Last Friday, some interested parties from Louisville hopped a plane to Baltimore, where they paid a visit to the corporate headquarters of the Cordish Companies on East Pratt Street.
From what we hear, the Louisville contingent was welcomed in and given plenty of records to pore over.
Metro Council president David Tandy, economic development chief Bruce Traughber, Metro Development Authority’s David Morris and auditor Mike Norman made the trip, hoping to find some answers to the question asked all over Louisville and in the Metro Council chambers — what happened to the $950,000 that the city gave the developer to turn a bowling alley with a sports bar into a . . . sports bar with a bowling alley?
The issue has become a political football of sorts — especially for Tandy. Our sources say the group spent many hours pouring over receipts, presumably that justify the lavish spending on renovations at the Sports and Social Club on Fourth Street.
If the report shows that somehow Cordish did spend the money on renovations, then what? Does that mean the Mayor was justified in granting the money? Does Tandy, pondering a run for Mayor, come off as a supporter of the Mayor and Cordish if the report is anything but harsh toward the use of the money?
Or does Tandy, who’s unavailable today, bring back receipts showing that Cordish used a chunk of the money for some other purpose, calling out the Mayor for not holding the company accountable for so many tax dollars?
Norman was tasked with producing a report on the trip that is supposed to include a detailed accounting of spending on the sports bar. It is scheduled to be released sometime this week. No one who’s seen the place, of course, believe that Cordish spent the $950K on renovations.
“I look forward to their report to the community,” said Hal Heiner, an outspoken critic of the spending. “I hope they don’t leave it that they complied with the contract, which doesn’t provide any openness. I hope they roll out just how the $950,000 was spent. So far, the Cordish excuses have been weak and an affront to the taxpayers. I don’t understand the secrecy.”