Tuesday, Oct 25th, 6pm in Winchester Hall Frederick County Council meets to vote on the downtown hotel five party MOU. The County is one of a growing number of entities who have to approve this agreement for it to milk taxpayers further and appear to move this absurd and outrageous City project forward. By all indications the vote will go in favor of the City project and it will stagger on, but you never know, and this is an opportunity to give Councillors a piece of your mind. The County agenda allows citizens three (3) minutes each to speak.
— purports to be about building a grandiose Walmart-store sized full service, upscale hotel complex presently $84m (in 2014 it was $45m) in cost but likely to be valued at a fraction of that
— has been the subject of endless ‘happy talk’ presentations, a scad of consultant studies and reports, vague MOU after vague MOU for seven years now without any firm design being drawn or building permits applied for
— during which time practical self-financing hotel projects have been waved away by City officials as an interference with their Monumental Hotel project
— the County has no interest in perpetuating this City farce which is obstructing new lodging business in Frederick through the threat of unleashing on the market a huge new facility subsidized with $31 million of taxpayer $s
— and they chose such a stupid site with two historic buildings, one of which they want to demolish, and face a major fight with historic preservationists
— the project’s impact on traffic has yet to be resolved as the initial study of 2014 has been kept secret even from City traffic engineers
— they are now scurrying around trying to buy extra land because the project attempts to jam too much building on too small a lot, and the parking math doesn’t work
— the County was subjected to a bait and switch to get it involved, the bait being the promise by the City of 350 free parking spaces in a Deck next to the County Bd of Ed. In the switch that parking will no longer be built as part of the hotel project
— the developer due to get $31m of public support was selected in a sham competitive procurement in which the winner’s proposal was being discussed, analyzed and tweaked by the same consultants while writing the RFP in the months before the RFP was issued
— the project gets worse and worse the longer it staggers on, in the latest iteration bringing in the Baltimore boy who gave us the Rocky Gap and Chesapeake Bay Conference Center fiascos (MEDCO.) MEDCO an unaccountable state agency over $200m ‘in the hole’ financially is to own and manage the conference center and parking portions of the building. Ask why, why, why?
posted to FoFC page 2016.10.23