Friday, June 10, 2011

MSD Lick Run: Myths, Suppositions, unanswered questions, and "Back Room Deals"

There are zero protections in the MSD plan for historic properties across from the project meaning homes like this could be bulldozed for cheap infill.
One would expect people would just "accept' MSD's grand scheme for Fairmount. Had they been open and transparent from the start of their "real agenda" people might have embraced it.

Here is what we know:

  • This bulldoze  plan was essentially the only plan and all the meetings on "community input" are essentially  "theater".

  • MSD intention has been to demo historic properties from day one. There is no budget that discloses anything different. ONLY after I raised the issue of federally mandated Section 106 did they change their website to indicate they might move structures BUT no allocation for same exists. In fact they only just added section 106 references to their website.

  • The first plan was for exclusively underground separations. Only after Moody's informed the city their bond rating would go down were the "green' avenues pursued.

  • This plan was describes as a land scheme to redevelop Fairmount and raised the tax base by an EPA official in October 2010..

  • MSD is acquiring property outside the plan area via the recent city forfeiture sale BUT has not disclosed the purpose of those acquisitions as required by State of Ohio sunshine laws. 

  • We also know that city inspections dramatically increased enforcement over the last 3 years and we know as a result S. Fairmount assessed values dropped over 16 percent.

Is this the way a public entity using both local and federal tax dollars is supposed to act? There are lots of unanswered questions but we have a few.

  • What is "green" about putting 60 buildings in a landfill, an estimated 750 40 cubic yard dumpsters worth in a landfill?

  • What is the assessed value of those properties and how many of millions is being permanently removed from county tax roles by this project? 

  • What will be the cost (in millions) to do Brownfield Remediation in the target area which will involve the removal of 10-15 feet of soil from the entire are project and what will be the cost  (in millions) to bring in clean fill?

  • The project proposes a daylighted creek and  we know projections how this will flood during heavy rains. The MSD proposal calls for jogging path and landscaping. What will be the annual costs to repair these after flooding and who will bear that cost?

  • What will happen to the 'water amenities of a daylighted creek in drought conditions. Will water be pumped in to keep this "green amenity" functional and at what cost?

  • Safety: this man made "daylighted creek" will be an attractive nuisance to young children who could fall into it, what precautions are being taken in that regard?

  • Public Health: Unless flow can be continuously maintained slow moving water will breed mosquitoes and attract rats. Who will bear those on going cost of remediation?

  • Redevelopment: This plan is supposed to attract developers to built market rate housing. Does MSD have ANY commitments from ANY builder or developer?

Without answers to these "common sense" issues this project should not proceed or must be dramatically reconfigured to save historic property, address the real needs/wishes of the community and show some level of fiscal responsibilty with taxpayer dollars both local and federal.

What we are seeing here is an "idea' blindly going forward with no real plan, and huge suppositions that certain things "will" take place. The old bulldoze it and developers will come approach of the 1960's failed then and 50 years later they will fair again.

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