The ACA Anchor building grant of $500,000 and DCED's review of same, and Gro-Warren have come screaming back into the headlines over the past weeks.
First DCED released it's "confidential and secret" report to the city. Then city council met (without Mayor Mark Phillips) and hired special legal counsel to litigate Gro-Warren. All of this created a good deal of speculation.
I personally commend councilmen John Lewis for having the courage to release the report to the media so all citizens can know the truth. We all have a right to know!
So the city is finally going to sue Gro-Warren. I say finally because I have been telling them for many months that there was no other choice. However, let's not get overly optimistic about recovering any funds. First, most insurance companies don't cover stupidity. Secondly, there will be lots of legal fees deducted from any settlement. In the end, it will be the taxpayers who foot the bill for this party, and what a party it was.
The real shame is that you the people haven't gotten the opportunity to see the many contracts and the Granddaddy of them all, the KDA Redemption Agreement, being peddled by Mayor Mark Phillips and city manager Jim Nelles. The contracts and agreements were nothing less than a grand scheme to cover-up this whole mess and pretend the $500,000 never existed to begin with.
If you recall, the Main Street board of directors were threatened with legal financial responsibility for this whole mess, when in fact, this board wasn't even in existence when all the hanky panky was happening.
Let's review the entire mess. $500,000 needs to be repaid with little to nothing to show for it. The contractor is still out there and owed some $300,000+. A major local corporation is out $250,000 with no sign of recovering those funds. Several residents lost investments totaling well over $100,000. The buildings remain unfinished and a tax sale looms in the very near future. It's one big mess!
Now hark back to the letter to the editor Mayor Mark Phillips had the audacity to submit months ago when this mess started to become headlines.
It didn't add up then and doesn't add up now, both figuratively and literally.
Now city council is placed in the awkward position of having to meet in executive session without the mayor as they take action against the mayor.
Mayor Mark Phillips, it is well past the time for you to resign! We don't need to wait for the grand jury to say what we already know. The contracts and KDA agreement said it all 7 months ago.