Soccer Stadium Plans Surface Again

The following is quoted, with permission, from the NorthSummit7@AOL.COM (NS7) email newsletter of 17 February 2006:

By: Don Kuchta, City of Macedonia Mayor

As the mayor of Macedonia I would like to bring to the readers of NS7 some points of interest and address some of the misconceptions that surround recent issues.

The Stadium:
The first question I asked when this was brought before me was "What's this going to cost the tax-payers?" The answer was... the funding will be private and public. The Port Authority will be the bonding agent for this project. That is very important in a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) abatement agreement. Usually the host Municipality is the bonding agent. A TIF provides the money up front with the taxes paying off the bonds.The devastating effect this could have on a municipality of our size with a project proposed having a $265 million dollar price tag could be catastrophic. (Reference what happened in Eastlake). It's positively a great thing that the Port Authority will relieve us of that obligation. The Wolsteins are contributing a big chunk of the money representing the private sector.

The location:
The land that is the proposed location of the Stadium is zoned G-I. (General Industrial). That is as wide open as zoning can get. It could be turned into some smelly, dirty, industrial business...or a beautiful world class facility. It could create ton's of truck traffic by being a Interstate Truck Terminal... or cars full of kids and grownups going to see anything from Soccer, to Football, to the American Idol. It could bring us the City Income Tax on laborers wages... or on Professional Athletes. What happens on that land will impact us all. But if you have your "druthers" this would far outweigh the alternatives. I also understand wanting to keep green space. This land is far from being a pristine forest. It is mostly scrub bush and swampy. There is an alternative. Anyone can buy it if they want to keep it green. There are landowners there that bought that land as an investment. They are entitled to make money just as you are want to when you sell your home. There is an old saying "if you want to keep that which you it". If not, you may wish later that you looked at a zoning map before you bought into an area.

The Schools:
The lawmakers in this State should be ashamed that they created a system that pit the Schools against the Municipalities for the same tax dollars. I am trying to build a relationship with the schools that will benefit us both financially. They are involved with Macedonia every step of the way to bring in new business. I have promised to make sure they are not sold out in the abatements we are considering. Even when they are not required to receive monies from a project we make sure that they receive a PILOT. (Payment In Leu Of Taxes.) Our City needs good schools and facilities, and they need us to be solvent. The Stadium complex is an example of what can be done together to ease the burden on the taxpayers for both of us.

The Stadium is a done deal:
Far from it. We are blessed with good neighbors and will strive to work together for the good of all when we sit at the table with Northfield Center. Things need to gel at the State, County, and local level.

Fire Department Consolidation:
You'll notice I did not call it a "Fire District". If it was, it would fall under the control of the State. We need to protect our home rule. We need to decide what is best for our residents because we answer directly to them. If I may use an analogy to explain what we are trying to do...We don't have a bunch of one room school houses any more so that we insure equality of education. We are looking at ways to establish equalities of Fire and Emergency protection. That is proactive not reactive.

The Traffic: Until someone gives me a magic wand I will do the best that is humanly possible. Within the next 5 years you will see more orange barrels than dandelions. Grit you teeth and get through it with me. It will be a necessary evil. Try to think about what we will have when it is all done. I will also make sure, working with Council, that we will fix our residential roads without borrowing money to do it. I consider that equivalent to buying a pack of cigarettes with your credit card. Residential street programs should be funded, regular, maintenance done with money that we already receive. We should only borrow for the necessary major projects (Rt. 82 Bridge) and to insure our Federal Grants for them. Our revenue should be properly guided to fix roads as we can, and then establish a system of maintenance once we've caught up. We are still paying for residential streets that were fixed 9 years ago!

[Macedonia] Mayor Don Kuchta