A lasting legacy we will always remember to Pedro Segarra, Shawn Wooden, Tom Deller and several City Council members has left us with may eventually me a 66 Million dollar hole in the ground, known as DoNo, or Dunkin Donut Park. I bet Dunkin Donuts wishes about now that they had awakened sooner and smelled the coffee.
It is very unfortunate that a new Mayor who had hopefully wanted to hit the ground running to get Hartford jump started now has to be focusing on possibly the largest Economic Development debacle Hartford has seen. What will be done with the Yard Goats Stadium and what do you do with what was supposed to be a 56 million dollar project and now the cost overruns are growing at a faster rate than Hartford's unemployment rate. There is plenty of finger pointing at each other as to who did what and who is responsible for this mess.
The calls from some to mothball the stadium are probably impossible. Although those people probably have a very clear right about now to say "We told you so". No one would listen, Segarrra and Wooden were hell-bent on shoving this project down our taxpaying throats, but I guess they knew better. Hmmm, what did they know and when did they know it? Did it suddenly drop in their laps in December or were they that out of touch that no one saw at least 10 million dollars(minimum) in cost overruns building up, or were they maybe too busy answering subpoenas for a Federal Grand Jury into their other stadium attempt, Dillon Stadium.
Where was the City funded oversight person? We should be asking for a rebate on those payroll payments
Realistically there aren't enough mothballs made to shut this project down. At this point , court action is most likely very close unless Mayor Bronin can pull a rabbit, or maybe a yard goat, out of his hat and get this project back on track. It is a huge task, but quite honestly, I have a lot more confidence in Mayor Bronin to protect our interests than I do in the other two hacks, Segarra and Wooden.
Maybe it is time to start thinking outside the box to get this project moving forward and keep it out of the courts. Centerplan has already shown on this project as well as others that they like court time. No one will benefit from court delays, except lawyers, and in the meantime our debt service payments will keep accumulating. They are making us the development laughing stock. Just ask Hooker Brewery when they intend to break ground. Where are the solid Hard Rock proposals, and do you think they are rethinking that about now?
And what about the grocery store, when can we expect those shelves to be stocked with quality healthy foods for Hartford residents?.
Like I said, think outside the box. Maybe it is about time we approach UConn and get them to come in as a partner for Men's Baseball and even possibly women's softball. We all realize the interest in UConn sports in Hartford. The men's Hockey team are routinely drawing crowds larger than the Wolfpack when they play in Hartford. Just try to go downtown when they are playing, the restaurants are packed. I am pretty sure UConn Baseball would attract the same crowds , if not better. The UConn brand is strong in Greater Hartford and we need to be creative to see this project succeed.
We are too far into this and failure is not an option. It might just be the part of the puzzle we have been missing.
I for one want to see Luke Bronin working on other issues to get Hartford moving and not be caught in the quicksand of a poorly conceived and financed deal