They have been out of control, now they are out of their minds.
On February 24th the city commission voted to spend $750,000 of your money for the 0.16 acre property at 901 W. Fairbanks ($4,800,000 per acre). They also voted to negotiate the purchase of the 1.0 acre property at 929 – 957 W. Fairbanks for $3,000,000 more of your money. These purchase prices are more than $2,100,000 greater than the Orange County Appraiser’s estimated market values, and exclude costs for demolition, potential environmental abatement, and improvements (there has been no appraisal).
These purchases exclude the connecting 0.13 acre parcel at 919 W. Fairbanks, whose owner now has our generous commissioners over a barrel. Look for another $1,000,000 out of your pocket. Total cost of this boondoggle: $6,000,000 to $7,000,000 of your money, and they are not done. They want to buy more properties to the West.
And why are they doing this? Wait for it… (1) to claim they “are doing something about traffic” and (2) to build a surface parking lot at the far South East end of MLK park that costs $70,000 per space.
This contrasts with the 1996 purchase of the Winter Park Golf Course land (25 acres) for $8,000,000 financed with voter approved bonds.
Do you think there should be extensive community input before we spend $6,000,000 to $7,000,000 for less than 1.5 acres? Do you think there should be broad public discussion of alternative uses of these funds? Let them know what you think.
These same people got elected by claiming resident involvement in the Orange Avenue Overlay and Library Project were inadequate, when in fact, these projects were broadly and formally considered over many years before put to a vote (a referendum in the case of the Library Project). Now, they just go and spend ridiculous amounts of your money with no consideration of alternative uses of these funds and no community involvement.
This is not self governance. It is self indulgence. Let them know what you think.
Regards, Pete Weldon