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Friday, March 23, 2012

$285,000+ : Bang for the Buck???

I am just curious about whether most of you think the below structure looks like it is worth $285,000 - plus. I happened to find this at the City of Hickory Website - Union Square Pavilion Project. It is the structure being built on Union Square that has been heavily discussed on this blog. Below are artistic renderings of the project.

When you first heard of this structure, whether you are for or against it, is this what you envisioned? We have been told, as a community, that the Union Square area is meant to have a 1940s-1950s appeal as a quaint symbol of the bygone Downtown areas of that era. Does the look in these pictures fit with such a theme? And what about the functionality? Unless the renderings aren't representative of the structure, how is a structure with so many gaps going to keep out rain? I will give the benefit of the doubt that it may create a shaded area, but I want people to tell me how this $285,000 plus add ons and other expenses is going to improve the area?

The proof will be in the pudding when the structure is finally completed, but I will ask again, Was this the best way to spend this money? Is this going to improve the economics of Union Square? If the City wanted to do something like this, would it have not been better to have an open process and competitive bidding? Could we have not taken our time and implemented a more thorough and proper process and waited until next year, if the time was so short before this Farmer's market season started?... Instead of rushing to get something done in this fashion? And lastly, what is wrong with posing these questions?

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of December 20, 2011 -- Addendum on Union Square's largest Awning yet - $285,000

No Public Hearing for the Big Tent on Union Square
Hickory Farmer's Market questions the Big Tent on Union Square - March 17, 2012


Anonymous said...

Simple comment, ask the people who want it, to put up a performance bond/guarantee contract. (as in life, along with decisions comes accountability)

Silence DoGood said...

Certainly being responsible is an attribute among leaders. In this instance it was the people, through their elected representatives that have opted to have Pee Wee's Big Top made a fixture on Union Square. So in that regard, it is the people paying for it who have asked for it. Sure, I realize that there is a laundry list of things not done in regard to this 'space' that denies putting any of this on the public. Thus the futility of a performance bond. It's a floating canopy that is going flap in the breeze like so much horizontal sail cloth.

Anonymous said...

I think this is going to be great for downtown Hickory. The farmer's market is one of the best recurring events that happens in downtown and while this was not built specifically for the farmer's market, but it will go a long way in hopefully securing the farmer's market on Union Square, instead of a parking lot across the tracks. This structure will also enhance every other event that currently takes place in downtown. Can't wait to see the finished product!!

Anonymous said...

To call this a tent is an insult to tents everywhere. "Sally Fox's Big Top" has a nice ring and the name fits, considering she is the one who railroaded this glorified tarp through city council.

Anonymous said...

Those who speak so negatively get out of your chair and participate if you don't like what is going on. It is easy to throw stones at people for trying to do whats best for our community. Get in the mix if you don't like it and take some heat as a leader. And as for Sally Fox's Big Top these folks forget the 18+ years of here service to her community and without her we would not even have a Farmer's Market to begin with. One final note the people did not pay for the Big Top the funds came from the parking deck fund.

James Thomas Shell said...

I am just curious as to why it is being called a "Parking Deck Fund" if it has not been and is not being utilized to build a Parking Deck?

You do know that can be interpreted as a slush fund? When you are taking funds from a line item fund that was created for a specific item and utilize it for something that has nothing to do with the intended purpose.

James Thomas Shell said...

I do not slam Sally for her service. I vehemently disagree with her hyper focus towards Union Square. I do support Downtown, but not at the expense of every other part of this city.

Downtown is more than just the couple of blocks of Union Square and yet those with interest on Union Square have over time brainwashed people into thinking Downtown and Union Square are synonymous. And the talk about City Core.

The Economic Core of Charlotte is not focused on one single area in it's "Uptown." Look at the footprint or the footprint of Atlanta. And yet, we aren't allowing other parts of the center of Hickory to be developed, because we insist that it has to be Union Square.

I'd love to see Union Square flourish, but I don't think it is up to Hickory's treasury to ensure that success and I don't think that Hickory's treasury can ensure that success. It is up to the property owners and business owners to ensure the success of the Union Square area.

What is really funny is that many of my Republican Compatriots are the ones coming at me about this type of philosophy. They argue about Too Big Too Fail in Washington, but the same concept is fine and dandy here in Hickory.

James Thomas Shell said...

And I don't support the slam of calling this tent Mrs. Fox's. I didn't convey that.