Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The effort to stop the fairgrounds giveaway is not over. The fairgrounds giveaway is not a "done deal."

At the last Metro Council meeting there was a bill on the agenda that would ban the sale, lease, transfer or conveyance of property adjacent to the proposed Major League Soccer stadium to any third party for purposes of private development. That bill was deferred indefinitely but that does not mean the effort to stop the giveaway of ten acres of fairground land to the developers of the soccer stadium is over.

I had a conversation yesterday with a member of the Council who is close to the issue who opposes the giveaway who told me the issue is far from over. He said the decision to indefinitely defer Bill BL2018-1205  was a smart move and there were other ways to achieve the same objective.  According to this council member,  there are four more bills that must be passed before the fairgrounds  land giveaway is a done deal. There are two bills that must be passed before the bond sale is complete. One issues the bonds, and the other does something else, but I am not exactly sure what. Then a bill to rezone the ten acres would have to be passed. The other bill is to authorize the demolition of existing buildings at the fairgrounds.

If any of these fail, the giveaway cannot go forward.  The best chance to stop the giveaway is the bill authorizing demolition of existing buildings. That bill will take 27 votes to pass the Council.  It does not look like that at this time, there are 27 votes to do that if the result would be the ten acre fairground giveaway.

The developers have long claimed that without the ten acres of fairground property the soccer deal will not work.  I doubt that is true.  There are probably other ways to sweeten the deal without giving away the fairground property. More than likely, the soccer stadium will be built at the fairgrounds, but the ten acre giveaway can be stopped it those who support the fairgrounds do not give up and stay engaged. The fight is not over.

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