Welcome to the Coatesville Dems Blog

Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

National Velodrome Center LP special RDA meeting in Coatesville

National Velodrome Center LP special RDA meeting in Coatesville

The National Velodrome Center is coming along very well. The first discussion concerning the National Velodrome Center on the RDA’s agenda came at the “Citizen’s comments on agenda items”.

Citizen’s Comments
Mr. John Pawlowski, “I for one, as a Coatesville citizen endorse that program wholeheartedly and I say that, urging the RDA not to make some of the mistakes that to me were made in the past. When you have a good person who wants to buy that…don’t pass it up.  I saw a rendering of the outside of the building and I think that would make, that part of Coatesville. It would force that part of Coatesville to improve itself. It would force downtown to become something special."
Mr. Jim Pitcherella, “I used to live in Lehigh County and I know what the Velodrome means there, to the people there. It’s been there about 20 years. The school kids get involved with the bike racing and all kinds of stuff about bicycles. And like I said at the City Council meeting; It might be possible one day that we have an Olympic champion come out of Coatesville High School as a bike racer, it could happen.”
Ms. Marie Hess. “I went to college in Berks County, Kutztown. I saw the positive results of the Velodrome in Lehigh County. I think we need something like this in Coatesville to bring positive change to our system and like Mr. Pitcherella said we have plenty of athletes here in this City that could do something else, that we could have our kids look forward to in Coatesville.”
Ms. Lorrie Root, “I strongly support the Velodrome… My son races professional BMX races as well as Motor Cross. This would open up not only opportunities for the kids to go into something besides basketball in Coatesville. It would open up opportunities for bicycle shops, a whole wealth of other businesses that would follow right along. The visitors we’d have here that would come as a result of this and the races are huge when they happen. It would be a diverse group of people from all over the United States, bringing their money here to spend in our stores, our little restaurants. I think that would be a very, very wonderful thing for us to have."
Kadisia Almein, “I would just like to say that I want the Velodrome as well. They pretty much summed it all up; it would be good for the children, it would be good for the town and it would bring a lot of opportunities..”
Next to speak was the RDA Solicitor, Patrick O’Donnell, “The proposal is for a purchase option agreement….It comes down to just shy of 25 acres. I says ‘within the next 90 days they will have access to the property, access to our records and access to various other things so long as they produce certain insurance documentation to us and agree to hold us harmless from any damages or labiality.
That they will place a $10,000 escrow, if you will, upon signing this agreement. The $10,000 will be refundable in the event that the deal doesn’t go anywhere. In the event that we do reach an agreement of sale and the agreement of sale has to be mutually agreed to, then the $10,000 will become a deposit on the agreement of sale.
In short, you get a 90 day time period for property examination and the development of an agreement of sale. The development of the agreement of sale will address questions like, what conditions or contingencies have to be in the agreement, whether or not, for instance, Act 2 closure is required or various other things…
The major question in this is, what do we do in the 90 days? We had a lot of Council discussions about this…The current version that we’re asking you to consider is that the parties may look at alternatives so that the RDA could for instance look at alternative users of the Flats and the Velodrome organization could look at alternative sites.
But we have a mutual promise in here, first that we’re going to use our best efforts to accomplish the purposes of the agreement. And secondly that if one party or the other decides that it wants to pursue some other option, let’s say that the Velodrome people where offered a deal on a piece of property someplace else or let’s say that the RDA was offered a deal to acquire the flats. Then our agreement is we expose that to the other side. There’s a time period that we and they can continue to look at other prospects.
And those of you that are enthusiastic supporters of the Velodrome should know that the way this is currently written, for technical reasons it was very difficult to reach an agreement with respect to just to stand still and that this seemed to be a better choice.
Because just as we sometimes get unsolicited proposals, they sometimes get unsolicited proposals and we wanted an option that allowed us to look at that, but that if we were going to pursue that, we have to let the Velodrome know; where if the Velodrome gets an offer that they intend to pursue they have to let us know and then we have 14 days within which the parties can attempt to make an equivalent offer…
One of the problems in this is, in this agreement there’s no stated penalty. If somebody cut a deal and didn’t disclose that to the other side until the deal was cut, you’d we left in a legal limbo. But I think our feeling is that the National Velodrome people have indicated their complete intent to proceed with this and we indicated to them our complete intent to try to make the deal happen.”
