TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Thu, Feb. 20

Letter: Insidious cancer dubbed ‘corporate welfare’ running rampant

Editor:

Kudos to Eric Jurisin and Bob Backus for bringing the Cottonwood City Council and management to their senses before giving the store away and providing the Marriott hotel developer with substantial “corporate welfare” on the purchase of the prime City owned land parcel at Hwy. 89-A and 6th Street.

Sour grapes to the city for even considering this huge gift to a multi-million dollar developer. Fortunately, the Council saw the error of their ways, called the developer’s bluff, and refused to waive the $90,000+ in development fees. I was sorry to have missed this very important meeting as I was in the VVMC Emergency Department with my wife at that time.

And, wow wasn’t it amazing that the developer immediately caved to the City’s counter offer refusing to grant waiving of the fees. Why not, they are already getting a “sweetheart “ deal on the purchase price of just $4 per square foot, or $4,500 per room for this prime commercial site at the inresection of two of the City’s arterial streets.

Bet Andy Groseta, who questioned this price, would be unwilling to sell any of his land parcels at Hwy 89-A and Mingus Avenue or Verde Heights Drive for that equivalent price. It would be interesting to see longtime local commercial Realtors Dan Mabery, Phil Terbell, Rick Rosenzweig and Ray Selna weigh in on this deal.

The City Council and Management need to start doing a much better job of due diligence and negotiation on future sales of their excess properties and in agreeing to granting “corporate welfare” to developers.

The city is always strapped for cash to run it’s daily operations and fill unfunded critical police and fire positions. Why on earth would they ever even consider giving away almost $100,000 in critically needed income to a multi-million dollar developer?

Oh yes, the standard promise of their highly inflated, future economic benefit to the City. True, having a major branded project in our City is most welcome and will provide excellent benefit to the City in several ways. But, as demonstrated at the Council meeting that have many more reasons for choosing Cottonwood for their next hotel than securing “corporate welfare.”

Hey folks, the real estate recession is over in the Verde Valley and we will be seeing a great deal of more new commercial and residential development in our City. Cottonwood is finally on the map as a very desirable place to do business. We need to erect a large flashing sign erected on Hwy. 260 stating that Cottonwood is not a “corporate welfare” city.

Unfortunately, this insidious cancer dubbed “corporate welfare” is rampant in communities across the nation. It is “business as usual” in Metro Phoenix where each city is courting major developers and “sport moguls” to select their city for their proposed project or sports stadium.

The last thing we need is for Cottonwood to get into a “corporate welfare” battle with Camp Verde, Sedona, or the Prescott area cities over new development.

Bob Williams

Cottonwood

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