Public Comment

I've submitted a public comment to the city council of Beloit to be read at the next meeting, transcribed below.

Thank you for allowing me this time.

At 1003 Pleasant Street sits the historic pumphouse building. The main tenants of this building are Beloit 200. A group of "civic entrepreneurs" and more bluntly the most affluent citizens of our community; the collective net worth of its members higher than the GDP of many countries.

As the council is aware, the city of Beloit collects exactly $1 per year in rent for the use of this building. The initial two-year lease expired on November 30th of 2020, but gave the tenant the option to renew for two more years under the exact same terms, provided there was no "default". Presumably there was no default and the city of Beloit has collected their $2, so far. The terms of the lease also provide that the city is responsible for major repairs and landscaping/snow removal. The city does a wonderful job clearing their lot; this is a perfect time to recognize our public works department: thank you.

On page 62 of the 2020 Capital Improvement Plan is a request on behalf of the Public Works Department to spend $50,000 on exterior repairs for the pumphouse. The request notes "an estimated ten years to pay off the project". Given the nature of the lease and frankly, its tax burden on the city, I think it's imperative that the improvements be held off until the completion of the lease when an agreement that makes economic sense to the city can be negotiated. To be even more frank, I think it would be becoming of Beloit 200 to take on the costs themselves to repair the historic building. The lease gives the city no authority to force Beloit 200 to do this but says nothing of asking. Thank you for your time.

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