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Weinberger to Destroy Moran Plant
Saturday, September 02, 2017
So the key points from the 09.01.17 news from Seven Days are:

Keeping the Moran Plant building has a democratic mandate...
"City voters in 2014 approved the use of $6.3 million in tax-increment financing towards redevelopment of the old power plant building, which shuttered in 1986."
But instead the city is likely to spend more than the approved 6.3 million to destroy it.
"Instead, the building will likely be demolished and the site remediated — at a price tag of at least $4 million and upwards of $10.7 million, according to city estimates"
The crux of the story is that mayor Miro Weinberger decided to pull the plug on negotiations with the redevelopment team.  He dumped them.  They didn't dump him.
"“What the New Moran team was trying to do was very hard,” he told reporters""
Hmmm... What did Kennedy say again?  Oh yeah... "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept..." Something like that anyway.
"Weinberger attributed the failed deliberations to construction risks, environmental challenges and financial uncertainty. “There was a lot of potential for problems that would have required the city to go beyond its $6 million commitment,” Weinberger said."
I like Kennedy's ideas about doing hard things, but they don't appear to have been applied in this instance.  It will be interesting to see how well mayor Weinberger's justifications withstand scrutiny.  He says the redevelopment of Moran would potentially cost more than 6 million dollars, but we know that's also true of destroying it, don't we?
"Still, he acknowledged, “This was a difficult decision to make and not one I wanted to come to.”"
 I'm not sure that's true.  How hard did he really try to make the redevelopment of the Moran Plant work?  I've worried that he's always wanted to see it demolished and that this might have been a foregone conclusion when he first took office five years ago.  But that's just my gut feeling. 
"Weinberger said that he’d be looking into other options besides another city park, though he said he didn’t know what exactly the end result might look like. The city is bound by the state’s Public Trust Doctrine, which requires that the property serve a public purpose, while the moribund building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places. There will be a “significant public input and process” before a decision on reuse is made, Weinberger said."
 Um... Yeah.  He may not know exactly what it will look like, but I bet he's got a pretty good idea in his head.  (Hint: you don't want to land on Boardwalk with one of these on it.)

There was still hope for the building in January of this year when there was a proposal for...
"...redeveloping the facility with community space and venues for rent at a cost of $15.4 million dollars. They planned to break ground by the end of this year."
"Friday’s announcement made clear that’s not going to happen.

“The city was just not confident that the project would succeed,” Weinberger said. “Without that confidence, we couldn’t move forward.”"
 So- Hope for something: $15.4 M, Cost of destroying: 4 to 10.7 million.  And since those are both estimates from parties interested in deflating the numbers, I consider the comparison between the two a virtual wash.

This is a soulless choice to take the path of least resistance, unbecoming of a true leader.

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 4:08 AM  
  • At September 04, 2017 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Could it be the city is gunshy when the potential for loss of tax payer money is a legitimate potential? What is the proof that they didn't try hard enough to make it happen? People have been working on this isuue for decades. Might it be possible that financial prudence should win the day? I mean, ice climbing wall wouldn't have been great...bummed that well-thought out plan didn't work either...
    The city, and anyone interested, has has decades to figure this out. They haven't. You really want to put this on Miro as something he got wrong? THAT is a conclusion of least resistance.

  • At September 04, 2017 11:19 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Oh of course. You are correct. As far as I know, Miro tried his best and this really is the most responsible decision he could have made. But you have to understand , , I'm trying to sell newspapers here, and I'm not sure that makes for great copy.

    I would respectfully ask that sworn personnel refrain from commenting, for reasons I have previously enumerated and I trust are understood. I appreciate everyone's cooperation with this request. I really do.

  • At September 04, 2017 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fair enough, kind of. But arguments like these underscore the belief that developers/development are inherently bad for the city. A cultural center would be great. But an honest assessment of Burlington's culture scene would not return a NEED for more arts. Arts are great and contribute lots to the city, no question. But there isn't a municipality that doesn't actually NEED more tax revenue. Burlington is blessed with a vibrant arts and culture scene. And more is (almost) always welcome. But wanting something and needing something are certainly two different things.
    My guess is the overlapping circles of people who are mad about this outcome line up pretty closely with those who opposed the mall redevelopment.
    Much like the overlap between reification and stagnation. The Moran plant has been reiefied (literally and figuratively),and has subsequently stagnated that piece of property for decades.

    But in the end, Miro is certainly not a sole actor here.

  • At September 04, 2017 12:39 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    You're never anonymous.

  • At September 04, 2017 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For the purposes at hand, I am.

  • At September 04, 2017 12:54 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    What purposes are those?

  • At September 04, 2017 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Providing discussion that is something other than your 'it's not what we wanted so get Miro out office' discourse.

  • At September 04, 2017 1:12 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    It's your right but is it your job? Is it worth doing if it might scare somebody? It that proper? You could start your own blog, or write your own op ed, of course. Why do you have to make sure I understand you're watching me specifically? THAT seems like the underlying purpose and that's just not right. Political free speech should not draw this kind of intimidating attention in The United States of America.

  • At September 04, 2017 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oy. Now you're just being silly.
    At least someone is reading the blog...

  • At September 04, 2017 1:21 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Exactly. Very few people read my junk. You'd be better off projecting your political opinions on your own, much larger platforms, or on a major media site like for example. Your message won't be widely distributed at my little blog. Have you considered that?

  • At September 04, 2017 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not sure CNN is covering the Moran plant...

  • At September 04, 2017 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And what political opinion have I expressed? Is financial prudence a political position?

  • At September 04, 2017 1:50 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    That was just an example. You know very well you could go comment at BFP or VTD or 7D who are all covering the Moran Plant and have much larger readership.

    You obviously have a target audience of exactly one. That's not proper. You must know that.

  • At September 04, 2017 1:55 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    "Providing discussion that is something other than your 'it's not what we wanted so get Miro out office' discourse."

    That's not political?

  • At September 04, 2017 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your persecution complex aside, you write for the public. Either you want open discussion, or you don't. If not, turn off the comment section.

    And unless this endeavor suddenly has become for profit, it's not your jib either...

  • At September 04, 2017 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Job, that is

  • At September 04, 2017 2:02 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    I can simply delete the comments I don't like and keep the ones I do. This is *my* blog. I can run it any way I want to. Things are not as binary as you seem to think. Have you read the disclaimer of my blog? If not please take a moment to do so. It hasn't changed in 11 years.

    I can use my free speech however I want. I don't carry a badge and a gun and I can't arrest people. It is not the same for someone who does. People have a right to speak freely without interference from law enforcement. It's not a "persecution complex" to believe that.

  • At October 04, 2017 4:14 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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