Wayne and Wyoming: Limboland

The ongoing saga of the corner of Wayne and Wyoming added a new chapter last Thursday night as Shelly Dickstein of the City of Dayton Department of Economic development made a presentation at Ruskin school. About 100 people filled the room, the news crews were there, and as almost always- there was Pizza Factory pizza. No matter how good the pie, for the residents and property owners of this 12-acre limboland, the news was more of the same: we expect you to wait another year for a decision.

Another round of 3% option checks will go out to property owners, to “compensate” for this, at taxpayer expense. $815K was spent to acquire the Ecki building and the surrounding parcels at the corner. Now, the only thing stopping the demolition is the State Historic Review “106” process. If the State gives the OK, by year’s end we’ll have a “shovel ready” green space for who knows what.

The next steps in this ongoing saga are the City Plan Board Meeting on March 19 [CORRECTION] 17th 2009, at City Hall, 4:30pm  to begin the demolition request. The City has issued an RFP for development for up to the entire 12 acres, hoping for a grocery store- but, we may just be looking at the next location for a Sonic.

Readers of this site have known I’ve been keeping you in the loop on this project- formerly known as the new Wayne Avenue Kroger. It was a total surprise to me that there was a “work session” of the Dayton City Commission on Dec 3, 2008, to discuss this very project. However, on review of the “Minutes” of this meeting- they did both a work session and an executive session- without explaining what issues they were going to address.

The law is VERY specific on executive sessions: where it must be expressly explained what the purpose of the executive session is.

“Commissioner Joseph made a motion to convene into an Executive Session in order to discuss real estate issues and followed by a work session.  Commissioner Whaley seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously passed.” This is not specific enough for the executive session- they must identify what real estate they are discussing. As to these “work sessions” there are no provisions for these in the Charter- and they should have been banned long ago. There is nothing that is being said or done in these sessions that should not be done in a full meeting of the Dayton City Commission. It’s this kind of sidestepping of the law that gets our city into trouble. It will stop if I’m elected- not only will I make sure citizens are notified, but, I’ll also begin taping and broadcasting these “work sessions” so that there is nothing done behind semi-closed doors.

In the meantime, the Kroger corporation and “developer” Midland Atlantic take a walk, scott-free as they backed out. The City, with your tax dollars, has spent the last year and a half, working on putting together a package that Kroger “required” but didn’t put any skin in the game. It’s this kind of backward corporate welfare that absolutely has to stop. As it was, Kroger had put a cap on acquisition at $5m and the 89 property parcel was going to cost $6.5M, putting the taxpayers on the hook for $1.5M right off the bat. Of course, had this been a store they wanted in another community- they’d have no problems writing the check. It’s Dayton’s desperation for development that always seems to put us on our knees and handing out tax dollars. Tax dollars that should be getting invested in delivery of basic services and infrastructure that benefit the whole city- not just a small portion.

When asked why the City went down this path without any guarantees or promised return for their investment- Dickstein said that isn’t how it’s done.

That’s how Limbolands begin.

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3 Responses

  1. Jeff Wellbaum March 2, 2009 / 9:50 am
    Wasteful spending should stop!
  2. Joe March 30, 2011 / 9:45 am
    Anyone notice that the Ecki building vanished yesterday?! A big pile of rubble now. I think the City took it down.

    Not a mention in any local news media either. Pre-War Dayton continues to erode….

  3. David Esrati March 30, 2011 / 9:47 am

    @Joe- about to write a post about it.

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