Monday, October 12, 2015

Fire station bidding questions, Part One: Missing Redevelopment Commission minutes, Kroger corporate welfare and fire stations.

Part Two
Part Three

I've been looking at Redevelopment Commission minutes for 2012 and 2013. Interestingly (ominously?), minutes from the last half of 2013 are entirely missing from the city's web site.

I'm seeing discussions about the Kroger "corporate welfare" land deals (to which Banker Blair remains closely attached; see * below), the Green Valley Road firehouse's demolition, and the rapid fire station rebuild on Daisy Lane.

What I'm not seeing is any reference to a bidding process for the fire station rebuild and accompanying upgrades -- just a contract with Axis Architecture and Interiors for $4,275,000.

Are details of the bidding process missing from the minutes?

As a first step to seeing how Jeff Gahan's minions consistently undervalued the city's stake in these backroom deals, here is Courier-Journal coverage from May, 2014.

Daisy Lane construction: Firehouse, then pool, by Grace Schneider

Gradually the pieces of a redevelopment deal are coming together for New Albany to open a new firehouse on West Daisy Lane and for Kroger Co. to get its New Albany Plaza expansion rolling.

City redevelopment director David Duggins told the redevelopment commission Tuesday that the city’s new firehouse on Daisy will open to the public June 9. Because the new $2.2 million station is substantially completed, firefighters already have begun moving in equipment and gear.

The move follows an agreement struck more than a year ago for Kroger to pay $1.5 million to the city for its 22-year-old firehouse and adjoining property on Green Valley Road, adjacent to its store to make way for a large renovation and expansion.

The parties are scheduled to close on the property May 29, later than expected because construction crews working on the new fire station were slowed by 25 days of bad weather, Duggins said.

New Albany officials said previously they intend to use a $5 million bank note to pay for the firehouse construction and improvements to two other firehouses. They’ll use proceeds from the Kroger transaction, as well as EDIT, or economic development income taxes, and TIF, tax-increment financing, revenues to repay the loan ...

 ... As for Kroger’s plans, the company hasn’t submitted design documents yet for the expansion, but officials have told New Albany they expect to build a new “lifestyle center,” similar to large marketplace stores opened in Ohio and South Carolina, with food products and other merchandise.

* As explained in these articles.

 CM Blair's bank, the State Street exurb, commercial dereliction, corporate welfare and non-transparency.

Let's go Krogering?: Does CM Blair's fixation with a boarded-up Hardee's have to do with gas pumps and corporate welfare?

Council meeting recap 1: State's a trashy chain-ridden asphalt nightmare, and this sole derelict Hardee's must go!

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