GoLocalWorcester has a good story on this. Before I go into this let's take an example of my friend Tim McDonald and lets assume as owner of Worcester Fitness he decided to buy the Telegram building to open a fitness club.
After her buys it, he finds outs that there is 1,200,000 need to clean up hazardous materials. Would anyone be writting a story that the New York Times needs to give Tim money back for the clean up? Of course not! When you buy anything the buyer has to do their homework and once they own the building, they own the problem the problles that go with it. Actually 21E is a little different and it looks like the Telegram may have agreed to reimburse up to 300,000.
Now to the fact the WBDC did not realize the extent of the work? Is that the New York Times fault? Maybe you should not buy the building until you know the full extent? At the same time it sure and hell should not fall on the backs of the tax-payers, but we have been doing this for years in Worcester, why wasn't anyone mad before?
Look at Mason Street it was deeded for nominal monies from a for profit entity top Common Ground just so they could get 400,000 in grant monies from the EPA, that don't have to be paid back. then when the work is done deeded back to the for profit. Main South CDC and South Worcester Neighborhood Center have all done the same thing.
The WBDC bought this building on them cheap because of these environmental problems and now they own them. The problem is they have only gotten 200,000 of tax-payer monies that they don't have to pay back. Now they want the rest.
This is how development has gone on for years with the CDC's, getting hand outs, now the WBDC and people like the new owner of the Ionic Boys Club, who buys a building one day for 250,000 then gets 350,000 the next month from the City of Worcester. Oh yeah, he also deeded the property to RCAP for a nominal amount and applied for EPA clean up monies.
The sad part is in the end the WBDC will sit on this property until they get all the grant monies from us the tax-payers before they proceed. They will get them