With Belleville motivated to sell the former downtown YMCA to Kurt Artinger and his Replacement Services LLC, it's disconcerting that the two sides have yet to agree on the legal language in a development agreement.
The city expected to have the agreement ready for the city's Finance Committee meeting last week. Then it was the City Council meeting on Tuesday. Now the target date is the March 4 council meeting.
Obviously the city needs to include checks and balances in the agreement to protect the taxpayers. But if this deal falls through, we don't want it to be because the city attached too many strings.
For example, some city leaders want the city to have the first right of refusal for at least 20 years on the sale of the building. Twenty years? That's unreasonable. Such a condition would handcuff the company and maybe limit interested buyers. The 10 years that Artinger proposed seems more than fair to us.
Keep in mind, no one else is standing in line to buy this building; it has been vacant for years. The city probably would have to demolish the building if this deal falls through, and that would be more costly than the $210,000 Artinger is seeking from the city.
Again, it behooves Belleville to get this deal done.