Tuesday, June 14, 2011

MSD at South Fairmount Community Council Meeting TODAY at 7:30 PM

Today at 7:30 PM at the Orion Academy, 1798 Queen City Ave, the community will have the opportunity to examine and raise issues regarding MSD Plans to demolish the central business district of Fairmount for what many are calling a "glorified drainage ditch" .

The controversial plan  has been further complicated by MSD recent acquisition of 84 properties and lots within the basin but OUTSIDE the actual project. Many are concerned that MSD's removal of that many properties from the tax base could result in increase in property taxes and have concerns about how the lots and properties will be maintained.

In addition to Preservationists concerns about the demolitions, others wonder what impact the street changes and construction on Fairmount and Queen City will have on commute to other  westside neighborhoods. Both streets have some of the highest traffic counts in the city. Many have questions what some of the 'concepts' produced by MSD which include dedicated parking areas  and bike lanes will impact traffic flow.

Others question what will happen during 'drought' situations where the creek could dry out completely or water flow slowed to a point that  the project will attract rats and mosquitoes.  Many also wonder what the long range costs will be of maintaining paths and landscaping on a project that is expected to routinely flood.

Big questions exist on if the city could even attract Builders and developers to see the wisdom of building property across from what is essentially a drainage ditch and retention ponds. Other worry that the 'fall back' plan will be low income housing sites if the city is unsuccessful in attracting developers. The neighborhood currently has no historic overlay meaning new construction could be of a lesser quality than historic homes in the area.

There are also big environmental concerns about the project such as the carbon footprint of tons of debris being hauled to landfill and the costs of escalating to remove contaminated soil so the 'recreated stream' can be located

Many questions, few answers...perhaps the community will have some tonight!

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