Part 3 – Looking at Lakewood TIF and SportsPlex Documents

This is the third installment of what I found looking through mainly emails on Lakewood’s proposed SportsPlex and its Tax Increment Financing District:

The 19th of March, Trustee Ken Santowski sent Village administrators another email in which he expressed concerns of his and some other Board members.

Among them were

  • an objection to paying the SportsPlex developers “for the purchase of land.’  (That’s “asking too much.”) [Emphasis added.]
  • a desire to have the developers “show us their estimated costs that they are potentially going to ask for reimbursement.  Do they have any ‘real’ estimates by any of their potential contractors? They all claim to have been working on this project for 5 years now; I believe they need to show us what they have been working on if they want us to pay for it.” [Emphasis added.]

On the 23rd, the day before the next March meeting, Santowski wrote another email to the Village Administrator saying,

Ken Santowski questioing Lou Tenor about SprotsPlex financing.

Ken Santowski questioing Lou Tenor about SprotsPlex financing.

“I know there is great disappointment in the inability to move forward with this development.

“I believe there was too much ‘take’ on the developers side. [Emphasis added.]

“I think we all, including myself, wanted this to work out with everyone; but it appears it most likely won’t.

“With that said, I have talked to the other trustees individually and we would like to have another strategic planning session as soon as possible with the only emphasis being on development on Route 47.

“I know Jeff has made some initial contacts to developers and I am working on a list of possible developers and end users to contact.

“I believe we have some material available that was created when we developed the ‘Look out for Lakewood’ campaign.  Perhaps we can utilize some of that material.”

= = = = =
More tomorrow.


Part 3 – Looking at Lakewood TIF and SportsPlex Documents — 6 Comments

  1. How many pages of emails are there about the Lakewood TIF?

    Apparently the developer wanted more taxpayer TIF money than the village was willing to provide.

  2. The more information that comes out the worse this negotiation looks.

    Was Lakewood actually considering reimbursing the “non developers” for the purchase of the property?

    Certainly disingenuous from the information that was made public.

    Hopefully this SportsPlex idea is dead because it would make the Red Tail fiasco lood good.

  3. So, the “But-For” clause requirement claimed(“But-For” tif, no development will occur)
    is allowed to be proven AFTER the FACT?
    That is, they are just now phoning around to developers on the assumption/prediction that these Developers-To-Be-Named-Later would have demanded tif financing?

  4. What is becoming clear from these emails — and certainly NOT from any official word from the Village — is that some people on the Village Board wanted to (and still want to) continue these negotiations now matter what, that they are desperate for some kind of deal.

    And so even if the SportsPlex dies, the word will be out that Lakewood is an easy touch for their TIF district, and any other developer who comes along will drive a hard bargain knowing Lakewood is willing to give away the store.

    It appears that this pattern is being followed with the proposed use of the Village Hall property.

    Instead of just putting it on the market and seeing if there is any interest, the Board decided a restaurant would be really cool, so they spent taxpayer money to have drawings done of a pretend restaurant and are now seeking a “restaurant developer”.

    That makes it pretty clear that the developer will be in the stronger bargaining position.

    In fact, the restaurant issue raises more questions than the Village has chosen to answer.

    Are they selling the property, or looking to build a restaurant and lease it out, or will they build a restaurant and just hire a manager?

    I sure can’t tell from what they’ve said so far!

    And if they sell that property, where will the new Village Hall be and how much will it cost?

    If it’s more than they get from the sale of the property where Village Hall sits now, then I’m against it.

    Sadly, none of this is debated at the meetings.

    The emails make clear the deliberations are taking place behind the scenes and the meetings are just about voting for what has already been secretly decided.

  5. It is up to us (residents of Lakewood) to attend these board meetings, ask questions and get answers as to WHAT is going on and WHY this (restaurant) was so hush-hush?

    If the board is discussing this off the radar, it certainly gives the impression there is something they don’t want known by the residents…very suspicious and fishy!

    The next Lakewood board meeting is Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM!!

  6. The documents I received in reply to my Freedom of Information request measured over an inch.

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