Could you possibly be more condescending to those who disagree with you, Mr. Hazlehurst? Do you seriously think that the dream of most CS residents is to line the pockets of yet more developers and their cronies so they can sip martinis at The Famous with people who call themselves journalists? UCCS is not going to leave town over this, USAFA is not going to leave town. You know who does leave this town? People who want to live in a city that isn't dominated by the religious right and retired military who could care less about schools and parks and public transportation. I find myself siding on this with people I would never think of voting for because at least they seem to want to listen to those of us down here among the plebes who are just smart enough to see a boondoggle when it waves its Broadmoor polished tail at us.
The state would, in the best case, provide $120 million. The Office of Economic Development and International Trade states specifically that revenues are not guaranteed and that there may be one or more years where the revenues would not be paid. If the state's full $120 million were realized, according to the City for Champions application, the amount would pay for 19% of the project costs--a "twenty percent off coupon" from the state. Much of the rest would come from City and County incremental tax financing, collecting a portion of city and county sales tax from 90% of City cash registers for the next 30 years to pay for the project--diverting revenues from the general fund that pays for public safety, roads, infrastructure and stormwater needs. As a reminder the "Enids" described as ignorant and miserly are the people who will be receiving that bill for the next 30 years and know a lot more than the author gives them credit for.
John ~ While you dine at the Famous with the connected and famous, the rest of us are looking at the numbers and documents that were submitted to the EDC and eating our lunches from home at our desk. History of sports stadiums around the country tells us to be careful. Over-inflated numbers of attendance by soccer fans based on median attendance around the country in the existing league from a yet completely formed team tells us to be careful. While many fall into bankruptcy and rely on city coffers to pay the bills, I find all this rah-rahing about how much we need this stadium to keep USOC here in the Springs to be very disconcerting, considering how much we've already committed to them. UCCS has already stated that they will be building the Sports Medicine Complex ANYWAY. And their representative at the town hall meeting I attended alluded to those figures for the stadium being looked at carefully to determine whether it was viable or not, too. I don't think anyone is more supportive of the need to make our Downtown healthy and viable than I am, but to suggest that without the stadium we will lose USOC is just plain wrong and irresponsible.
Our city needs a green, sustainable growth energy plan, more open space, green parks for the people, great public transportation, uncontaminated waterways, a plan to address our failing infrastructure and storm water issues, a healthy, a viable small business friendly Downtown, more light manufacturing spaces, a concerted effort to overcome the reliance on the military-industrial complex, an effort to change the image of us being a conservative religious right-wing population, great schools and educational opportunities, a viable effort to combat homelessness by building a center for them and more housing. Those are the plans that will attract new companies and jobs to our city. Not, a "build it and they will come" stadium with usage only 6 months out of the year and no information about who will own it, run it and pay the bills. Transparency is key. Let them SELL us the idea and if it's viable, they have nothing to fear from a vote from the people rather than relying on "A-List Players" to tell us what we need or want or what we should pay for.
I support our members of City Council that are doing their jobs and researching the facts, as I would urge all citizens to do. EDC monies are OUR dollars. Urban Renewal monies are OUR dollars. Sales Tax Revenues are OUR dollars. We should have a say in how they are used.
The experience of hunting and fishing involve many levels of enjoyment. If you don't like it... don't do it. The fish and wildlife management uses hunting and fishing to control the populations of each animal for their own benefit. The sport pays for itself and the stereotypes mentioned, like many, only apply to a few of the actual participants... many from out of state. I suppose you could use your theory for not planting a garden as well... why not just buy the vegetables at the store??? If you do not enjoy the many benefits of the entire hunting (or gardening) experience that is fine. I never understand why some are so opinionated about something that has no effect on their lives.
Where is Ranger Rich? I miss his columns...
