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  • Writer's pictureeileenkanute

Frontier Development is Asking for TOO MUCH from the city and taxpayers!

The Frontier Development Group submitted a proposal for an enormous development project on Riverside Ave north of Main St., where the old police station is located. Many citizens are alarmed at how much Frontier wants from the city to get this $150 million dollar project of the ground. Additionally, Frontier is either ignoring or just not thinking about possible negative issues that are a possibility with any project of this massive scope. For example:

  1. Frontier wants the city to DONATE the riverfront property to them for the project. This is prime real estate owned "by the people, for the people." Just giving it away riverfront property to private enterprise sets a very bad precent, and is bad for the city.

  2. Frontier is asking the city to provide $20 million in TIF funding for its project. They cannot do their project without this money. If something goes wrong during the project (for example, a recession, or an issue with the construction since nothing has been done to prove the feasibility of this project), there is a possibility they will ASK FOR MORE money. And that will put the city, and all of us, in a very tough position.

  3. One version of their plans suggests taking down the old city hall building (built in 1892) which is on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as art of the municipal building so that we can "better see the plaza". There will be no place for municipal workers to park. A project like this, which sits in the heart of the Central Historic District, should not even consider the possibility of removing our historic buildings.

  4. The Fire Department is right across the street from the proposed hotel entrance. The developer dismisses questions regarding this issue. The fire trucks are dispatched on calls multiple times every day and night, creating the strong possibility the fire department would have to be relocated at the city's expense.

  5. Frontier will NOT BUILD A GARAGE for this massive development. They have asked the CITY to build the parking garage for over 300 cars at the corner of State Avenue and Riverside Avenue. This will be paid for ultimately by...the taxpayers.

  6. The location of the garage is going to make it necessary to demolish two historic homes, but more concerning- move electric utilities and possibly a radon station. There are two wells in this area. The developer is not talking about any of these possibilities which could lead to delay, additional city (and taxpayer) expense, and feasibility issues with the entire project.

There are too many known costs and unknown potential costs and issues with this massive project. None of this would be an issue for a smaller development that fits the site and is the appropriate scale. Please sign the petition to STOP Frontier Development from overpowering, obstructing and privatizing our riverfront! Please come to the Planning and Development meeting at city hall November 14 at 7:00 pm to show your opposition! Let the mayor and city council know you want them to go back to the drawing board with a more reasonable solution for this public riverfront land by emailing subject line: "Please share with mayor and city council."

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