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Trustees Vote Down Phase Two of Austin Landing
MIAMI TOWNSHIP -- Phase II of the Austin Landing development is now is a state of limbo after township trustees voted this morning against the project moving forward.
With trustee Charles Lewis absent, Deborah Preston's no vote and Mike Nolan's yes vote offset, forcing a deadlock. The trustees will vote again on the matter on October 8th.
That resolution was to "Approve and Authorize the Execution and Delivery of the Amendment to the Austin Landing Phase II Development Agreement and the Amendment to the Lease and Management Agreement."
Trustee Mike Nolan says the defeat of this vote is a huge blow to the community.
"Save us $140,000 a year in maintenance fees, reduce another $5 million in our debt service allowing us to do more for other programs, why you will vote no to that I can't fathom," Noland explained.
That no vote by Preston has put the breaks on the entire project.
"I did not vote for it because I was not in favor of the $15 million of taxpayer subsidy to give to him, I wasn't in favor of it in the first place," Preston told us over the phone.
Mike Nolan and Charles Lewis initially voted to approve Phase II, which cost around $15.8 million. Before the proposed changes, it included an ice rink, township park, pavilion, parking garage, office and retail space.
The developer, RG Holder, wants to downsize that and eliminate the ice rink, pavilion, parking garage and fewer retail businesses.
Preston says the township is getting a raw deal.
"I'm not in favor of Phase II, of giving anymore taxpayers' dollars to a private developer because we have all these other developers in our township who are not getting subsidized for parking lots, for parking structures or anything else," she said.
The Austin Landing project was projected to bring in 4,000 new jobs, many residents in the area hope trustees can come to an agreement.
"It would have given the chance for a lot of people in this area that are looking for work to give them a place that they can call home," said Cayln Jones, who works at the new BJs.
Reporter Annette Peagler put a late call into Randy Gunlock, executive director or RG Holder, and his assistant said the company has no comment at this time.
PHOTO: Miami Township Trustee Deborah Preston
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