Council Challenges Citizens to Speak Up – $3 Million of Tax Money to Be Wasted

There was an “update” on the Tuesday May 8, 2018 council agenda as to what progress has been made on putting in a park on the old Pardi Market site lot including a minimal amount of parking.
Phase 1 of this project will see $1.19 million spent to put in “pavers” rather than asphalt paving. The design and environmental report is projected to cost the city $600,000. The total cost of what has been termed a financial fiasco by some is $3 million. Outside fund raising has been a failure to this point according to city manager Jim Lindley.
Councilman Devon Minnema, who is running for supervisor in the 4th District in Solano County, has repeatedly called on his fellow councilmen to just sell the lot to private developers. In a retort, Scott Pederson, who is up for re-election this November, said “I have heard no one else ever say we should sell this lot.”
Former councils have indeed attempted to sell the lot including to a movie theater as well as a mixed use building proposed by Adam Ascher, who owns a building and apartments across the street from the lot, and former councilman Rob Salaber, who owns several buildings in the old downtown.
Councilman Ted Hickman, who is also up for re-election, has called this an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars and has surveyed residents informally including during last week’s May Fair. Hickman claims no one he has talked to supports this project with most uttering phrases such as “are they out of their minds?” Hickman wanted the simpler and cheaper solution of paving the entire lot.
The argument from city staff as offered up by city engineer Joe Leach is this lot can’t simply be paved as there are State Water Board requirements that all storm water must be retained at the site. Leach did not provide any documentation to that effect nor explained how any new development such as in the Northeast quadrant would not be using the existing storm water runoff drainage system.
Pederson claims an underground storage facility would have to be built at great cost.
Councilman Steve Bird now supports Pederson in “moving forward” with the project after having stated at a prior meeting that “the project needs to be scaled back” as he couldn’t support spending the $3 million.
Mayor Bogue also has been pushing for project but didn’t take a position other than to ask when the project will start. It is scheduled to go out to bid this fall.
As no one on the council has taken the initiative to do a formal survey or poll of the citizens of Dixon, the staff of the Independent Voice is giving you all a chance to voice your thoughts, positive or negative on the project.
You can contact editor Dave Scholl at 678-8917 or email him at staff@independentvoice.com, Michael Ceremello at 648-8575 or email him at 2rosebudd2@sbcglobal.net,
We will follow up on this with the results in a future issue – and that includes if no one responds. Isn’t it time to speak up so your thoughts will be heard? We at the Independent Voice aren’t afraid of the truth or to report it. Do your duty.

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