Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Development plan dodges block

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Some members of Cincinnati City Council tried to throw up roadblocks to a plan to give increased power to an independent development authority Monday, but the proposal seems headed for passage when the full council meets on Wednesday.

Most controversial is the recommendation of a blue-ribbon mayoral task force to create a Cincinnati Development Authority - with the power to take land by eminent domain and issue bonds.

Vice Mayor Alicia Reece said City Council should submit the proposal to voters as a referendum, and Councilman David Crowley asked for a second public hearing to gather comments.

The Finance Committee voted 4-0 - with Reece, Crowley and Councilwoman Minette Cooper not voting - to pass the recommendations of the task force.

Co-chaired by City Manager Valerie Lemmie and Fifth Third Bank CEO George A. Schaefer Jr., the task force also recommended creation of a "strike team" of deal-makers in the manager's office, a One-Stop Development Center, and a nonprofit developer to coordinate efforts in the Fountain Square area.

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