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Monday, October 1, 2012

Board of Aldermen Special Meeting Set for Tuesday Night

After discussions on the Union Square Revitalization plan were abruptly ended on Thursday night by Ward 3 Alderman Tom Taylor, the Mayor has called a Special Meeting for tomorrow night (10/2) at 7:30 to continue talks.

Last Thursday saw three members of the Board of Aldermen voicing their disapproval for the plan (White, Gewirtz and Taylor) before Taylor exercised his section 15 charter rights ending discussion on it immediately. He is the second Alderman to use this right with Bob Trane being the first earlier in the year ending talks on a last minute financial request from the administration.

One decision that's before the Board is to approve the plan as a whole. By doing this, the Board will be giving the Redevelopment Authority power to purchase the other parcels, as long as they are financially capable, without seeking approval from the Aldermen.

The other decision before them  is to approve an $8 million bond request to purchase the D2 parcel that will, hopefully, house the Green Line Station. The administration currently insists that property owners on D2 are willing to sell their land to the City.

For the most part, the Board likes the D2-purchase part of the plan, but some members are disapproving of purchasing other parcels, (D1, D3-D7) that are not needed, directly, for the Green Line. Members of the Board asked at a previously-held Committee on Housing and Community Development meeting to have the D2 portion separated, however, the Mayor kept the plan as a whole citing time sensitivity. The administration also feels that these parcels are not living up to their tax-generating potential and should be sold to private developers that, hopefully, will create more housing or opportunities for jobs regardless of the Green Line arrival.

Before exercising the section 15, Taylor expressed a desire to discuss the matter further with the administration as he has been receiving concerns from property owners regarding their inclusion on the eminent domain acquisition list. Once the section 15 was announced, all discussion ended with the Mayor responding, "See you Monday night," before exiting the Aldermanic Chambers.

The meeting is set for October 2nd at 7:30pm in City Hall.

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