by Cory O’Donnell
Who’s watching out for Loveland’s resident taxpayers? Our city leaders have ventured down a road with a questionable road map. The city is in the midst of possibly the most expensive civic project ever with $7+ million of resident taxpayer money on the line to construct a parking garage.
Cory O’Donnell lives in the White Pillars Subdivision and is a Loveland City Council Candidate
Who would argue the need for a parking facility given the explosion of visitors to the downtown area? Certainly, there needs to be adequate parking to support the masses that want to enjoy the available offerings. Visitors welcome the day when they don’t have to circle the downtown area for what seems to be an eternity to secure a valuable parking spot. Alternatively, some come to spend their time and money only to turn around and go home…nowhere to park.
Imagine the business owners that are giddy with the prospect of the resident taxpayers footing the bill to get more cash through their doors. Who could blame them for the smiles on their faces? Not me; what a gift!
But here’s where the roadmap leads to resident taxpayer disaster. There is no published plan to recover the $7+ million and make the taxpayers whole. Further, my calculator can’t get to a full lot, 365 days a year for 30 years, that will recover resident taxpayer investment.
I am far from knowledgeable about developing, constructing and managing a public parking garage. My assumption is our city leaders are well versed in public policy, zoning, codes, and other daily municipal functions, but there are specialists in private development that have the knowledge and expertise to make this happen on a for-profit basis.
Is it too late to get the proper road map that assures resident taxpayers are not left holding this massive debt?
P.S. Our city is already committed to close to $48,000 annually in debt service for the Christman Farm property on Butterworth Road acquired in 2007 which has remained vacant all these years and has disappeared from the city council’s interest. This translates to hundreds of thousands of resident taxpayer’s dollars being flushed down the proverbial toilet for too many more years.
Can you afford more? Who’s going to step up to the plate and get the answers?