Letter to the Editor: Rec Center sale a bad deal for City

| January 6, 2016 | 0 Comments

icon_letterDid the sale of the City’s downtown Recreation Center ignore economic vitality and vision for the City’s future?  According to a January 3 article in the Capital, the chosen proposal also appears to be among the lowest bid offered. St Mary’s offered one million dollars more for a purchase plus $500,000 in lieu of taxes.

The Mayor and Aldermen claim however that this low bid sale for eight condos will generate more revenue for the City through property taxes.  More than the $500,000 offered by St Mary’s?  Really?

As responsible economic guardians, the City must have done an economic analysis and impact for each of the eight bidders. They represent a variety of economic proposals including long term lease and facility improvements. Share them with us. Remove the cloud of secrecy. Prove your point.

Approximately 1200 housing units are projected along Forest Drive; another 100 more are proposed for Eastport.  Are taxes on another eight on Compromise Street really significant and in the city’s best interest? 

With population increase the City faces a number of challenges including nurturing the very industries that have contributed to the City’s specialness. Culture, maritime, environment, education, hospitality…these are our assets. This is why people choose to live here.  Ignoring them is to descend into mediocrity. 

Among the proposals was one from the Shakespeare Theatre for an Art Center, a beehive of activity proposed for students, citizens and visitors accentuating Annapolis culture; another for a maritime center built on the city’s identification as a sailing capital.  On January 4, the Capital noted the proposal from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science would have enhanced Annapolis reputation as the “capital of the Chesapeake area and the place where decisions are made that will determine the Bays future”.

Increase of employees shopping down town, increase in conferences served by Annapolis businesses …they have an economic impact.  Are eight condo sleep lofts (among the 1000,s proposed) worth more than the activity and revenue generated by new employees and new programs and new conferences and enhanced recognition of our unique State Capital that secures economic vitality?  

Ellen Moyer

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