Sunday, July 1, 2007

Indoor fireworks

Common Council Meeting
Monday, July 2, 7 pm
Council Chambers, City Hall

It's going to be an interesting night in Council Chambers.

The resolution to conduct an investigation into an alleged threat by members of the police force against Council members, will create plenty of pre-July 4 fireworks early in the meeting. But another important vote will follow.

The Council will vote in resolution 11-3, whether to deed land, and provide tax abatements to a developer to build a new retail and commercial building on the corner of Main and Liberty. It's a sweetheart deal in which the city will pay many of the costs, may provide the land to the developer at low, or no cost and will allow generous tax abatements.

I'm personally in favor of commercial and retail development on that corner, but this deal has some alarming negative aspects.

It calls for the relocation of the vintage 1853 Methodist Chapel at 9 Liberty street and replacing it with 10 parking spaces for a new surface lot.

In addition, the plan calls for the new lot to border Main Street causing a 100 foot gap between buildings. This gap is the kind which progressive town planners consider hugely detrimental to pedestrian foot traffic.

And, the driveway entrance/exit is planned to cross Main Street which creates a dangerous pedestrian hazard.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, the city once again is making this deal with a single developer, without ever having offered the deal, with the same conditions, to open bidding.

My thoughts on the topic are in a previous post titled Give Me Liberty of Give Me A Parking Lot.

Please come to the meeting and participate if you believe in preserving Middletown's history, safety and you want to encourage open government.


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