consultants are sandburs

Thursday, March 12, 2015

RAMSEY - That old deja vu, are you feeling it too?

July/August 2006 Ramsey Resident
online: This link
click the image to enlarge and read

Deja vu. All over again. Last time they solicited interest. There was none. Perhaps they also did a study - or funded one, and now that it is getting into sandbur season ...

More later. Perhaps.

Do note the physical locale - 68 acres west of Armstrong Blvd., and north of Highway 10.

Ramsey Crossings.

A large retail "power center."

The last large power center was Shaq, (not counting Dwight Howard who's almost there).

And they both happened. No thinking, maybe, kind of, let's see, let's hope; Field of Dreams visioning - Build it and they will come.

Consultants gotta pay the rent, the landlord expects that; and at least it is not a Darren bring-back ...

Refer, please, to this March 10, 2015, city council televised meeting agenda page, and wait and view the replay video on QCTV once it is posted (if not there already, readers can check that out on their own).

Directions first, for how to get to the "Future Ramsey Business Park":

And, 44 mb of download to get the pdf packet with the attachments. Part of a 583 page agenda. Snow in March. Plenty. In there, individual flakes, click on any you like

Yes, there could be more. However, the last image was left larger than the others because it begins,

In accordance with the Comprehensive Plan, an 18-inch sanitary sewer was be extended westward in Bunker Lake Boulevard a distance of approximately 2,750 feet. This line will provide service to the study area, as well as future development that may occur on the south side of Bunker Lake Boulevard, and could be further extended in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan.

The image to the left (from the City’s 2012 Comprehensive Sanitary sewer Study) depicts 18-inch trunk sanitary sewer extended to west of Armstrong Boulevard through the study area.

Alert readers will detect a substitute image was inserted. Go, download that file, and weigh that "In accordance with the Comprehensive Plan," city staff and council are compelled to plan a field of dreams at Ben Dover's expense because it is part of Met Council Comprehensive Plan mischief.

Gotta lay that sewer/water, then when business park plans fail, as they in all likelihood will, build more housing so Met Council can sell flushes. It is a nice world we live in and enjoy.

Go to City Hall. Ask, what businesses are interested in a Future Ramsey Business Park location, when/were it to happen? Ask them for a list. Do not expect a multi-page list. (Hint, be careful expecting a list of any kind whatsoever to such a simple request.)

Bolten & Menk have to pay the office rent. Ramsey has to plan sewer/water routing and it surely is better there along Highway 10 than down my street.

Losers in the likelihood that no business will be grown in the field of dreams and instead it will grow new townhomes? The owners of all those presently existing used town homes, when/if they want to sell.

Land speculation is not a proper city function, especially when a proper one, road maintenance, has been so problematic because of too many false priorities.

Land speculation is what the last vote for council demonstrated to be disfavored politics for City of Ramsey indulgence. So tell me, how does this new thing differ?

And where is the institutional memory, given the start of this post? An occasional Crabgrass reader who called all this nonsense to my attention noted one definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result. That, or Governmental Amnesia. Moving on --


That said, after you downloaded that 583 page extravaganza packet, and reviewed the Bolten & Menk stuff to your heart's desire (starting at p295 of 583 pages), then jump to p331 of 583 pages, and wow, another consultant weighs in, at Ben Dover's expense. Read it. Even though there's not much there but paid-for puffery. For a real hoot, cost sharing. Starting p.340 of 583 pages.

The City, Hageman Holdings, LLC and Pearson Properties of Ramsey, LLC shall equally share the cost of the Work with each party paying one-third, pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.

So, who picked Bolten & Menk? Three men in a tub?

And, in prudence, really, your town is not on the hook because of the reimbursement provision. Right?

The Owners shall reimburse the City for their respective one-third shares in a single, lump sum payment at the earlier of:

i. January 01, 2020.

ii. Within one week of closing on the sale of any parcel of the respective Owner’s land, or portion thereof, located within the Future Business Park area. Owners shall provide the City with notice of all pending land sales within the Future Business Park area. The notice shall be provided upon execution of a purchase agreement and shall include the closing date.

iii. The Owner submits an application for preliminary plat approval concerning land within the Future Business Park area.

There's more and more after that, if you care to study a new definition of "build it and they shall come" stupid. It is all there. In the flakes of the snow.

___________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Bolton & Menk, for money, will most likely produce a report saying it's all hunky dory and here's the detail as to infrastructure needs and projected cost.

So, who do you suppose will pay at least front money for that infrastructure? Pay that projected, or greater cost? See last image, above. When Peterson developed his cornfield up north on Highway 5 by Trott Brook, he fronted big time cash. Six million. The lion's share. Will those two LLC entities do the same? Which side of that question would you bet on, Ramsey public money, or private entrepreneurship? If it were posted in Vegas, how do you suppose they'd set the odds? And the engine behind sewer/water, Met Council, I did not read of their paying one single, solitary cent of the cost. But then in all those snow fall snowflakes, I might have missed something. Please, alert readers, post a comment telling me where in the 583 pages it says what Met Council's payment share in things will be. What part of the up-front risk will they be assuming? Isn't the rule that risk and rewards go together, as bedrock Capitalism 101. You don't socialize the risk. What's the best current definition of "private enterprise?"