Joel Miller's facebook page says that King refused to sign a letter to the EDC that Miller and 3 other council members signed. Has King refused to sign because he's being intimidated by the INSIDERS threat of a recall election? Ask King. email@example.com
More at https://www.facebook.com/JoelMillerColorad…
"A-list" INSIDERS want to force C4C onto an unwilling citizenry and so they're going to spend big dollars to recall "vulnerable" city council president Keith King in order to change the council vote to 5-4 in favor of C4C. What is it about building this "visionary" stadium that so excites the insiders that they will do whatever it takes to get rid of a council member who stands in their way? Does corrupt "money rules" Chicago-style politics exist in sleepy little ol' conservative COS?
Throw away $120M? The fact is that $120M, receivable from the state over 30 years, is a highly inflated number. Denver's EDC analyst said $53M was more realistic, but probably also too optimistic. More importantly, why divert future sales tax revenue from essential city/county services to pay off debt on a stadium? And why should we OUTSIDERS pay for a stadium the INSIDERS want but which they won't pay for? LET THE OUTSIDERS DECIDE IF WE WANT A STADIUM. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE.
County commissioners: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
"... killing the projects would send the city into a long downward spiral ... "
All due respect but that spiral started years ago when the chip fab plants shut down and left town. That spiral is hard to reverse when buffoons like Dobson, Haggard, etc, have made our town unlovable to corporations seeking a home for their enterprises.
One look at our crumbling infrastructure caused by TABOR's stranglehold on our governments is enough to send businessmen laughing all the way to Boulder or Denver .... or Texas.
The monied and connected class will force C4C on us, but it won't save this city, only be a white elephant to worsen that spiral.
The olympic museum, the UCCS medical center and the airforce visitor center are at least possible benefits to the city but the stadium is clearly not needed and a waste. Any recall effort will be viewed as a vote on the C4C project itself and citizens will vote for anyone who agrees to oppose this silliness.
Another parking garage...that is all our city has downtown is parking garages and meter maids!
But bottom line, when I dream...I never never have dreamed of an Olympic Museum, or a UCCS infirmary, or a sports stadium, or a visitors center downtown...just is not a dream, thought, or vision I have ever had.
And I sure don't want to have my money go to those dreams instead of the ones I do have.
As I read this article I was a bit stirred to think of world-class architecture in this city. That's when I realized that I don't oppose C4C, except for the use of public monies to enrich private concerns (and the possible use of emanate domain to steal private property). Still waiting to find out who will actually own the properties that our taxes create.
We should be impressed, even wowed? Ralph, evidently you have not had your quality time with timeshare salesman. You start out like the country bumkin rather than the professional journalist we have come to respect. “The request sounded innocent enough”,…..specifically the monstrous project surrounding Denver's new Union Station. Then you refer to a free breakfast, organized, bought and paid for by Chris Jenkins, president of Nor'wood Development Group. You call him an energetic leader in a crusade? He pays to bring in an architectural firm with noted credentials and they proceed to stroke our ego by saying "You are blessed with an incredible, spectacular city," Takacs said. "I won't pretend to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. We are starting a dialogue with your city to map out a strategy and projects around the Southwest Downtown Development District. We want to create something even beyond your wildest dreams."
At this point, SOM has no direct involvement in City for Champions. There is an obvious, clue here. Another hint: That construction would form the nucleus for an ambitious commercial, residential and transportation-linked development put together by private developers, led by Nor'wood.
Did they happen to mention that they do not build around stadiums? Historically, stadiums and their accompanying 1500 space parking garages are not conducive to commercial, residential and transportation-linked development. They state categorically they are urbanists! "a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood," not stadium construction.
“For each project we start by defining the challenges and opportunities unique to the place, culture and context." Another hint: "You need strong gateways here," referring mainly to Interstate 25. We are currently $13 million shy of what we need for the Cimmaron interchange.
Then you finish with an old African saying by the dung beetle “Roll that all together, and you can't help but dream about what comes next”.
so an architecture and engineering firm thinks us spending a lot of money for their services is a good idea... who would of thunk??
