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Entry for February 4, 2008
The Loveland City Council has completed their annual retreat and are now ready to face the big issues again.  First up will be a hearing this Wednesday to see if Don Williams can complete his Imperial Conquest of the intersection by 402 and I-25 at any price.  Residents of what is now being called "old Loveland" are encouraged to attend the hearing and participate in the discussion as should anyone whose money he wants to spend.

We posted a story about the failure - so far - of Grand Station to get off the ground.  It is problematic as we have been hearing from a number of sources for a very longtime that the funding was inadequate and the business plan flawed.  The recent announcements that it is on track but delayed prompted us to release the information we have received which contradicts these reports.

Above, Chad McWhinney testifies to Council on behalf of McWhinney Enterprises and to obtain public monies generated from future sales taxes to cover the cost of a multi-story parking garage in what used to be a cornfield at the proposed Grand Station.

2008-02-04 11:22:38 GMT
Comments (18 total)
As a resident of "Old Loveland" (as you call it) I am not in favor of this crap. My neighborhood has crumbling sidewalks and gutters, power lines overhead stretching from the poles to the houses (RV's hit them often) and the police are too busy to ticket abandon cars on the streets.

If I want the gutter (now full of ice from water that didn't drain) fixed they tell me the city wants ME to pay 50% since they don't have the money. They don't have money to ever plow here either, the power lines are ugly and the police are too busy now responding to a record number of calls.

Bottom line is they have $4 million laying around to make sewers go uphill to annex the 402 and make me pay for it?

When I bought my house in Sunset Acres in 1972 (across from Loveland High) it was among the nicest neighborhoods in Loveland.

Neglet by City Hall makes our neighborhood (especially buy the railroad tracks near 37th) among the worst.

No, stop using our tax dollars to create retail development and start looking right here instead. High-tech companies prefer nice cities and where I am living is no longer nice!

We don't need any more jobs that involve a cash register anyway-they pay too little!!!!
--Odis R.
2008-02-04 20:38:24 GMT
Thank you. Well said.

McWhinney already said for his Grand Station that he couldn't promise certain tenants that "the market will decide that."

OK, maybe the Council should respond when he asks for help with his Grand Dream Station "the market will decide that." Oops - I guess it already did.

Sorry buddy.
2008-02-04 20:57:24 GMT
Why is the City Council still counting revenue from Grand Station if they know it isn't going forward? Does Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 also apply to them or is that a different law?

Pretending the Grand Station project is going forward when it is not may have some severe consequences for elected officials who fail to adjust the books properly to reflect what they know.
2008-02-05 00:19:15 GMT
Odis - this situation seems all too common as politicians and those who advise them think that shiny new developments, subsidized with taxpayer funding, are the future of the community while the "common" citizen who pays the taxes (for, in reality, sales taxes are generated by the person who spends the money, not the shopping center) are neglected. Everyday when I drive down 34, I see how "old Loveland" is neglected while we incentivize (read: taxpayer subsidy) "new Loveland."
The fundamental disconnect is that politicans see themselves as partners of big developers who impress these politicians, rather than as servants of the people who pay the taxes. So, these politicians think government exists to provide subsidy (aka "partner") with business, rather than to maintain and improve the public goods (roads, parks, etc.)
What they don't realize is that business will take care of itself, since business is driven by the market. But, the public infrastructure needs to be maintained by its owners - the government that is funded by our taxes. If we have a great city to live and work in, business will want to be here.
The answer? Get involved, vote, and let them know what you think! Show up at a council meeting - they open the floor to citizens at the beginning.
2008-02-05 04:11:42 GMT
Odis - is that really your name? Hey, a guy at my work was just searching this site (which he never cared about before) and just found confidential business information - they are pissed. Where did you get the stuff on Grand Station? I know that was not released anywhere to the public.

--Home Blogger
2008-02-05 04:51:19 GMT
I just read the story about why Grand Station hasn't been funded. Will the City COuncil now admit they were in error by saying McWhinney always follows through on all projects?

What I heard is they are blaiming the Council for not approving the trolley for why Grand Station isn't so grand.
2008-02-05 17:48:18 GMT
Great article- very insightful. This is just one more illustration of why the City Manager and Council should not have been allowed to give away the store to the McWhinney organization. When will there ever be a full cost accounting of taxpayer-funded costs and what the taxpayer has received in return?
2008-02-05 22:07:56 GMT
Thanks for all you do for the community. I read both those articles on the retreat and see the media only went to the portion where they were invited instead of exersizing their right to attend the entire meeting or at least parts of it at least.

