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As the mayor and the city council try to figure out how to close a huge FY09 budget gap and work to revise the FY10 budget to deal with expected shortfalls, a few items:
* The Examiner says: "Mayor Adrian Fenty's revised 2010 budget plan shifts $50 million from the Ballpark Revenue Fund to the general fund over the next four years. There it would be used to help bridge shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through 2013. The move has incensed medium- and large-business owners, who are charged an annual gross receipts tax to augment the ballpark fund -- a pot specifically created to pay off $535 million in stadium bonds." The Chamber of Commerce is pledging to fight the idea.
* And today, the city council met "privately" (with media in attendance) to discuss what it sees as the best approaches to find the money. Mark Segraves of WTOP and Mike DeBonis of City Paper were in the room Tweeting like mad. Here's what they said about the council's discussions of the mayor's idea to spend $160 million to buy and renovate 225 Virginia, to get out from under the $6 million a year lease payments:
@SegravesWTOP: Talk has turned to 225 Virginia Ave, the old Washington Star building near the SE Freeway.
@mikedebonis: Council mulls purchase of 225 Va. Ave. to save on ridiculous rent. Vince Gray says let's look at the numbers.
MD: Lotsa handwringing over 225 Virginia Ave. SE and the astronomical lease thereto. 'Outrageous!' say several.
MS: City pays 12 mil per year in rent. Wells says mayor wants to. Buy building for 85 mil plus another 85 mil in upgrades. It would house CFSA
MS: DC has been paying rent on VA Ave since 2007. Other agencies slated to move there, OCTO and Arts and Humanities
MD: OCFO will have 225 Va. Ave purchase numbers by tomorrow. Evans calcs that $9M rent savings would float a $100M note.
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Mark says: (7/27/09 10:58 PM)
Seems like purchase and renovation might be the best move for the city...?


Thissounds fishy says: (7/28/09 8:34 AM)
225 VA Ave sounds like a $170M albatross.

Keep looking for buyers.


Ray In Rockville says: (7/31/09 10:20 AM)
Under the present state of the economy the City needs a lot more short term financial relief than long term relief. Pay the rent until revenue picks up. Oh yea, find a use for this beast too if you're going to pay rent. If you couldn't find a need for it as a rental what good is it to buy the thing. Someone else buying it in the next 3 to 5 years would be a lot cheaper on a stressed budget.


G St says: (7/31/09 2:11 PM)
Make it into a secret undisclosed location that our crack D.C. politicians can go run and hide in if the balloon ever goes up.

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