E.L. City Council discuss future Park District plans at Tuesday meeting
A large audience filled City Hall’s Courtroom 2, 410 Abbot Road, Tuesday night as City Council began their work session with discussion on the future of the Park District.
East Lansing Downtown Management Board Chairman Douglas Jester and Community and Economic Development Administrator Lori Mullins presented the work of the Park District Proposal Review Committee, as well as its recommendation of DTN Management Co. and Lurvey White Ventures.
In a 3-2 vote, a proposed schedule was approved that includes interviews with the developers at a special work session on June 25 prior to the regular work session, discussion at a city council meeting with a public hearing, more discussion and predevelopment agreement at another work session, and a selection of a developer on August 6.
Financial reputation and transparency of the developers were hot button topics between council members. According to City Attorney Tom Yeadon, much of the financial discussions happens behind closed doors and cannot be publically revealed.
East Lansing Mayor Pro Tem Nathan Triplett – with agreement from council member Kathleen Boyle and East Lansing Mayor Diane Goddeeris – said the council had enough information to move forward. However, Triplett asked for increased council interaction with the Park District Proposal Review Committee at future meetings.
Council member and former East Lansing mayor Victor Loomis disagreed with the trio of Triplett, Boyle and Goddeeris, stating that he was not comfortable with the limited amount of information available to council.
“My point is, before this city moves forward with anyone, that there is some pretty in-depth financial analysis done,” Loomis said.
Loomis recommended the council refer the proposal back to the Park District Proposal Review Committee because they have more access to financial information. Loomis also mentioned Urban Cultural and Arts District LLC as a good resource because of their commercial success in Mid-Michigan. His proposal did not pass.