SOM thinks it can do for COS what they're presently doing for Denver. SOM thinks all COS needs is a world-class design firm, such as themselves, an ambitious developer, such as Nor'wood, a piece of land, such as owned by Jenkins, and $600M in sales tax dollars from the citizens of COS to build a stadium, the catalyst that will transform our dinky downtown into an economic juggernaut. I think this vision of greatness is achievable . . . WHEN . . . the state capitol, the Broncos, DIA, Union Station, a light-rail system, the Michael Graves designed Central Library, IKEA, and Trader Joes move from Denver to COS. Once we have those anchors, nothing can stop COS from becoming bigger and better than Denver and Oklahoma City combined.
"Think about the fact that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill would not waste its time or roll the dice with its global reputation except for a chance to make Colorado Springs a centerpiece for how to shape a mid-sized American city of tomorrow." So we should be impressed that a huge firm famous for skyscrapers wants to reshape our downtown while profiting the developers who control the city?
City leaders are proud that the USOC headquarters downtown and the Olympic Training Center east of downtown are in COS. City leaders brag that COS, and not Chicago or a dozen other avaricious cities eager to steal USOC away from us, is the fortunate beneficiary of having the USOC in our otherwise impoverished and dying city. Our city leaders want to leverage our connection with the USOC. Hence, our city leaders, in a smoke-free backroom, "visualized" C4C, a financing scheme that will compel the citizens/taxpayers to spend a sizeable portion of future sales tax revenue to build a 2nd Olympic museum downtown, a museum which the USOC refuses to help finance. But a museum is not enough. Our city leaders also want to build a 100% public financed stadium/event center with an Olympic "twist". The stadium proponents hope the stadium will host 20 Olympic training events. 20 !! It will be necessary for the stadium to host events 200 days a year in order to generate sufficient revenue to pay the bondholders. Assuming the USOC cooperates and 20 Olympic training events are held in the stadium, what about the other 180 events needed? And since the EDC requires that the stadium/museum complex attract new out-of-state tourists, I want to see realistic projections of how many tourists will come to COS specifically to attend a stadium event as well as how many COS citizens will attend any given stadium event. I want realistic numbers because a significant portion of our sales tax revenue over the next 30 years will be diverted from essential services to build the $92M plus interest stadium. $92M plus is a HUGE investment of city resources and I want to KNOW beforehand that we are spending scarce dollars wisely.
And I want to know what ECONOMIC benefit COS has received in the last 36 years from providing a free home to an organization that appears to me to be an ungrateful tenant.
I met that Owen Hill fellow when he was running for SD 10. I'm a registered Democrat and would consider a vote for him if he could bring new industry to the Springs.
The military industrial complex is going to be under constant budget pressure for the next 10 years. We need software technology jobs where health conscious professionals are attracted to the area to enjoy our region.
Thank you Elle for taking the time to do some reading.
Are you, by any chance, a collector of 18th Century nasal rebreathers? That would certainly be an interesting happenstance. I hope you took a bit of time to click the Google+ button below any of the articles you found interesting. I find that encouraging.
And referring to any resemblance... yes I do.
Forest Martin, you look just like a young Charlie Chaplin! I enjoyed your hot springs articles.
Something I found out today that seemed strange but yet played right into my thoughts on C4C. They named a young lady as the head person in charge of the USOC museum or Hall of Fame. When the question came up as to what museum it has not been built yet or funded yet. We were told they the USOC is going to build it one way or another and that private funding is allowing it to go forward. Now USOC is moving forward UCCS has said it is moving forward with the sports med. center all with private funds. What is it the taxpayers are funding? Now we all know funding does not happen over night. So these two things have been planned a while now. So I think the our Mayor jumped the bandwagon used these two items to push his agenda to sell the property downtown by adding these two private funded attractions to his C4C project. The property downtown is owned by a group of people that gave a bunch of money to him at election time. A couple projects aimed at tourist's come across the desk then all of a sudden hes headed to Denver to get a tax rebate so he can pat himself in front of the press and could push forward to sell that property to the taxpayers. I could be wrong and all this could be a coincidence but sure seems strange the way it all plays out. We dont need or have a use for a Stadium yet I think were going to end up with one.
All content © Copyright 2014, The Colorado Springs Independent
Website powered by Foundation