Back in March, I posted a letter stating, “Confusion on the downtown River City Renaissance project runs rampant.” Well, lo and behold, on July 29 John Skipper made “a public confession” that he too was confused by all the goings on downtown.
This highly respected columnist acknowledged that he “always thought the referendum coming up on Nov. 7 was on whether the city should have a bond issue to pay for the proposed ice arena/multipurpose center that is part of the River City Renaissance project,” but “My reporting was wrong because I didn't know what I didn't know.”
The referendum is on the Southbridge lease agreement. So, considering that our City Council created this confusion, it’s time for them to tell us what they know, or don’t know, about these basic questions:
1. Who pays the renovating cost in the Southbridge Mall to construct the multipurpose arena, and how much will the operating budget be over the 20-year lease?
2. How much debt interest will the taxpayers be liable for on the $18.75 million bonding for the project?
3. How much interest will taxpayers be obligated to pay on the 20-year, $3.5 to $4.3 million loan to Gatehouse Capital?
4. How much will it cost taxpayers for construction of the skywalk between the hotel and Music Man Square, plus yearly maintenance?
Hope to hear from them before the election.
Lionel J. Foster, Mason City