Letters

Letters 01-19-2014

Cancerous Costs My heart goes out to all those dealing with cancer. Sadly, I think the truth is we will never see a cure for cancer as long as treatment for cancer is so lucrative. True story: A friend had monthly cancer treatments…$8,000 per treatment for roughly 2 1/2 years.

My Favorite Opinions Betsy Coffia tackles vital but challenging local issues and does her research; her clear thinking and writing about Michigan’s stuggles with gas and oil agendas, both hidden and manipulative tactics, takes brave digging below the surface!

You Own Your Health January 29th, 2007 was the day I made the decision to lose weight and get healthy. The rules on how to do this were always in front of me but I didn’t want to listen to them. Gradually, at the rate of two pounds per month, I lost 45 pounds and have kept it off. My energy soared and a “new me” emerged from the ashes.

Dirty Money Redux Grant Parsons’ opinion piece highlights the serious issues with the recent Inman campaign. While Ms. Coffia took the high road with her campaign of “She Can’t Be Bought” — not accepting money from PAC’s, Lobbyists or Special Interest Groups, Mr. Inman decided to take the low road using substantial outside funding in the final weeks of the campaign. When I received the first negative post card against Ms. Coffia I called Mr. Inman’s campaign HQ to ask where the money was coming from - and the person answering said, “I don’t know.”

Defending Our Law Enforcement I address this note to the “cartoonist” responsible for fostering lies about law enforcement. To your readers, please look at the facts before making ignorant presumptions.

Now Who’s Ridiculing Drilling? Remember when conservatives advocated for “Drill, baby, drill?” And how the left ridiculed the idea? Hmm, the silence is deafening...


Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Why you should support...
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Why you should support TC‘s parking deck

Matt Schmidt - June 8th, 2006
Open fields, streams and forests; these are the reasons to support economically viable and compact development in Traverse City.
Families and individuals are coming to Northern Michigan. As people visit or move into our region, development of houses and business will follow. The question becomes how does this development take shape, and this is at core of why we should support the retail, housing and parking proposal at 145 West Front Street.
We have choices in what we offer: Do we offer compact homes and condos in our city, or new subdivisions spread across acres and acres in neighboring townships? Similarly, the cars driving into our downtown will be stacked in a deck, or spread across acres of asphalt.
I support the efficient use of our land and city infrastructure, rather than paving our forests and farm fields. Redeveloping our city center, 145 West Front Street included, promotes sustainable growth an economic manner.
Why does the thoroughly-researched development from Federated Properties at 145 West Front deserve support? This development . . .

...does not require funding from our city’s General Fund.
$7.8 million in Brownfield (BRA) and MI Economic Growth (MEGA) funding and $1.2 million DEQ grant dollars will pay for more than half of the deck and public infrastructure. TIF revenue covers the remaining public costs under even very conservative estimates.
These public funds are designated specifically to 145 West Front at a local and state level.
It would be very difficult, at best, to transfer to an alternate site and to do so would mean time, money and risk.

...brings $18 million in taxable city value.
The Snowden conceptual plan discussed offers half this amount in the initial phase. The funds from the state and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) are dependent on taxable value. Without a contractual commitment for full funding it is unwise to build a publicly owned parking deck. The Federated Properties development contract has this taxable value commitment. The key to funding a compact and sustainable city downtown hinges on taxable value.

...revitalizes a polluted site with state funding support.
This project will clean up contaminates leaching into our groundwater. This desolate asphalt lot in the heart of our city will become a revitalized block of retail business and housing. It will not impact the riverfront, or be built on a flood plain, as in other concepts discussed.

...respects the public input collected and due process.
The 145 West Front Street site follows the City Master Plan, BRA and MEGA plans, TIF plan. These plans are the result of countless volunteer hours from Traverse City citizens reviewing, analyzing and planning our city as we would like it to be. With public funds involved, due process is important. The first public meetings regarding this deck were held more than one year ago in the spring of 2005. Over the last 12 months many Traverse City people spent countless hours providing ideas and opinions incorporated into the plan. To ignore this would be to ignore the open and public process.

In closing, this is an excellent opportunity for our community to promote sound economic growth. The decision to move forward was an open process, with the finances and welfare of Traverse City as the sole motivation. To say otherwise is simply not true, and is not supported by any of the facts. Please join in this important community discussion to keep our city and region on the right track because it is our community as a whole that will decide the future.

Matt Schmidt is a member of the Traverse City Commission.
 
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