I just got back from the March Professor/Thurman/Valley View block club meeting. Councilman Cimperman was present to listen to our concerns and to tell us a bit about what is going on with Steelyard Commons and other items of Tremont interest.
As for Steelyard Commons the developer has to break ground by May 31st, and even once the expansion is complete apparently it will be around a year before good roads can be built to accomodate traffic flow. The Councilman has understandable problems with that. He stressed that it is a tough balancing act to attract new retail business without putting local places out of the running. Now that Wal-Mart is out, the developer is still looking at big box retail, perhaps Costco, which doesn’t carry perishable items.
Other stuff about that floor-space restriction legislation:
• The legislation was pulled before Wal-Mart’s rejection of the site
• The eight-year moratorium before expansion into groceries was acceptable to Wal-Mart.
• The letter The Councilman received from Wal-Mart contained three paragraphs assuring him that his proposal didn’t affect their decision, but then said they didn’t think it was good public policy. A bit of doublespeke.
Also, apparently the developer offered to pay for an Economic Impact Study but it never happened which is why The Councilman felt it was a necessary evil to pop up with this sudden legislation to protect local business. He also mentioned the magic number of 1800 jobs, which made me wonder if he has seen Bill Callahan’s most recent post.
That is really all I caught about the Steelyard Commons. I’m not too good at the on-the-spot journalism stuff. Or anything even approaching any type of journalism.
Tremont specific stuff:
• The Jefferson Branch of the library is going to be open on Saturdays, if it hasn’t started already. This is because we use it so often.
• Gospel Press is going to be doing some renovation of their building and the vacant lot across from the Flying Monkey is going to be turned into a parking lot, at least temporarily, which will relieve the stress from other neighboring streets. In the future, some apartments might be stilted above it.
• A gentleman that lives across the street from me was found by his upstairs neighbor, dead of apparent OD on alcohol and pills.
• Hot Spot report forms for drug dealers can be found at Lucky’s Café and can be faxed to TWDC.
• Valley View is scheduled for demolition in late spring or early summer. Once construction [which should take 3 years or so] is completed around 200 different types of home, running the gamut from low-income to full market home ownership, should be available for people to move in.
• If that happens we will likely be able to keep Tremont school around, providing that it survives the next round of closings.
Some things I heard about that might be useful to remember:
I didn’t get to bring up my idea for street cleaning or the Tremont blog because the meeting ran on so long and people were anxious to leave. I’ll just keep working on it and bring it up at the next meeting on April 12th, at 7:00pm, at Lucky’s.