Thursday, July 22, 2010

Things I've Heard This Week

Some days the information just flows from the street. Today was one of those days.

I watched as some of the people most involved with the streetscape redo walked around and did some spot checks. One of the longest discussed spots was the rain garden structure near the corner of S. Upper St. With a long level and several tape measures, they checked and rechecked the concrete retaining wall and the paving stones along side it. This is around a section where I have seen them pour, cure and then trim off some excess with a power saw and then tear out and re-pour work that was not correct.

Later I caught them again near Main & Broadway. In front of deSha's, there was a contractor installing one of the new wireless transmitters for the free wi-fi that is to be available downtown. In fact, he was placing it on top of a post that holds the traffic signal arms which cross both Main and Broadway. This mast, and all the rest along Main St are to be replaced in the near future. Nothing like job security when you are working with stimulus money.

On the way back in the other direction, I passed some contractors in front of the big blue tower(5/3rd Building) and they were talking about the rain garden at that end of the block. I heard the words " Its all wrong, That wall is all wrong". My question now is, will we accept wrong work or will we have it redone? Will it be redone before the WEG?"

Next, the section in front of the electrical box at the entrance of the parking garage was having bollards installed. In holes jack hammered through recently poured concrete AND the asphalt base for the final pavers. I wonder if these were an afterthought or an omission on somebody's part.

I have also been asking Tom Eblen about his column comparing the two mayoral candidate's presentations at the Hunt Morgan House. He has so far "been unavailable for comment" as the journalism phrase goes. Others seem to want the answers too.

I heard two of the most preposterous suggestions at Tuesday's talk by Jim Gray. One lady proposed that the volunteers from the Arboretum could maintain the CentrePointe block, as a "central park", with donated plants(all native species) and it would all be totally free. It would not cost the city a dime. I guess she has forgotten all about the little fact that the city does not OWN the property. Just buying it for the assessed value would take $6 million plus which the city does not have to spare. Another woman stated bluntly that the city did not need a department store or any major retail (other than a pharmacy and a grocery) and that all shops should be small boutiques selling things to the tourists. I wanted to tell her that when the oil runs low and gas runs high, the tourists won't run at all.

Speaking of the WEG, some of the ticket prices have come down and today the Lextran shuttle fares have come down. The ticket sales are still down and if this equine related forum is any indication quite a few of our usually relied upon visitors are considering staying home. Is the world really coming to call?

We will keep our ears open.

1 comment:

lexdan said...

"$6 million plus" to buy the property and turn it into a park. That's a lot less than the $270 million that the city was prepared to pay in TIF money for Centre Pointe. Six million sounds like a steal.