___________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Why, again, was Bunker extended west of Armstrong and Puma Street paved in the first place?

Perhaps give Bolton & Menk a consulting contract to do a cost-benefit or wants-vs-needs retro-analysis of that governmental decision-making hummer.

Oh, right. Legacy Christians gave promises. That's it. Based on a promise, public money got spent north of where needed for the Armstrong interchange.

Then those folks went lukewarm on the promise.

The point? Dumping more money because of already sunk cash is not a compelling argument. Yet that seems to in part be the play. As with Town Center. Fund it to the hilt, and hope a lot, and puff the magic of it all.

As if there was something sound in all that past, invested planning. All at a cost.

It seems upkeep of existing roads for existing resident-voter-taxpayer people is a wedge-it-in-somehow thing, while planning growth for profit seeking landed interests is somebody's Nirvana. Put another way, how many times must Humpty Dumpty fall before it is time for an omelet and moving on to soundly address more legitimate government aims then welfare for land speculation?

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
What does this (p338 of 583 pages) say to you:


As the City of Ramsey knows, the cost of developing a business park can be significant and there are never any guarantees of a return on the investment. There are many factors to consider before investing in land and  infrastructure to attract industrial and commercial development.  However, there is an old saying in economic development: “You must have a site that is ready for development to be in the game".

Having a site that is ready to go or is "shovel ready" separates communities into winners and losers at the start of the site location process.  When the community is prepared with a site that is ready to accept development, the odds improve significantly that the community will receive a visit from a potential prospect.  In todays world, the competition is keen for economic development due to its impact on tax base, job creation and related income.  Communities with sites that are prepared are the ones who will achieve success.

For starters, a manure pile is "shovel ready," but aside from that, to me, the learned consultants take two paragaphs to say, "Build it and they shall come. Maybe."

What does any of that have to do with legitimate government provision of public goods, those that the private sector is not prepared to fund because there is no profit potential to it? Is fronting money for speculators hoping to profit anybody's notion of a public good? Aside from the speculator interests fanning the flames? Is it a public good to you, where you live, to have sewer and water brought to Hagedorn Hageman and Pearson properties? If so, please explain it in a comment.

FURTHER UPDATE: Secretary of State corporate filing records for the two LLCs, Pearson's and Hageman's respectively, are online here and here. Pearson is the Ramsey old-timer, his LLC being incorporated in 2004 with corporate headquarters at his Ramsey family farm property. Hageman is the outsider, at a St. Michael address, and apparently somehow came into title during the Legacy Christian Academy promise-then-splat times; (if not sooner). His LLC mentioned in agenda documents was first filed 2010.

Another big hoot. p345 of 583 pages, several paragraphs, including:

The City's vision statement reads, "Achieve economic vitality with strategic infrastructure investments through market-driven growth." This vision supports the City's exploration of bringing infrastructure improvements to this property in order to facilitate economic growth.

[italics in original]

What sort of 1984 double-speak is that? Speaking of a market driven goal, while this stuff is pushing on a rope tax money spending with no market driving it. Pearson and Hageman hopes may be a partial driving factor, but that's not buyer market, it is speculator market. And where's the frigging market, if there is no buyer present to accompany the wannabe profit-making seller hopefuls?

That page surely should have been left out, because as it stands it insults the intelligence of any citizen ferreting it out and reading it. It must be somebody's idea of a joke.


Know your EDA, you pay for it -- p352 of 583 pages:

click image to enlarge and see numbers

An ostensible two million dollar inventory of lands. Looking more to be a land orphanage. A drop site for those on the way out the door, out of town.

p367 of 563 pages: What "FUTURE EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES" is that image talking about. Is there some kind of misrepresentation of fact, or only an ambiguous representation of future possibility? Didn't the Legacy folks take a hike? Is it set to be one of John Kline's for profit student-debt mills? What? Expanding the tech college, even if non-contiguous, at least that might make some sense. But what is CBRE saying and what is their basis for saying it? Present zoning? Another wish-for, hope-for, but with no presently identifiable likely land occupant, for that purpose?

Cap it there. It appears the following agenda pages relate to land that the real estate agent is marketing, and the reasonable proposal that if a fish bites, you don't want it to spit the hook while waiting to be able to reel it in (aka the blanket pre-sale authorization of council by ordinance to bless such sales as CBRE might negotiate, while honoring Charter language. Something hanging together and making sense. Unlike Business Park spending which seems little more than anticipatory sky-dream waste and subsidy at this point.)

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