Why is our city with our tax dollars getting into the real estate business?

To the Editor:

Why is our city with our tax dollars getting into the real estate business? Whatever happened to free enterprise? Developers who can't make it fail or postpone projects until they can be completed at a profit. It is not our city's responsibility to bail them out at the expense of all residents.

When/if the economy improves sufficiently, developers will again purchase land and plan projects. That is what developers do, i.e. know when a project can be done profitably. It is not our city's job to do their work for them simply because the city wants the development now. Why? Granted the city stiffles development a bit with their never-ending requests and "would like to sees" but most developers recognize that as a cost of doing business. Westerville taxpayers should not be required to assume these costs for a developer as we should not be required to provide all infrastructure. Developers also recognize streets, water, sewer, electricity and often parkland set asides as a cost of doing business.

Exactly how much beyond purchase price have recent city purchases cost us taxpayers? How much have we taxpayers spent on demolition, maintenance, insurance and taxes on two recent purchases that come to mind -- the Armory and Tea House both of which are currently pretty much empty spaces.

Jo Ruhl
Westerville