Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Anemic statement shows $26,268 gain for Erie Street Market



The Finkbeiner administration yesterday came up with an anemic and unsatisfactory six-month financial statement for the city-owned Erie Street market building, Toledo City Councilman D. Michael Collins said.

The one-page document, which Mr. Collins requested last week, shows revenues for the first half of 2008 totaling $101,906 and expenses of $75,638. The net income equals $26,268.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Collins criticized administration officials for dragging their feet in producing the records and said he would instruct the council s clerk to draft legislation rescinding council s previous ordinance that allows the administration to run the Erie Street Market business.

Last night, Mr. Collins said he was unsure if he would move forward with that plan which would require support from nine out of 12 council members to get the measure on today s council agenda.

It s pathetic if you look at what they provided, Mr. Collins said regarding the document. They are 83 percent below goal.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said Mr. Collins idea to halt the city s ability to run the market at 237 South Erie St. was very, very inappropriate.

He said Mr. Collins request was not received in the mayor s office until July 23 and took time to address.

The Erie Street Market is going to turn out to be quite an asset to the district it is in, Mr. Finkbeiner said.

Andy Ferrara, a city economic development specialist, said Mr. Collins request required the city to create a report.

Mr. Collins said he is not trying to close the Erie Street Market building.

In January, Toledo City Council gave the Finkbeiner administration four months to develop a business plan for the market.

Council, by a 9-2 vote, authorized the city to provide for market management, accept an operating budget, and create a fund that would be used to receive revenue and pay bills. Councilmen Michael Ashford and Frank Szollosi voted no. Councilman Phillip Copeland did not attend the meeting.

In April, Mr. Finkbeiner announced a plan to sell 25 parcels of property, including the market building, for $4.2 million to Tetra Tech Inc. of Pasadena, Calif. The firm has plans to develop the area near Swan Creek downtown into a $300 million mixed-use riverwalk development.

In May, council voted to keep the Market operating for the rest of the year.

Mr. Szollosi and Mr. Ashford again voted no on the action. Mr. Copeland was not present for that vote. At the time, Mr. Collins, Mike Craig, and Tom Waniewski said they supported the ordinance with some degree of reluctance chiefly because of the business plan for the market released the previous week, which they called weak.

However, they each said it could be important for the Tetra Tech deal.

The mayor stressed the market building will host concerts beginning Saturday when the Black Keys are scheduled to perform.

The city expects to make between $10,000 to $15,000 per month, the mayor said.

The Erie Street Market building is divided into four sections, or bays. The bay on the north side of the building houses Libbey Glass Factory Outlet. More than $58,000 of the market s revenue for the first six months of 2008 was rent from Libbey.

Another bay, formerly an antiques marketplace, was vacant until recently when about a dozen small antique vendors were moved there.

A third bay, Civic Center Promenade, is used for private parties.

The other section of the market which people often think of as the market itself is in the area that had housed the dozen small antique vendors and food shops.

That bay has a stage and originally was known as Civic Auditorium. It has been undergoing renovations for the concerts and other events.

Council President Mark Sobczak said the Erie Street Market would likely be discussed in a committee of the whole meeting.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:imessina@theblade.comor 419-724-6171.

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