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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Show Me The Money!

Seeing is most absolutely believing; so we ask that South Euclid City Hall open up the books and show people the money in the form of a canceled check. Now, we know that it has been their practice in the past to handle messy details such as these behind closed doors in “Executive Session”, but Mayor Welo could not be more accurate when she stated the city's need to “...explain what we're doing...” Trust but verify indeed; while they are at it, it would be most appreciated if they provide the details regarding the ($17 Million) Bond repayment schedule.

How interesting that between September 4, 2007 and October 25, 2007 the Sun Messenger’s reporting on the total cost of the Cedar Center development fluctuated $60 Million.


What will it take for us to get the whole TRUE story on this venture?


How can it be that the tax payers of South Euclid must foot the bill for environmental cleanup? Would this not be Coral Company’s concern now that they are supposedly going to PURCHASE the property?


Some of the so called facts don’t quite add up in this tangled web.



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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think I understand what you're getting at: The city paid $17 million to acquire the property, it will be purchased by Coral from South Euclid for $17 million. Where's the $60 million fluctuation? Coral said the redevelopment work will cost around $40 million...of their money, not city money. The city is seeking grants for the environmental cleanup, so we don't yet know if the city will be on the hook for that money.


I'm not thrilled with the way SE handled the Cedar Center project and I agree that these details should have been worked out first, but I think you may be looking at things in the most negative light possible.

SOUTH EUCLID OVERSIGHT said...

Thank you for your comment and thoughts on “Show Me The Money”.

First of all, just because the Sun Messenger prints as FACT that the Coral Company will pay SE $17 million does not make it so. It is interesting to note that it was reported in the Messenger article on October 25th, “This summer, an exclusivity contract with developers Orion Capital, of Little Rock, Ark., South Euclid’s initial choice, expired.” (Actually, that is not accurate, as Caitlin Properties was the original “initial choice” developer, but they pulled out.) Yet in the article dated September 4th they reported, “Plans call for the city and developers, the Orion group of Little Rock, Ark, to redevelopment the center…” (their grammatical error, not ours). We wonder if either article was accurate. Right there is conflicting information.

Please reference the South Euclid Oversight post: “Changing Story”-- the first sentence in the online September 4th Sun Messenger article states, “Mayor Georgine Welo said Friday plans are moving forward for the $100 million Cedar Center development.” On September 20th the Sun Messenger reported, “The project is expected to tally $100 million.” In that same article they quote Welo, “We’re working on the timeline now,” ‘she said’. “We’re working with the county on getting grant money for phase two of the project for the environmental clean-up of Cedar Center.” They continue, “That $1.8 million grant would also help with demolition costs.” This clearly indicates to us that the city’s financial responsibility is not going to end with the supposed sale of the property. Why not?

The City of South Euclid is acting on behalf of approximately 22,000 residents, they should act accordingly. The facts and figures of this venture are murky at best. Of course had they not purchased this property to begin with, and left development to the private sector, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

With regard to the $60 million discrepancy, The Sun Messenger article on October 25th says that Coral Company will “embark on a project Rubin said will cost ‘at least $40 million.’”
Orion= $100 million
Coral= at least $40 million

Somehow the Sun Messenger failed to explain how this $60 million discrepancy makes any sense. It appears to us the Sun Messenger simply takes dictation from those at City Hall. We would like to see them check into their stories thoroughly. We feel some good old fashioned “fact checking” is in order here.

If the Coral Company took FULL OWNERSHIP, should they not be required to take care of environmental cleanup and the demolition of the property as well? As far as this cleanup goes, perhaps the Building Department could just ignore these messy little details as they did with the Arborist on the Cutter Creek development. PLEASE SEE POST: Cutter's Creek: Enforcement Issues from August, 16 2007.

We at South Euclid Oversight find it too difficult anymore to take what City Hall employees do or say, and trust their intentions or aptitude will even be close to acceptable. It would be better for everyone involved if they would figuratively throw open the doors and windows to let in more light at South Euclid City Hall. The current scenario doesn’t appear to be working well for anyone.

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