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Thread: Preserving open or assembly space in the town center

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    The Cheese State
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    Donating money to help build a park does not give an individual or a company a say in how that park will be used. If Miller donates $100,000 to the city for the park*, they will not be able to come back later and say that they do not want a particular group to have the right to meet there. The parallel might be if you were to donate money to the Occupy Movement or to the NRA you would not then be in a position to dictate to them on the issues they could support or protest. You are making a donation - either for a general campaign or for a specific action item. In the same way, someone may choose to give $50 to help build the park, or they may give $50 to help pay for a specific item in the park.

    * There is a difference here in making a donation versus selling the naming rights, such is often done for sports stadiums. In that case it is not a donation, but rather a financial transaction in which the "buyer" may receive advertising and potentially an exclusive right to sell their products at the stadium. That approach has not been suggested for this plaza.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #27
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    Appleton, WI
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    There is a system in place to finance public improvements in increments of, as you say $50.00. It's called taxes.

    Far from being against taxing the rich I think its time has come.

    But we all know what a flap being in favor of taxing the rich causes. Or basing real estate taxes on land rather than dilapidated properties (real estate) standing on the tax rolls at a 30 year old rate rather than being progressive with the value of the land.

    This is not as far afield as it might seem, though I am introducing another way to a revenue stream. If it were not for these begged- for donations (to paraphrase one of the aldermen with regard to the Community Development Co-ordinator) then a minimum upkeep would maintain as it would with any of our other parks. The city's investment of the original dollar amount to maintain the space should be sufficient. If it is not then let a referendum be put forward. What this does is take "stake holders" out of the picture. Who owns the city parks? Bar owners and hotel managers and the like are assuming they do. I make no such assumption.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
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    Appleton, Wisconsin
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    4,172
    Quote Originally posted by loninappleton View post
    There is a system in place to finance public improvements in increments of, as you say $50.00. It's called taxes.

    Far from being against taxing the rich I think its time has come.

    But we all know what a flap being in favor of taxing the rich causes. Or basing real estate taxes on land rather than dilapidated properties (real estate) standing on the tax rolls at a 30 year old rate rather than being progressive with the value of the land.

    This is not as far afield as it might seem, though I am introducing another way to a revenue stream. If it were not for these begged- for donations (to paraphrase one of the aldermen with regard to the Community Development Co-ordinator) then a minimum upkeep would maintain as it would with any of our other parks. The city's investment of the original dollar amount to maintain the space should be sufficient. If it is not then let a referendum be put forward. What this does is take "stake holders" out of the picture. Who owns the city parks? Bar owners and hotel managers and the like are assuming they do. I make no such assumption.
    The problem with your idea of 'progressively' increasing property tax rates like that is called 'Grand Chute' (and all of the other suburbs, especially the townships). The property owners, especially businesses, will just flee to them, devastating the city's tax base. So is life in the state with the highest number of units of local government with taxing authority to population ratio of all fifty USA states.

    As for the plaza itself, the original Houdini plaza http://binged.it/MehJOC the 'square' area on the left in that image, did not exist 30 years ago. In 1980, the part north of the 'alley' was solid buildings with a three story high 'streetwall' of some very interesting facades. I was sad to see them go. The south half of the block, where that five story office building is now, was the city's pvblic library (the north part of the east third of that half of the block), with the rest being a combination of a drive up bank and a parking lot. Years earlier, the very interesting old YMCA was also on that block. Soldiers Square (that 'square' area to the right) was a grungy back alley and parking area. It is called 'Soldiers Square' because of the Civil War memorial statue on the west end of that block.

    I have no problem with the Houdini name, either. In fact, the Appleton Area School District has a 'Houdini Elementary School', it is a short distance northwest of the city in a suburban township (Grand Chute Twp.).

    I agree on Soldiers Square, that area has very good potential, which was only partially realized in the 1986 plaza construction.

    BTW, my current residence is only a couple of blocks away from there and I can easily hear the music from the Thursday evening Houdini Plaza concert series though the windows here.

    -----------------------

    As for a city's early history tie-in 'mindless, unattainable within the foreseeable future' brainstorm, I've bounced the idea around in my mind of using power from the river (lots of very small hydro power plants still operate on the river in the central city area) to run at least part of the transit system by way of 'trackless' trolleybuses. Five transit systems in the USA still use them - Boston MBTA; Dayton, OH; Philadelphia SEPTA; San Francisco MUNI and Seattle.



    Mike

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