Too bad, because it is not the City Manager's job to show everyone the warts they encounter so the lack of proper media coverage means they can do what they want.

My son is doing a research project on the statue issue and was able to use the search on your home page to access good information about that debate.

2008-02-05 22:08:49 GMT
A reporter was present for ALL the city council retreat....1/2 day on Friday and all day on Saturday. How do you come up with this assumption? I would advise your son to look elsewhere for information...he would be better served.

Odis R: The city is the owner of all sidewalks and curbs but it is the homeowner's responsibity to maintain both. The city will pay 50% of the homeowners cost for repairs with a max of $200.00/$250.00. (I would have to check for the correct amount). That is where you get your 50%...not because the city is out of money. I had to repair my sidewalk and shared the cost with the you or anyone else would be required to do.
2008-02-05 22:48:09 GMT
Remember your idiot Council was ready to back this thing without question, anyone with any backgrond in real estate should have seen this boondoggle coming and the lack of a local affluent market sufficient to suport Grand Station. That project is 10 years premature from a market standpoint and sorely misdirected. Thank god the market brought some sense to the disucssion and shut that down before the Coucil made a horrible mistake and let it get half built without adequate revenue to pay the bonds, which while not pledged by the City would still have reflected very poorly on the City's economic health and would have certainly chilled other more vlauable investments, including in downtown Loveland.
2008-02-06 23:04:54 GMT
Oh, thanks Rousey for that info on sidewalks, that's the way to cut the heart of the issue of this topic. No wonder we see the decisions we get out of this Council. Keep up the good work!!!
--Your friend ignorant
2008-02-07 05:01:31 GMT
My friend ignorant: "Odis R" brought the issue up under this thread and I simply responded...sorry if you think it wrong to give out information. Maybe I should have said nothing and just let everyone reading this blog assume that Odis was correct...would that have been better?

Like them or not, the McWhinneys are business people and no one should assume that they would start to develop Grand Station until they have tenants in place.

2008-02-07 13:46:55 GMT
That's right, they can do no wrong, just let them continue to run the City, why not just put them in charge, they run the City anyway. Why don't you all just stay home and give them the City's check book and have Don Williams keep their coffe cups filled if he can keep from tripping over his belley. They're infalable. All hale McWhinney, all hale McWhinney!!!! Brilliant deal on the 402 annexation by the way, what, $2 million for water, nearly 3 for sewer, plus a full third of all sales and use tax for 25 years, and 25 year vesting to boot. Boy you guys sure know how to cut a deal!!! Keep up the good work, or not, just stay home it would probably run itself better if you all just stayed home.
2008-02-08 01:59:07 GMT
Where do I sign up to get some of my Loveland sales tax back to my business?
2008-02-08 06:06:49 GMT
Great story! I finally got around to really considering the many important elements here and why Skowron keeps calling on the city to adjust their books to reflect what they know.

In good times the Councilmembers will skate by ignoring these important road signs of future revenue short-falls but when the economy turns down and smart people start asking questions - they will have no excuses and no where to turn.

The City of Loveland has zero obligation to perpetuate a myth that Grand Station has funding or is on track. They need to be honest now and not play the Enron game of pretending great things are coming when they know the truth isn't so certain. If the City of Loveland were a publicly traded company, the city manager and much of the Council would be in jail by know for misleading shareholders about the real prospectus.
2008-02-08 18:05:32 GMT
Being a former insider and in this business for many, many years I can tell you that how they get away with what they do confounds me to the core. The public has no idea of what really goes on behind closed doors, what is publically known is only the tip of an ice berg. It is the most amazing thing I have ever whitnessed in my long career. Yes, in any other place, including the private sector, they would all have been sent to jail.
2008-02-08 18:35:36 GMT
For the record, that is a subjective opinion and no one is saying that a crime has been committed by anyone. The point is the city is operated like Don Williams' personal busines since his personal priorities and those of his friends like Marostica always come first.
2008-02-11 06:15:58 GMT
The McWhinneys, in my opinion, will be to the bond market what predatory lenders are to the mortgage business and Ken Lay was to Enron. Spoilers who overstepped their bounds and got greedy thus wrecking the market for everyone else. I pray for the day when laws are passed to prevent a city council from giving away their taxing authority for the next 25 years over certain properties.

A Counccilman who ties the hands of future generations by voting for debt that will extend far past his last days in office is showing complete and utter disrespect for those who folow.
2008-03-07 06:47:25 GMT
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