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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Citizens skeptical of decision, city’s protection

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Citizens skeptical of decision, city’s protection

Steve Joseph addresses the La Grande Urban Renewal Agency Wednesday night. Joseph has a number of concerns about the decision to help fund a grocery store to the tune of $500,000. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
Steve Joseph addresses the La Grande Urban Renewal Agency Wednesday night. Joseph has a number of concerns about the decision to help fund a grocery store to the tune of $500,000. (Tim Mustoe/The Observer)
The decision to help fund a downtown grocery store did not come without plenty of public comment ahead of the Wednesday night vote.

With the funding now approved, skeptics have concerns about the project and what it means for the future of La Grande.

Steve Joseph, an outspoken critic of the Urban Renewal program, spoke at Wednesday night’s meeting and Thursday said that the meeting did not assuage his fears.

Joseph said a second position lien and lack of personal guarantees makes the project little more than “an Urban Renewal ‘Field of Dreams.’”

“Build it and they will come,” he said.

Joseph said he would have liked to see the city provide promissory note conditions, the trust deed and an appraisal base value of the property, which formerly housed Blockbuster Video.

“The amount of money that is being loaned for exterior (work) only is way over what it has been for what they’ve done for any other building in La Grande,” he said. “They’re trying to build something far beyond what is necessary to accomplish the purpose.”

 

 For the complete story, see Friday's edition of The Observer. 

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