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LETTER: Pay up in East Grand Forks, or give us our building back

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EAST GRAND FORKS — For the past several weeks, East Grand Forks residents have been reading about “BoardwalkGate,” the situation involving the loan to Boardwalk Enterprises. Now to add insult to injury, we are learning that because of the statute of limitations, if the newly retained attorney doesn’t file anything before October, the city and taxpayers could get nothing.

I realize that Joe and Josephina Taxpayer do not have all the information needed to form an opinion, given that the issue remains under investigation.

But I do feel that the situation would be almost comical if it weren’t for a few things.

  • First, this company, which has at least one owner (that we know of) related to the mayor, was the only company given an interest-free loan during the period after the 1997 flood.
  • Second, the Economic Development and Housing Authority director appeared before Polk County commissioners and successfully received forgiveness of thousands of dollars in county taxes on a building, the loan for which he claims to have forgotten about.
  • Third, according to at least one website, Boardwalk Enterprises “has $120,000 in estimated annual revenue” — which only makes sense, given the fact that the building has tenants and has had tenants for the past 10 years.

So, taking this estimated annual revenue of $120,000 and multiplying it times 10 years … while at the same time, remembering that not even a penny reportedly has been paid toward the company’s “interest free” loan …

Uff-dah!

In my view, one of the most important things Boardwalk Enterprises owe the taxpayers is transparency or what others may call honesty. Anything less fuels the perception (or misperception) of cover up, corruption and the belief that political clout or connection precludes people from being held accountable.

Come on, Boardwalk Enterprises owners: Be adults, answer your phones and explain why you failed to pay us back.

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