The secrecy bothered
They were good questions then and they are good questions now.
There is not time enough or space to review the CenterPointe saga. Suffice it to say, that a group of important historic buildings in the center of this city were demolished eight years ago, that for most of the time since a full city block has sat vacant.
The city was more demanding when the project was revived recently, insisting on evidence of financing before agreeing to Tax Increment Financing to subsidize some of the infrastructure costs.
The evidence was provided but not for public view, the city vetted it and agreed that there was a credible agreement for financing the
One final proviso was that before excavation began for the three-story subterranean parking garage the developers had to set aside
With all these assurances in place, blasting began in March, and in May developer
He predicted that
So it came as quite a surprise when this new twist in the proposed CentrePointe financing arose in the last few days.
The time for surprises is over.
The public must be told where the rest of the money is coming from before another commitment of public resources is made to this project.
Even though the developers, not the city or the state, would be on the hook to repay these bonds, any tax exemption is a public subsidy.
Webb and others insist there is money to move forward with or without these bonds, that this approach would simply reduce the cost of capital and so save the project money.
If that's so then it's perfectly reasonable for the public to insist on full disclosure and let developers decide whether it's more valuable to save the money or maintain secrecy.
(c)2014 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)
Visit the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.) at www.kentucky.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services