 Next to speak was the solicitor for the National Velodrome LP, Mr.Jonathan Jordan, “First of all we’d like to thank everybody that came out and expressed support for us. We didn’t orchestrate that and we were pleasantly surprised.  Similarly Mr. O’Donnell did a great job of summarizing this agreement.
We just want to get started towards a real properly advanced agreement with you and this is the best way for us to go about that… In the first sentence of paragraph nine, I think we’re better off saying, ‘we’re working in good faith’ instead of using ‘best efforts’…
Essentially, I think you’re right. Everyone wants to work toward the same goal, that will open up a dialogue so that we can hopefully get to an agreement and that’s what this is all about.”
Real estate developer, Mr. Crosby Wood was asked what the status of the project, “We are working very closely with our architects to determine the exact costs and structure of the building. One of the issues that we are confronting is how much subterranean work that we have to do. How much below ground level. So one of the reasons that we’re really looking at the Flats carefully is to determine just how far we might have to go or be able to go down. We’re also looking now at possibly putting it on a slant so that we wouldn’t have to go down at all.
These are some of the issues that we want to confront. And I think we’ve come a long way since the last time we were here with our architects in terms of design of the building. The first design was more expensive than we thought it needed to be. So we’ve come back to a simpler building but also one that we think will fit very much into the community here. And I think we’ve worked a lot with CCDC in getting their advice on some of the possible funding sources for us and so on.
We’re just moving forward… Our goal is to fast track this and get if moving as quick as we can and hopefully be part of the effort to redevelop the area. And we really appreciate everybody that came. We’re surprised, pleased, that some of the citizens are really aware of this and are interested in it. And all the things that you said are definitely going to be part of the plan. We’re very excited about the possibility to move forward."
Mr. Wood was asked about the large pile of dirt.
Mr. Wood, “It might probably help…The depth to water table is an average, I believe of…about 10 feet down, it’s 7 to 15 feet…On our preliminary plan we had the infield sitting about 22 feet in the ground and that didn’t even take into consideration the tunnel that is under that’s underneath that to get into the infield.
So that is one example of how we’re kind of shifting gears both from a cost perspective as well as from a water table perspective. We are kind of coming to grips with the idea that it’s either we are going to be dealing with water or rock.
So if we can take that dirt and actually use it to build up a base and now all of a sudden instead of like 10 feet of earth we can use, now we got maybe 20 feet of earth that we can work with to raise the building up and also to give us the base that we intend to set the Velodrome into. We’re working on all kinds of different parts as far as how to make this cost effective…
The most recent version..is to make it reminiscent of the steel mill area where you basically have a large building reminiscent of a some of the steel mills…more esthetically pleasing and then basically building the infrastructure within the capsule itself… It’s exciting and I think that option is much more cost effective…It’s kind of a skin or whatever and then we basically build it up inside from there.”
Mr. David Chauner, “One other thing that I would add…is that there has been particularly in the last 2 months a lot of buzz about this indoor velodrome coming to the East Coast and specifically to Pennsylvania amongst the cycling community. I know you people were here, you’ve heard about it.
We’ve been trying to keep it fairly quiet because we don’t want to have any false starts..We’ve had several articles in the paper every time we do.. The velodrome’s going to happen/maybe it’s not going to happen and so it’s important for us to move quickly and then make a decision and be able to then release the information properly to the cycling world in particular..
I have been in contact with Steve Johnson who’s the CEO of “USA Cycling” and they are going to designate the Velodrome as a national training and development center..He’s willing to come here for a press conference when we’re ready to make that announcement. Which I think would be a real shot in the arm for everybody. It would certainly help us in our marketing to get the word out.
But again that’s the kind of thing we have to hold off on until everything is firmed up and solid. We don’t want to do a false start.
We’re quite excited about it. I was actually up at the Trexlertown Lehigh Valley Velodrome on Saturday; at the swap meet up there. I was talking to them and I spoke to Marty Nothstein who is head of the Velodrome up there and a good friend of mine and he’s very enthusiastic about and said, we’re definitely with them when we do our grand opening or press conference we’ll have him down here. An Olympic Gold Mentalist from Sidney…
There’s just a lot of great things that will come to pass when we’re ready to release the information and really get going here…
As Crosby said our goal is to really create a great working relationship with the community and make this a real source of pride for Chester County, for Coatesville in particular and I think you’ll be amazed at how much it will do for the community and for the State in general.
Other people can do the ball parks and soccer stadiums, we’ll have the velodrome here and that will be really neat and great.”
