Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We don't need no stinking Arena


Remember the big fight over building the Arena. A group calling it self Taxes No! With the help of a few local radio talk show hosts led the opposition against it. The issue was if Luzerne County should guarantee a bond issue to finance the construction of the building. If the venture failed homeowners would have been on the hook for about fifteen bucks each to pay off the bonds. The forward thinking people of Arena Yes headed by State Rep. Kevin Blaum argued it was a risk worth taking. The Commissioners (cowards) at the time wouldn't take a position and punted the issue to a referendum. The question lost by the slimmist of margins and it was time for Plan B. A few months after that vote the slimeballs (commissioners) raised property taxes by 25% and not a peep was heard out of the Arena opponents who billed themselves as fiscal watchdogs.

Then Plan B kicked in, we got a great facility that has been a runaway success and has spurred development all around it. The building has about 3000 less seats than if it was properly financed but as someone pointed out to me, it was probably a good thing that the Commissioners don't have a say in running the place. It would have turned into another patronage cow for the politicians instead of being run in the professional way that it is.

But the fight wasn't over, the W-B Twp. council wanted a cut. It got pretty nasty when one member of that illustrious body called Kevin Blaum "a bum off the Street."

Look at it today. The Arena was built on an old strip mine and many businesses have opened nearby. It was wasteland and now it's the busiest retail area in the county. The stores probably employ as many people who live in the town (about 3000). Then I saw this in the TL:

W-B Twp. budget OK'd; r esidents get $35 back Council passes a spending plan that features a $70,000 surplus in the general fund.

Council gave the 2006 budget a second and final reading and passed it unanimously at Monday's council meeting. The budget has no tax increases, said Mayor Carl Kuren. Building and zoning permits are expected to generate $200,000; special police services, such as traffic control at Wachovia Arena, are expected to produce $300,000; and a levy on ticket sales from the arena is expected to produce $300,000.

So they get $600,000 from something they opposed because they were too short sighted to see the benefit. The article didn't mention that it might be the only town in PA that doesn't charge to pick up trash and that they run a shuttle service around town.

5 comments:

Doctor Rick said...

I once commented about that. The people are affraid of change. The same hypocrites against the ARENA wrote editorials and called TALKBACK 16 about how come they couldn't get Neil Diamond Tickets.

Such is the nature of the Wyoming Valley! Not to mention how the advent of the arena comepletely changed our region.

soccermike said...

To bad the Lackawanna county stadium doesn't take note. The county needs to have someone else run the stadium so they could finally make a profit.

mean old man said...

In my day we didn't need arenas! You got your entertainment the hard way--you earned it!! And it wasnt all this hulabaloo that all you young kids want. We were so hungry we'd sit around watching each other get skinny--and we loved it!! What happened to our peaceful little town? This arena has brought in drug dealer from all over the country--you like that Gort?? With your fancy car and your expensive clothes--we didn't have a car when i was a boy--we walked--for miles--in snow, and hurricanes and monsoons, and--we loved it!! And we were lucky to have clothes back then--sometime my mom would make trousers from a potato sack--you go to school smelling like dinner--and get laughed at --but I loved it!! Where are the good old days gone??

mean old man said...

In my day we didn't need arenas! You got your entertainment the hard way--you earned it!! And it wasnt all this hulabaloo that all you young kids want. We were so hungry we'd sit around watching each other get skinny--and we loved it!! What happened to our peaceful little town? This arena has brought in drug dealer from all over the country--you like that Gort?? With your fancy car and your expensive clothes--we didn't have a car when i was a boy--we walked--for miles--in snow, and hurricanes and monsoons, and--we loved it!! And we were lucky to have clothes back then--sometime my mom would make trousers from a potato sack--you go to school smelling like dinner--and get laughed at --but I loved it!! Where are the good old days gone??

LVDem said...

Is that you Uncle Don? When did you learn how to use the computer?