Caldwell would on that basis alone give them preferential treatment; although we'll nevertheless be keeping a close eye on this situation, of course, and would welcome any further detailed "insider" information that any of our Gentle Readers may be able to provide, regarding The Caldwell Administration's efforts to to enter into contract with a new cafe operator.

3) Here's the latest S-E Op-ed contribution from Alan Hall, wherein
Ogden's own "Captain of Industry" discusses "how to grow our local economy" and "add more people to the area workforce":
After several earlier columns which were outright "snoozers," it's nice to see Mr. Hall finally launching into a topic where he has actual real-world expertise, we suppose.

4) And here's a thoughtful commentary from Weber County Democrat Steve Olson, who comments on the politically ridiculous Jon Greiner situation and also makes a strong and well-reasoned pitch to his "Republican friends" regarding the "need to respect the nation's conflict of interest laws, even if they disagree with them":
As a lifelong registered Republican (full disclosure here) we'll give Mr. Olson a definite thumbs up on this one. And what say my fellow liberty loving fellow Republicans about this?

That's it for now, O Gentle Ones. We do have a couple of additional items remaining on the WCF back burner, but we'll save them for later this week.

Have at it, WCF readers. The world-wide webosphere is sitting on the edge of its seat, waiting to hear what you think.


Wake TF Up said...

It's going to be terribly confusing, Rudi, when you finally wake up and find out that the former WCF acronym, FOM (Friend of Matt) will soon be revived as "Friend of Mike".

Don't let your guard down, Rudi.

Bob Becker said...

On the garage deal: 

    1. Worth mentioning that the building owners will take over maintenance costs for the rented slots.  I was not clear on who would be paying to build the pedestrian walkway from the top floor garage to the apartments/condos.

     Also the story noted that the new building owners intend to pack more apartments into the building than the number of condos that had originally been planned. That at least suggests a change in the original plan for "high end" condos there to attract "high income" residents to the Junction project.  More units implies smaller units implies lower rental/lease or purchase costs, doesn't it?

    Whether it's a good deal for the city, I couldn't say.  I don't think the top floor parking garage there is ever full.  Having someone else take over maintenance costs and using the empty slots to make viable a long abandoned residential project that was a key part of The Junction plan [however down-scaled] may be the best use at this point for those parking slots. As is so often the case, we'll have to see.

   2. Choo Choo cafe:  I don't know the arrangements the previous owner had with the city in re: equipment leases, rent, etc.  But she did say it was only a marginally profitable operation.  I'm sure she's wondering if  she'd had a lower rent/lease agreement if  she would have been able to handle the storm loses and stay in business.  I'd be wondering too. But then, she agreed to the lease and rent terms. Caveat emptor applies to business owners as well, I guess. 

      As for the [alleged] half price rent/free use of equipment offer to the Rooster's crew:   that may be the best deal the property will draw.  Not much point or benefit to the city having it sit there unused. But seems to me operating the place perhaps it ought to be put out for bids. If no better offers come in,  Rooster's Crew it is and I hope they succeed. 

Wake TF Up said...

"But seems to me operating the place perhaps it ought to be put out for bids."

Yep.  That oughta be a "no brainer."

Unfortunately that isn't what seems to be happening here though, does it?

D. Dalton said...

 Or maybe given the existing tenant right of first refusal on the new terms?

Smattguy said...

1.       Parking Garage....nice new elevator over on that end....and new coating....hmmmmm.....50 stalls maintenance...just how does that work?...have you ever driven up that ramp on the north end and hit the "speed bump" long until that thing falls off?...who is going to get stuck paying for that?  I can hear the developer crying that he can't access his free upper stalls without some sort of monster truck…fix it mister taxpayer.  There is already an access to the parking structure to the indoor parking for the building...and it seems to be a traffic problem.
2.  Pete and Kim…dun told ya this would happen…there’s more to this than $150….big campaigner’s beyond that.

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