Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fairground Phase 2 presentation to the Council

This is the phase two report to the council on fairgrounds.  It shows options for getting rid of the fairgrounds and turning the site into a mixed use development with fountains and outdoor restaurants and smiling children and glamorous people.  I have not yet watched this meeting but have previously seen the presentation.   

The skids are being greased to destroy the fairgrounds. Many people think that because they voted in a referendum to save the fairgrounds and that the referendum passed, that the issue is settled and the future of the fair grounds is secure. It is not.

I was disappointed that their was so little Council participation last week at the presentation of the Phase one portion of the study.  I fear many council members do not really care about making an informed decision and are simply going to defer to the wishes of the mayor and use the consultant's report as cover.  I hope there was more participation at this meeting than at the meeting last week.

If presented with only the phase one choice and the phase two choice, the phase two choice seem much more attractive.  It looks to me like the consultants knew the outcome they wanted first and backed into the study.  I think consultants often do that.  Some of their numbers are very suspicious. I was at a function last night with Councilman Duane Dominy and talked to him about the issue and he told me the cost estimates for demolishing the racetrack in order to facilitate development of the site was grossly inadequate among other criticisms of the study.   He thinks there research is skewed to support the outcome that favors redevelopment of the fairgrounds.

The fair board needs to review Request for Information from parties interested in keeping the fair grounds but improving it and the council needs to have another hearing on the fairgrounds to see what a private developer will propose.

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