Mayor Felinton and Marshall Controversy

By: Doug Korstanje Email
By: Doug Korstanje Email

Marshall University said a major expansion project is in jeopardy, all because of a mayor's veto.

A $140 million of construction is at stake, along with the jobs and taxes it would create.

Marshall needed a small alley and an abandoned street to clear the way for a recreation building and a new engineering center.

City Council approved the sale of the small properties for $10,000, but Mayor David Felinton used his veto power to reject the offer, and that could derail the entire project.

Crews worked to remove the final pieces of the foundation of 20th Street Baptist Church, clearing the way for a new recreation center at Marshall, but close by there's a small city owned alley put a halt to construction.

Marshall needed that alley and part of the former Elm Street at another site and agreed to pay $10,000 for both locations.

Mayor David Felinton, however, said another appraisal shows the true value of the alleys at $184,000 and said he won't take less than a midway offer of $97,000 for both sites.

Felinton's said even condemned Artisan Avenue properties cost more than what Marshall is willing to pay for the alleys.

Marshall’s Board of Governor's said the mayor is missing the point at many levels.
The mayor changed his mind, which stunned Marshall.

Menice Ketchum said the alley properties can't be used like a normal commercial lot and are of value only to Marshall.

Ironically, the project will create almost $2 million in B and O taxes for the city just from the construction alone-- money the city will lose if this doesn't happen.

The mayor said there's no way this could stop construction, he believes Marshall is bluffing.

City Council will meet next Monday to consider overriding the mayor's veto, allowing the $10,000 sale and the project to go ahead.

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