Happy New Year! I guess it is time to see what our city will do concerning the purchase of the former Russell Sales Office. Personally, I do not think this to be a good move. I have not been convinced with the information provided this is a good move. The only way I could back such a proposal would be if the reported cost of $6.5 million to remodel the building were capped at $6.5 million. That will never happen because there has never been a remodel of an old building come in on time and on budget.
So here is what I say to the mayor and city councilmembers in favor of this proposal: If you think this is the best option for the city and are 100 percent behind this, then sign a personal guaranty for any expense over the $6.5 million and I am all for it. If you are not willing to sign a personal guarantee, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your commitment to the city.
The meeting I attended where this proposal was pitched insisted this would be a great investment for the city. My understanding of economics is when you make an investment, you expect a return. My opinion is this project will be a continual money pit. I can see my business taking another sales-tax hit when the funds dry up. Talking about investments what if Alex City put $9 million in an EDA initiative, unlike our current EDA, that actually recruited industry to come here. Now that is an investment I could get behind.
The citizens of Alex City deserve from our elected leaders at least one option other than the sales office for consideration. Thank you for your time.
Alex City business owner
De Opresso Liber