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The Centre City Development Corp. still doesn’t have the documents we’ve been asking about for seven weeks.
“CCDC is not in possession of any of Keyser Marston’s raw data other than the draft blight study which was provided to you,” CCDC spokesman Derek Danziger wrote in an email late Tuesday.
At issue is information created by Keyser Marston Associates, the company CCDC hired to study whether downtown remains blighted. We’re seeking any proof to justify the more than $1 billion in future downtown property tax revenue CCDC is estimated to receive from late-night state legislation passed in the fall. Without the legislation, CCDC would have had to prove that blight remained downtown to get the money.
All Keyser Marston has turned over to CCDC is an unfinished draft study, which concludes downtown remains blighted but had placeholder language in many sections where the proof was supposed to be inserted later. We’re asking for the study’s backup information.
CCDC canceled the study after the legislation passed, but not before Keyser Marston and its sub-consultants were paid more than $100,000.
Danziger’s late Tuesday email represents another delay in CCDC’s response to our request. Two weeks ago, Jeff Graham, a CCDC vice president, said he expected to have information from Keyser Marston by Jan. 14. CCDC says it still doesn’t.
Danziger’s response answers one of four questions I asked him this morning.
He answered the other three, too:
• I wanted to know why CCDC hasn’t told me when the records would be ready. Danziger said CCDC was still trying to get the documents from Keyser Marston and would provide them when they arrived. That’s a position of dubious legality. State law requires the agency to determine whether the documents we’re seeking are disclosable and give us an estimated date and time for us to pick up the records. It hasn’t.
• I wanted to know whether 3D Visions, a consultant working for Keyser Marston, did indeed walk around downtown looking to see if properties were still blighted. It did, Danziger said. This survey cost $43,840, was finished in September and is critical to proving blight. It’s a vital piece of the information we’re seeking, and CCDC doesn’t have it.
• I wanted to know whether CCDC or Keyser Marston had manipulated any of the study’s data since it was canceled in October. They have not, Danziger said.