Friday, April 27, 2007

Omnisource Property

Fort Wayne has an option that they can exercise to purchase the Omnisource property by 12/31/07. A task force has been created to explore possible uses of the site. The Omnisource property is near the river and just north of downtown.

The Harrison Square "Catalyst" Project has been approved and construction will start this Fall.

I have a feeling that Fort Wayne will decide to buy the Omnisource property and then turn around and spend taxpayer dollars to prepare the site for development and then give it to a private developer...

That is my prediction and I am sticking with it.

I have a feeling I know one of the projects that will be strongly considered; a Riverfront Municipal District. There are quite a few of these in Indiana and some have been successful and others have not been successful.

I tend to oppose a Riverfront District for several reasons:

1. The main reason is because I think Fort Wayne would decide to issue more liquor licenses to "encourage" bars to open in the new district. Fort Wayne is currently 65 liquor licenses above the number allowed for a City of our size. This is mainly due to annexation.

2. This would be "Economic Re-arrangement" at its finest. Only so many people go to bars and a new "District" would just ensure that many bars in other parts of the city go out of business.

3. These Districts often use special taxing districts which I oppose.

4. Local bar owners are already under assault from the City Council. The smoking ban will most likely cause many small bars to go out of business. There is legislation under consideration in Indianapolis that would further damage local bar owners...

5. Local bar owners have paid a lot of money for their liquor licenses. If more licenses are issued then the existing holders of liquor licenses are"harmed."

I think that Fort Wayne needs to concentrate on maintaining and improving our infrastructure as well as dealing with both the Combined Sewer Overflow problem and the Pension shortfall...

I tend to think we should let private developers buy and develop property on their own...

Mike Sylvester

20 comments:

Scott Barnes said...

1. In June 1998 the city pases a smoking ban in restaurants except in completely closed off areas that goes into affect January 1, 1999.

2. In May 2007, all restaurants and bars will be included in a new law completely banning smoking, after some restaurants spent thousands of $$$ to comply with the 1998 regulations.

3. Considerations for the issuing of new liquor licenses (still just an idea at this point) particularly at a discounted rate, would take away the one bargaining chip many of the current restaraunt/bars have left.

4. I don't have a problem with encouraging new business and growth in Fort Wayne, but let's not forget about the existing business owners and their rights.

Fred McCarthy said...

I believe I'll open a restaurant and call it "The 19th Century." Anybody who thinks a business ought to pay it own way gets a free dinner. Probably wouldn't cost me much these days. Wouldn't cost me anything in Indy!!

Jeff Pruitt said...

My biggest concern is that the city will extend the TIF district to include this site and remove even more property from the tax rolls for the next 30 years...

Marvin Hoot said...

The city option to buy is keeping private enterprise from bidding on the property.

If the city buys up all the property then it is a socialistic government.

Give the people, not government, a chance to succeed in business.

Anonymous said...

Jeff - It's worse than that - Did you realize that ANY TIF district will never (as long as it's still viable) ever be closed? Look at the one set up in 1992 for the Apple Glen (now called Jefferson Pointe) for 30 years. Keep in mind that the Indiana Code covering these areas states that "When the (TIF) fund is sufficient to pay the principle and interest on the bonds that it is being used to pay off, then the receipts after that time revert to be used as general property tax income - no longer limited in where they can be used."
The way around this, being taken by our (and all these in the state) city government is the way all "limited time" taxes get treated - a way is found that enables them to extend them forever. In 2005, just before the TIF fund reached the amount that would have allowed it to have been essentially closed, our city redevelopment group proposed that this Economic Development Area (EDA) be extended to include the Jefferson - Washington Corridor all the way to Calhoun Street - THREE MILES AWAY, plus "extend it's time for another 30 years! Then over the last month, they have done it again, now including all of the Harrison Square area in the EDA! IT WILL NEVER CEASE! Unless some group takes the bull by the horns and takes them to court to fight this stupidity - like the excise tax on long distance phone calls was stopped. John B. Kalb

Angry White Boy said...

I say we contact Chief Leonard of the Miami Indiana Tribe and tell them they're land is being hocked and they should go to court and get it back and build a Casino :)

Anonymous said...

For the Miami Indiana Nation....
the week befor 4th of July, they will have their big Pow-Wow right besides St. Patrick's Arcola. AWB, let's ambush it, and do enough arm twisting to build that casino!

fairplaybeach said...
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Tim Zank said...

Fairplay, evidently those much sought after "young professionals" find all those activities passe'.

fairplaybeach said...
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Robert Enders said...

There already is plenty to do in this town if you take the time to look. When people complain that there is nothing to do, that usually means that CSI is in reruns.

Tim Zank said...

I didn't realize the elusive "young professionals" were fans of CSI.

I was under the impression they only watched minor league baseball.

Robert Enders said...

Personally I like theater, chess, science fiction and other low brow pursuits.

fairplaybeach said...
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Robert Enders said...

Yes, it would suck, Fairplay. Especially when those building along the waterfornt would be getting financial help from the city. It would be like if I bought a restaurant with my money, then somebody builds a restaurant with the city's money within walking distance. Competition is fine as long as the playing field is level and the ref doesn't keep giving extra yards to the other team.

fairplaybeach said...

It would be so demoralizing that their own tax money would be used against them. It would make a person not want to get up in the morning.

Change Fort Wayne said...

good grief.

Robert Enders said...

Fairplay, it would be like this. Let's say you got your volleyball league underway. Then after a few seasons, a city council man with really nice hair bemoans the fact that Fort Wayne is the "least fit city" according to some magazine that nobody reads. So the city comes up with a public/private partnership to get Fort Wayners off their duffs. One guy says "Great idea!" and casually mentions that he wants to start a new volleyball league. That guy gets an interest free loan from the city and gets to pay off that loan with money that normally would have gone into property taxes. So he can charge less for membership fees and can spend more on advertising. You lose customers because of this, and yet the total number of people playing organized volleyball does not go up. Wouldn't that suck, Fairplay?

By the way, that is a cool poster on your blog.

fairplaybeach said...
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fairplaybeach said...
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