Vegas Gambler

Ashland, KY

#2 Sep 27, 2017
How appropriate that Pullem initiated this taxpayer gamble while spending taxpayer money on a trip to Vegas!

You are right in your opinion Overseer, not the right man at the right time. He and the Commissioners don't know what they are doing but feel the need to stroke their egos by doing something.

This debt will be a burden to the citizens for 20 years and quite possibly doom any future hope for Ashland when we are stuck with the long term bond debt without downtown success.

Fools rush in!

And how in the world did Eastwood set the treatment plant on fire? Water outages, businesses being driven out of business due to his poor planning and oversight, and now treatment plant fires. Glad his new departmental digs are on schedule.

Why do we always do this to ourselves Ashland? Is there a common sense gene missing in Eastern KY?

Most would rather have a hurricane hit than employee Eastwood, the results are the same but we don't pay salary, benefits, and insurance for the hurricane. Eastwood will take us to third world status soon.
Optimistic For Ashland

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Sep 28, 2017
To be able to attract more business, and more money into the downtown area, something had to be done to restore this landmark building. Ever been to Pikeville? Their downtown had been rejuvenated and is thriving. They took some chances, which have paid off. The hotel has been an eyesore and a liability to the City of Ashland. Mr . Spiros and Mr. Nizzo own properties all over, and are very highly regarded. They run a quality a operation and I know this personally. Glad to see an investment like this is being made. REBUILD ASHLAND. An addition of Marriott will enhance our quality of life and boost local retail business. Hopefully, we can see an infusion of office exposures once again in the downtown. Better to see suits from Braidy walking our streets than junkies. Inaction on the hotel undoubtedly would have led to further decay and would have been the kiss of death for local business. HOPE and EXCITEMENT are in the air!
Realistic for Ashland

United States

#4 Sep 28, 2017
Nice post Optimistic. I am sure you are in Build Ashland, the city's propaganda arm. I was recently on 29th St, and it didn't give me hope that the city is capable of doing this parking garage. I hope I am wrong. I have little confidence in our Econ dev, but am hopeful the new city manager can see through any shams. Paper says $2 million extra needed for pensions next year. But without junkies and only suits on Winchester, the non profits can close down and save the city their annual begging.
Optimistic For Ashland

Philadelphia, PA

#6 Sep 28, 2017
Actually, I'm a business owner in. Ashland. Have employees and pay a good deal of tax and fees to this city and state. Also a lifelong resident. I know the city has problems. But my family and I are INVESTED in this city. I want my children and grandchildren to have a future here. Ashland does have its share of problems. That started when Ashland Inc. moved and took $750 million in payroll out of the area. At one time Armco had over 5,000 people employed as well. We've had huge financial hits as a community. Either we take a gamble and bet on growth, or just allow the current decay to erode what's left. With all of this conversation, I haven't heard any ideas on how to attract employers to this city. Quality people want to locate in progressive areas. Which is also a big problem here. We need to drag ourselves into this century, and adapt so we can survive. Our city has to entice and facilitate new ventures to locate here. Once that's happened, maybe the drug plague will subside.
Vegas Gambler

Ashland, KY

#8 Sep 28, 2017
Yea, we are like Pikeville. Maybe Pullem can spend the money in his inflated economic development budget to pay a medical school to locate here.

His entire idea of economic development is to pay people to open a business in Ashland whether through CDBG, city budget, or borrowing via bond.

These will fail once they spend the money because it is a terrible business plan. Focus should be on creating an environment to help existing business prosper and grow while also attracting new business. We would be better served by taking out bonds to finance infrastructure like water lines.

The above statement "government shouldn't risk taxpayer money by investing in private business" and also "government shouldn't pick winners and losers in private business" are so true.

Our economic development strategy can't be to let an inexperienced and incompetent economic development director throw our money away on a flawed philosophy of using tax money to bribe businesses to locate in Ashland.

Since: Jul 17

Location hidden

#10 Oct 3, 2017
A friend of mine pointed out that the $18.6 million is only the money we borrow for the hotel renovation, parking garage, and convention center.

He amortized the bond note over the 20 years and determined the payback will be about $28 million at today's interest rate (which will readjust periodically, usually upwards).

The citizens will pay the lenders about 9.3 million dollars. Do you guys understand why the bond attorney pushes this type of debt yet? Everyone makes money but the citizens and they simply get stuck with all the risk. Remember, we will pay the $28 million back regardless of the success of the hotel, TIF district or anything else.

Anyone wish we had someone that could negotiate a better deal yet?

Bladensburg, MD

#12 Nov 14, 2017
Good for the Gander wrote:
I see the commission voted to take the old Ashland OIl building off the hands of the bank.

Gilmore envisions a parking garage conference center which will attract medium to small conferences to the area and create a grand new downtown for shopping and doing business.

We all wish that would happen but it seems the odds are more toward spending a LOT of taxpayer money buying, demolishing, and building a garage/conference center then having it sit empty like so many other grand idea projects we have had in the past. Unfortunately, the debt to the taxpayer will remain even if Mr. Gilmore's vision proves erroneous.

I would feel a lot better if the Commissioner's put some of their own money into these risky projects instead of ours. It is easy to gamble other people's money and then walk away from the table if it doesn't work out.
I like 🐢 s.
make it n u take it

Huntington, WV

#13 Nov 21, 2017
Pullem must have gotten the hotel development strategy from Gov. Bevins.

The taxpayers of Kentucky own over 20% of Braidy Industries too and they won't even tell us where the money is going or who is invested in the project. Bouchard reminds me of the old story by Stephen King called Needful Things.

You are right Overseer, taxpayer money shouldn't be gambled on investing in private investment. Watch both of these projects closely.
get it right

Ashland, KY

#14 Nov 21, 2017
Taxpayers own 1% of Braidy. And, it is Governor Bevin. Geez.
Creative finance

Ashland, KY

#16 Nov 21, 2017
The 1% quote was disputed and attributed to Bouchard's fuzzy optimistic math from an op-ed piece.

Quoted from October 9, 2017 U.S.A. Today: " Following media requests for public records about the deal, the state released documents that identified only two investors and said both owned at least 20 percent of the company. Braidy Industries and the State of Kentucky"

The State of KY says it owns at least 20% of Braidy at this point.
Creative finance

Ashland, KY

#17 Nov 21, 2017
Interesting article that explains why many feel you shouldn't invest taxpayer money in private projects.

A lot of strange unanswered questions about Brady and the hotel.

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