Friday, December 15, 2006

And now, a word from my Commissioner

My County Commissioner, Steve Mulroy, has asked me to pass this along to ALL of you in Shelby County:

A new issue has arisen re: Libertyland and we need your help once again. The Cooper Young Community Association has been sending emails to the City Council urging delay of next Tuesday's vote. As explained better below (see bottom of this email, after the City Council contact info), they want more information, but good answers to their questions are already available, and further delay could kill this deal.

BETWEEN NOW AND TUESDAY, WE NEED PEOPLE TO EMAIL THE COUNCIL AT THE EMAIL ADDRESSES BELOW TO OPPOSE DELAY. Calling Council members would be helpful as well. Please email or call regardless of where you live, but ESPECIALLY if you live in the Midtown or Cooper Young area, and BE SURE TO STATE THAT YOU LIVE IN MIDTOWN/COOPER-YOUNG.

Please send this to whoever you know in the Midtown/Cooper Young area. Thanks---Steve Mulroy

Please send your email to everyone on this list of City Council, staff, and media:

*************************************************************************************************************** s


Here is contact info if you are willing to call the Council:
CITY COUNCIL 125 N. Main St. 38103 576-6786
District 1 E. C. Jones 2920 Vista View St. 38127 358-2918
District 2 Brent Taylor 736 N. Ericson 38018 754-9085
District 3 TaJuan Stout Mitchell 3558 Acacia Dr. 38116 398-7408
District 4 Dedrick Brittenum, Jr.1161 E. Parkway S. 38114 725-9663
District 5 Carol Chumney 38 Charleston Sq. 38122 (901) 327-8528
District 6 Edmund H. Ford 194 Golf Club Cir. 38109(901)396-1555
District 7 Barbara Swearengen Holt 1636 Sydney St. 38108 458-9406
District 8, Pos. 1 Joe Brown 1024 Terry Cir. 38107274-8142
District 8, Pos. 2 Rickey W. Peete 915 N. McLean Blvd. 38107 278-7464
District 8, Pos. 3 Myron Lowery 66 Monroe Ave. 38103 382-8818
District 9, Pos. 1 Scott McCormick 8895 Hickory Trail Dr. 38018 753-6014
District 9, Pos. 2 Tom Marshall 5109 Greenway Cv. 38117 (901)767-1665
District 9, Pos. 3 Jack Sammons 208 Saint Albans Fairway 38111 (901)685-2002

Here is a sample letter which contains the info you need to address the issue:

I am a resident of Cooper Young/Midtown writing to urge you to APPROVE the amusement park deal this Tuesday WITHOUT DELAY. An op-ed in Friday's Commercial Appeal (attached) explains why the deal is good for Memphis. I know the Cooper Young Association has proposed a delay to get more information about the T-Rex Amusements Company, but a delay would be bad for three reasons:
(a) since the company needs time to prepare to open next spring, moving this to early next year could kill the deal;
(b) the questions raised by the CYCA have simple answers which are available to the Council this Tuesday (see below); and
(c) the property has been vacant, attracting vermin and vandals, long enough.

Rather than seeing the property vacant, I'd like to see $5 million in investment for a public purpose compatible with the overall recreation theme of the Fairgrounds.

Answers To The CYCA's Questions

1. T-Rex does not have significant "financial problems." The City has done due diligence on the company, and determined that it is financially sound and well able to afford the $5 million in investments contemplated in the letter of intent. Administration official Robert Lipscomb can confirm this. Nor are the deficits experienced this past year in Joyland amusement park, the defunct park revived this past spring by T-Rex, particularly dismaying. As anyone in the amusement park business will tell you, it often takes several years for an amusement park to be profitable.

2. Robert Barnard of T-Rex can explain, the "ownership squabble" referenced in the editorial concerns a claim by the private landowners who sold T-Rex the land on which Joyland was built. The lawsuit was dismissed. The landowners suing T-Rex noted in a public statement, "It is unfortunate that this delay occurred, and (it) should in no way reflect poorly on the T-Rex Group." See article

3. The concerns raised about late night parties at Joyland are not relevant here. T-Rex has indicated that it does not intend to hold such parties in the Memphis amusement park, which will not be open any later than Libertyland was. Robert Barnard of T-Rex can confirm this.

4. It is not a problem that T-Rex has the option to purchase during the 3-year lease. The contract will provide that if it exercises this option and later decides to sell the property, the City will have the right of first refusal, and can thus prevent it from being used for a purpose it doesn't like. This is the same as with the recent Kroc Center deal, which mirrors the Libertyland deal in many ways.


Fernandes said...

I don't see the need to rush into this. I live across the street from CMOM and would like to hear all the options that are available for the Libertyland property. I think this area of Midtown is more suited to a large park with playgrounds, public art, walking/running paths, etc. My family would use something free like that much more than paying for amusement. There is no large park that is in walkable/cycling distance to serve Cooper Young or Orange Mound or Buntyn/Joffre.

I would much rather see a public space than a corporate space.

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