Discussion over the motel demolition plan
Last night, council member Lawana Mayfield encouraged Hidden Valley residents to hold the city “accountable” for its action plan after the council approved the demolition of two motels on Sugar Creek.
Rewind: On the council’s April 10 agenda, an Economy Inn and a Budget Inn were up for discussion to be purchased by the city and demolished. Within the past six months, 485 crimes were reported at the sites of these motels.
“As a community, we have had plenty of times when people that look like us came to us and said, ‘Here’s this great thing that we are going to do for the community.’ But what we don’t tell you is that a lot of times, you’re not going to be the person that benefits,” Mayfield said, nodding to her residency in the West End.
“If this is funded, if this is demolished, it [should] already [be] identified which partners, what commitments [are being made and] who gets access to this new housing,” Mayfield continued. “And, to ensure — I don’t even know if we can legally do this — that this individual who is a slumlord — who we are getting ready to pay over $4 million dollars for his trash business — isn’t able to go out and buy another business in our community that in another 10 to 15 years will put us in the exact same situation.”
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Economic development director Tracey Dodson explained that the site had been identified as an affordable housing project but had to go through a request for proposal.
“I appreciate the passion, I appreciate the arguments as to why we shouldn’t do this, but to speak to Mr. Graham’s point, I don’t know why we wouldn’t do this,” Dante Anderson said.
The decision to purchase and demolish the properties passed by six votes.
Council members Mayfield, Braxton Winston and Ed Driggs voted against the demolition.
Hidden Valley residents broke out in applause following the item’s approval.
“We’ve been praying about this for a long time,” one resident told QCity Metro. “But we were patient, and we stood on the promises so to God be the glory.”
“It’s finally here; we know there are other opportunities, but we’ve just been waiting to give God the glory,” another said. “We need to know where we are going, and she (Lawana Mayfield) was passionate. But once they tear it down, what are we going to do?”
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