There was a sort of general discussion:
There was a question about a drawing in the RDA packet. In it the Velodrome seemed to have the entire Flats property reserved for the velodrome.
Mr. Wood’s answer, “That was actually an original drawing I think created.. 5 years ago when they originally came here…There should be another one….which does not have any of those sites, it just has a very simple kind of rendition of just where we intend to put the actual velodrome…
The general strategy honestly is that we’d like to…move forward…one section and build the velodrome and create a public-private kind of relationship where we can build out the rest of the Flats. So that it’s marketable, so it’s a win-win. We can help you invision how the whole flats is going to look. We can help to bring those future businesses in and you guys can further benefit from that, rather than the current state that it’s in right now.
We need to find relationships that are kind of inversely related when it comes to parking usage. Because on some nights…we’ll need 700-800 spaces, but most of the time we’re only going to need 100 -150 spaces on a regular basis.
So if we had…another…few business in there, we can talk more about that..they can further stimulate…the economy in this community; it will work for us."
Mr. Ted Reed, “You’ll definitely will need the north side of the bridge for parking." Mr. Wood, “There’s no question…We also have interest in talking to you about the parking lot where you have the busses across the street…We would be interested in that as well.
We are open for parking for office…We would be interested in developing a relationship with that too…I know that we’ll attract the businesses, the office needs to fill that building, revitalize that building and generate again more business in the community. And we’d like to be involved in that."
Mr. Reed asked the about bicycling with ramps. Mr. Chauner, “It’s called BMX racing and it was introduced into the Olympics for the first time, this last time."
Mr. Reed, “Will that be part of your project?” Mr. Chauner, “It definitely can be and we’d like it to be. The question is where? And how we would locate that? Our overall plan or concept is best realized if we can make this a multi-dimensional cycling facility. There are basically several disciplines to cycling, track racing or velodrome racing is one…BMX racing and mountain bike racing. There’s potential to develop all those elements in this area. Maybe not all in the site of the Flats but going up the bicycle path trail that you already have planned. Acreage up there could be developed as a mountain bike park a BMX track. There is just a lot of options that if we come here and obviously we’re here doing it makes a lot of sense for the next phase to try and develop some of those.
We’re definitely interested in that. We’ll try not to bite off more that we can chew…but phase, if you will, phase 2 and phase 3…As long as we develop a great working relationship with you guys right out of the gate and get the velodrome up and running, then we’ll be in constant communication with you guys moving forward…We’ll definitely do some more things and kind of go beyond a track site to develop literally a destination for Olympic training on the East Coast or in the whole Nation possibly."
A question was asked if they had other municipalities interested, Mr. Wood, “We have, we’ve been approached by Caln Township. We’ve had discussions over the last couple of years. I’d say that our focus right now is totally on this location, this site and if we can come to an agreement, this is where we want to be.
Interest is one thing, being able to really make it work for all parties is a whole other thing. We had looked at some very exciting properties in another location but there was just too much, too many hurtles to cross to make those happen economically. I think this is certainly at the top of the list.”
Mr. O’Donnell, “I just want the board to understand. I think this is a wonderful project but we don’t have item 1 for the agreement of sale…There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip as my mom used to say…There’s a lot of work to be done in that 90 days to make this come to fruition…"
Mr. Reed, “One of the things that concern me here, Mr. O’Donnell, is the plan was to have the agreement in place tonight so that we could take it to the City Council on Monday and have the City Council hopefully approve it as the velodrome presents it to the Council for the first time. Although I believe the Council is very much aware of this project. But if you’re saying that this agreement is not in final form.”
Mr. O’Donnell, “In my view, City Council doesn’t have to approve this. City Council would have to approve the agreement; It’s good for the City Council to do that but they will as part of this; the agreement within this is (that) the City Council has to approve the agreement of sale which is the document we have 90 days (to develop). This document could be ready for signatures tomorrow."
Mr. Reed, “Would the Board be amenable to authorize the Solicitor and the Chairman of the Board to finalize the agreement for signature tomorrow to present to City Council… Well I really would like to give this into the City Council with their Friday packages. So they have the weekend. I don’t want to give it to them Monday night because that isn’t enough time.."
Mr. O’Donnell, “I’ll have it out of my office by 8:00 am tomorrow.”
There was a unanimous vote to authorize the signature of the “Purchase Option Agreement”

No comments:

Post a Comment

You can add your voice to this blog by posting a comment.