Dave Corcoran is a friend of mine. He asked me to determine what it would take for me to support the Harrison Square Project. I think this is a great question and I have considered it for almost a week.
Here is what it would take for me to support the Harrison Square project:
1. The City would have to choose a project other then a baseball stadium. I think there are several better choices and I think one of them should be chosen. The more I think about it the worse the idea of a baseball stadium is to me. I am in favor of spending five million dollars and re-furbishing the existing stadium. I do NOT think that IPFW will be able to use the current stadium WITHOUT a public subsidy.
2. The City would have to reveal their entire financing package. To date they have not even determined:
a. The length of the bonds.
b. The actual number of parking spaces in the parking garage.
c. The revenue splits with the Wizards.
d. The parking deal with Lincoln.
Etc. Their financing package will have to be HONEST and include all costs including:
a. The legal costs to seize Belmost Beveverages
b. All overhead expenses incurredby the City
3. The City would have to determine benchmarks for the success of the project. I want them to estabish specific and definable benchmarks for the project. What hotel occupancy rate are they projecting? What attendence for the Wizards are they projecting? Etc.
4. How much money will the City be losing in property taxes? The City is WRONG when they say there will not be a general increase in property taxes. THERE WILL BE A VERY, VERY SMALL INCREASE in property taxes. I have explained it repeatedly. This cost must be added into the project and converted into present value over the life of the project...
I am offended that Public Officials feel the need to misrepresent the fact that there will be an increase in proeprty taxes due to the project.
When I talked to Pat Roller (Fort Wayne City Controller) she agreed that there would be a very slight increase in property taxes due to the properties that would be demolished and then absorbed into the TIF.
5. The Parking Garage must not be financed with The Jefferson Pointe TIF unless that revenue is brought into a present value and included in the public financing...
6. The project will HAVE to be shown to be self sustaining financially after the bonds expire. This is extremely important to me.
If all six of the above items were done and if all of the financial information and projections made sense then I think I could support the project...