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Citizens skeptical of decision, city’s protection
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.”