Was purchase wise for city?

Published 9:13 am Monday, August 3, 2015

At the July 27 council meeting, the city voted to purchase the building at 314 S. Broadway. During discussion, it became obvious no one had even discussed impending assessments, which were assumed to be about an additional $30,000.  One must question an acquisition for which the price is unknown. Further, one wonders if the council has even considered the cost of redeveloping the entire 300 block or evaluated in realistic terms whatever offsetting benefit might accrue. The city’s National Citizen’s Survey indicates that the trust level with those running the city was much lower than national average in all measures of public trust. Given the fact that the last city “redevelopment” project, the former Freeborn Bank building, has cost the taxpayer over $2 million, a project which has set idle for the past six years, and for which the very best prospect is to maybe someday recover only 20 percent of the cost, is it really wise to get involved in another even larger speculative venture on Broadway for which costs or benefits are unknown? Or is the purchase of the 314 Broadway building another in a succession of bad ideas that will be further proof of why so many people distrust the city fathers.

Deanne Winegar

Albert Lea

Email newsletter signup