"The reason for the emergency lies in the fact that same is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and property, and for the further reason that this Ordinance must be immediately effective to facilitate conveyance of this property to VIVA South Toledo CDC for community re-use."
I think most people would question why this is an emergency. It's not like a first and second reading is really going to have a detrimental impact on the agreement. And the city has owned this property for a long-enough time that a couple more weeks to discuss the proposal and give the public time to weigh in on it won't really have a negative impact.
But perhaps that's the point. If this is given proper review, citizens might start questioning other things about the agreement - like the price:
SUMMARY & BACKGROUND:
The City of Toledo, through reverter interest, presently holds title to the former South Branch Library at 1638 Broadway. VIVA South Toledo CDC wishes to acquire this property from the City for the purpose of establishing the Ohio Latino Community Credit Union (OLCCU) who will also provide other economic and justice related programs such as personal finance, mortgage counseling and legal aid. VIVA South will move their offices to this facility and they anticipate that the Toledo Police will relocate their field office to this location. They will be looking to fill any remaining available space with other community oriented service providers. The sale price for this property will be $10,000.
According to the County Auditor's website, the current value of this property is $213,500. Why is the city selling this property for less than 5% of its stated value????
What is the cost of relocating the Toledo Police field office into this facility? Will TPD then have to pay rent to VIVA South? Was this property offered on the open market or listed with a realtor in order to see if we could get more for it? If the city got more than $10,000 for the property, could that help offset the increased prices we've been paying for gas for our police vehicles? Will any council member bother to even think of these questions when this ordinance comes before them?
City elected officials are supposed to be the custodians of our tax dollars and our public assets. That means they don't make sweetheart deals with special interest groups for their own personal reasons. In today's market, this property may not truly be worth $213,500. But I can assure you it's worth more than the $10,000 proposed sale price and city council members should insist on getting fair market value for any public property it sells.
Another thought: since the proposed business on this property is a new credit union, it will be in direct competition with existing credit unions and banks. This means that the city, by offering the land at a fraction of the value, is subsidizing with tax dollars a new competitor to existing businesses already paying taxes. This is NOT business friendly!