Ponzi figures city officials are on thin ice when they claim a private developer will be able to operate a new Robert Crown Center at no cost to taxpayers. He got out his scratch pad, not to be confused with his drawing pad, and concluded the project could end up costing taxpayers nearly $3 million a year.

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  1. Ponzi’s right

    It's been proven over and over and over again for years and years and years that privatization drives up costs. Private corporations exist to make a profit, not to benefit the public.

    1. I agree with you statement

      Private companies must make a profit.  The problem, the elected officials and their friends – have corrupted the system, giving union officials pensions for no work,   What I found most interesting in all the nonsense is these people some how think this is all legal? 

      That is because they passed the law – it alright to give someone a $100,000 pension for a day of work.

      I see the same attitude here with the council and Mayor because they pass a law or ordinance its Ok – ofcourse if it a cell phone ordinance we have to follow it and they don't, it they are stopped they don't get a ticket. 

      There is a fine line between theft and honest government, and finding public officials who are not here to help their friends and families appear few and far between.

      The unforunate issue is the rank and file employees are being blamed for the problems, that is the people that make $40,000 – $60,000 a year that work 40 hours a week.  Their  small pensions are not the issue, the pensions of the elected officials and their friends are the problem.  Also the millions and millions of dollars they have wasted and misused at all levels of government.

  2. As usual, a distorted view

    As usual, a distorted view from Junad Rizki.

    Some people already pay $140/hour to skate.  On the studio rink.

    There is a lot of room to raise prices from the current normal range of around $6.50-$7.50/hour.   Ice prices range from $5/hour to $20/hour nationally, so currently skating is cheap in an expensive location (not that I am complaining.)

    The city does nearly no marketing of the Crown Center's products (many sessions are overcrowded anyway).  Presumably private management would market, which should lead to vastly increased demand.  Revenue from skaters should more than double.  Additional seating will lead to more than double ticket sales and the availability of a second ice surface will allow hosting of major events.  Advertising sales would go up.  Currently skaters travel to other towns for pro shop services.  An onsite proshop will bring in sales tax dollars.

    Energy and maintainance costs for the current facility are absurd.  It would be hard for the new building to not do better.  Staffing levels and accounting practices also have considerable room for improvement. 

    If you assume $35,000,000 capitol costs (where did that come from?) then the annualized cost of capitol should be more like $2,000,000 than $3,500,000.

    Current anual losses for the ice facilities are closer to $200,000 than $400,000.  Some of that is due to scholarships for the poor.

    Do not forget the economic impact to surrounding businesses if Crown is closed instead of replaced.  

    1. Distorted view? Taxpayers are already footing the Bill!

      Have you been to the council meetings?  The city has already spent $50,000 for two studies, and now just approved another $150,000 to pay the developer to prepare a study.  Looks to me we have already used our tax dollars on this newest misadventure? 

      If this is such a profitable deal why aren't the developers jumping up and down?  At the last meeting Wally was already saying the city will lease space.  Council members were also saying they will hold the price on the ice rental.  So much for you idea of a private developer operating this facility. 

      Have you looked at the program, why would any developer build all those items with no chance to make a profit.  The city is already in the red.

      Since you believe I am so mistaken that this will not cost us taxpayers a dime, please show me your analysis or for that matter the city preliminary analysis that shows this is profitable.  Does not appear it exists , Wally crack economic development team could not do even a preliminary analysis? 

      By the way someone at the city already admit to me, we will be paying for this! Its interesting the Mayor and council members can't demand a preliminary analysis.  This is par for the course here, look at the Oakton development with the city economic planning – where were any real numbers?  Wally favored the developer option,  it appear to me it was the most costly with little real chance for us to get our tax dollars back.

      We have council members wanting to have a lease for a sports group with no real numbers, my estimate was the whole thing will cost taxpayers.

      By the way – don't get me wrong – I am not against spending money – it time this people act in a professional manner and do their home work.


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