It’s been a controversy of sorts since news came out this week about a proposed land swap between Logan City and the Needham family that would give the city land near 100 West and 100 South for a new library and the Needham family would get the old Emporium location in downtown Logan.
The issue has received critical attention because Eugene Needham is on the Logan Municipal Council, although his term will expire at the end of the year as he is not seeking re-election. On KVNU’s monthly Speak to the Mayor hour during For the People on Thursday, Logan Mayor Craig Petersen wanted to clarify the situation.
“First of all there is no prohibition against transactions with a council member. We can do that. But what we have to do is do it on a fair and open basis. Anything the city does is open, there can be no secrets (and) the public has total information on this,” the mayor explained.
“Secondly, Mr. Needham will leave the council on the 1st of January and the third….also importantly is that (with) any decisions involving this process, Mr. Needham would recuse himself. So he’ll not have a vote on any of these things.”
Also involved in a trade would be the area at 300 North and Main which Petersen said is arguably the most blighted sight in downtown Logan. As for the Emporium property, Logan City would include $300,000 in Redevelopment Agency Funding. But as the mayor explained at the city council meeting on Tuesday, the Needhams would invest $2 in renovation of the properties for every $1 of RDA support received.
But the mayor emphasized several times that there are no commitments, this is a proposal and the city is being very transparent as they are seeking public input.