All But Two
Today I write this blog with a little bit more information and confidence than I had yesterday. Once again, I will have another blog post about the city’s future acquisition of 425 Hopocan Ave, Barberton Ohio 44203. I realize that this topic is old news to a few so I will keep this as brief as possible but still try to present the facts as I know them.
During the Barberton City Council Meeting June 11, 2018, the Police chief, Judge fish and others were invited to answer questions. This was a move to provide anyone with questions to clear the air about the property purchase. After the council meeting last week, something had to be done to make sure questions and details were presented factually. Judging by the tone of some officials, this was a nuisance to them and they obviously did not think it was needed. I feel, that if this information was presented in this manner to begin with, this would have just been another day in the City of Barberton.
If you follow this blog you would have seen my last blog post found at https://www.justin-greer.com/2018/06/05/can-we-get-some-straight-answers-please-city-of-barberton-justice-center/. Once again, this was because there was some very serious concerns about what was happening. From my point of view and many others, either of two thing was going happening.
- The city was not being transparent about the entire thing
- The city has no clue what was going on.
Either way, it did not look great and as a citizen I was concerned about deals being made and not even Mayor Judge understood it. I give the Mayor a break from time to time because there is a lot that is going on in this town but this was something that he should have been on top of.
So here is the deal in a nutshell
The court has funds for specifically purchasing and helping with anything the courts need. This includes land and buildings. Since the courts CAN NOT purchase land on their own behalf, they need someone else to do it for them. In good faith, the courts know that the Pit Stop is a great location for a new Justice Center and have tasked Barberton to handle the transaction. The question I guess then is, Why are we paying them back for the land and why don’t we just buy it ourselves? This is a question that quit honestly I did not think of until this morning but I will be reaching out to ask here today.
The chief of police did secured a $400K grant that will be used for surveying, ground testing and other needs prior to building. I am not sure if this is enough money for much but it will start the process and at least help.
The Title, oh the Title
So far we have heard from courts in great detail about why and how they plan to help with the movement forward. We have heard the concerns of the council as well as some citizens. There is still two people we have not heard from.
- The Mayor
- The Pit Stop Owner
Be it coincidence or just convenient timing but the Mayor and the Planning Department were not present to answer any questions directly. I feel conformable mentioning the Pit Stop owner because he reached out to me and agreed to talk about parts of the deal and how we as a city and him got to the step we currently are. I should have more information from that side here in the next couple days.
All in all, the purchase of the Pit Stop properly can be a good thing and I personally think it is. We can use that property as a prime location for expanding our downtown area. I support the purchase of 425 Hopocan Ave but I just wish there was more transparency. Most official responses are tethered with a tone that feels like you are doing some thing wrong.
I try to keep the information as accurate as possible and expect to have some pushback due to numbers and information being a personal decision at some level. This allows me to see where strings are being pulled and controlled. If you feel that any information is wrong, contact me. Show me the numbers and prove me wrong. I own all information and correct anything that is inaccurate.