It is exciting to think that a local business may be able to re-establish the old YMCA property. Although this project is in early stages, I hope that everything is a success for the city and Kurt Artinger.
This would be a good use of tax increment financing, which is refreshing. This is a local business that was once in Belleville. They are investing their own money first. In turn this will mean some new jobs in Belleville. So far, it appears his investment amount is commensurate with the amount he seeking from the city ($210,000).
The problem remains that the proposal started with the mayor telling us that he has been talking to them for six to eight months. The only thing the mayor had told the City Council was that no one is interested in the property and it was not safe to enter. So which is it?
This is another example of a lack of transparency with the public (which is sometimes necessary). However, this is also lack of transparency with non-Eckert aldermen. It's similar to finding out about the purchase of Angler's Park and the Bucky's Convenience Store proposal. Again the committee literally was given less than 75 minutes to decide what others had months to ponder.
The Loflin Furniture purchase, the Kroger TIF grant; this all reminds me of a label Mayor Mark Eckert uses: political grandstanding.
If you have a pothole, call the mayor. You may get a new street in the next 60 days.
Alderman, Ward 7
Candidate for mayor