Thursday, April 9, 2015

Will the WEB Be Sold?

To All COLA LO Members,

Over the past few weeks our community has learned that the city had received 11 bids on the WEB.   After nearly a decade of paying for a building that largely sat empty it seems the city has viable buyers.    The details of the bids have not been disclosed to the public.   However multiple sources are now telling us that the majority of bids are viable and that the city has contacted the bidders for follow up efforts.

Its fair to say that three separate administrations have not been able to justify the expenditure of purchasing the WEB at $20 million and the additional capital investment required to convert it to any reasonable use over the years.    At the same time the property has been removed form the tax rolls reducing the revenue to city government.   The expenditure on the WEB alone exceeds $1 million per year in costs to the city.    That does not include the costs of the programs it houses or the capital investments required to maintain it.

Over the past few weeks an initiative has been circulating to keep the WEB as some residents realize the sale is now very viable.    We have been told its being supported by former members of the Hammerstad administration.   The question is why?   Over nearly an decade no administration has provided a viable answer for the WEB.    Its simply too expensive to maintain or convert to any use.  

Unfortunately it appears a major political effort is underway to try to keep the WEB.

So who is driving this effort?   Why would the city keep an asset that has drained in excess of $10 million in taxpayer wealth so far?   Many of us are wondering if the supporters understand the cost of the WEB to the community.    How much could we do with the $10 Million?  The answer is a lot.  

Are supporters of the former Hammerstad administration covering their tracks?   Time will tell but it surely doesn't make much sense.  What will the current Mayor and City Council do to protect the taxpayers?   Will the city slide back into the massive debt accumulation of the past? Can the city afford to improve infrastructure if ti keeps the WEB?   These are all questions on the minds of the voters.    

Please forward to all friends, colleagues and supporters.  

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