Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Heated words, again, in council about North Shore -- time is up! - Heated Words Over North Shore Amphitheater: "Heated Words Over North Shore Amphitheater"
Great story from KDKA TV News. Good job citizens!

It is fifth, or sixth down. Steelers play football. They know that they only get fourth down. They punted. Time ran out. The clock has been at 00:00, time expired, for more than a year.

We should demand a new bid process. An OPEN BID process. Seek bids, not private deals from behind smoke filled rooms.

We don't need the Steelers to get a kickback from PA Governor Rendell again.

Good job KDKA and great job citizens.

Want to hear the public hearing, click the button below. The first part, a presentation from SEA boss, Mary C, was not included. This starts as the councilmembers question her after her presentation. Then come the citizens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― There were heated words today over the development between PNC Park and Heinz Field.

At stake are the fate of a new hotel and a new amphitheater.

The Steelers say they're just about ready to go on both the hotel and the amphitheater; but opponents say they've already blown their deadlines and no longer have rights to the land.

And to get those rights back -- critics say the Steelers and the Pirates will need to pay.

In a packed City Council chambers the issue was whether the Pirates, Steelers and their developers have moved too slowly and lost their rights to develop the land between the stadiums.

The Steelers and Continental Development say they're ready to go forward with this Hyatt Place Hotel; and close to being ready to move on an amphitheater but Councilman Bill Peduto says time is up.

"The termination of the option agreement with the Steelers and the Pirates became effective in July 2007," said Peduto.

Peduto and members of an organization called Northside United want the option on the land to be renegotiated or put up for open bid.

They also want something called a Community Benefits Agreement guaranteeing the neighborhood jobs and money.

But Stadium Authority Director Mary Conturo says that could be a problem.

"We could fight the legal issue to the end," said Conturo. "Basically, that would mean protracted litigation. That would mean no development during that period -- that would be there would be a risk about what the outcome would be."

And Peduto argued that extending the option to the ballclubs has its own drawbacks.

"If you push the non-sensical approach of trying to extend a terminated contract these people are going to sue you," said Peduto.

The Steelers had no comment but have maintained that they still have the option on the land for the building of both the amphitheater and the hotel but also coming under fire was a court-sanctioned agreement which appears would give the Steelers the arena site for $1 million, which Northside United called well-below market value.

"We hope that through this hearing and through your action council will shed some light on what's happened and stop these kinds of backroom deals from happening in the future," said Sam Williamson, of Northside United.

Now as part of that court agreement with Don Barden and the Majestic Star Casino, the Steelers are also agreeing to pay for $2 million dollars in traffic improvements.

Meanwhile, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato says his primary concern is that development move forward.