City of Ralston

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City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:08 am

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:14 am

I have heard it from a reliable source... One of the reasons Ralston has managed to keep the hand shake agreement with Omaha on staying its own municipality is because they like to keep their debt too high for Omaha to consider annexing a profitable venture. When their debt became too reasonable they decided to build the arena, and purchase equipment for the Fire Dept.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Garrett » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:34 pm

Interesting.... Though I would wonder, if their debt becomes too high for them to handle, couldn't they be risking being forced into Omaha? Even if not, Ralston really seems to be digging its own grave here.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby HskrFanMike » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:51 pm

Garrett wrote:Interesting.... Though I would wonder, if their debt becomes too high for them to handle, couldn't they be risking being forced into Omaha? Even if not, Ralston really seems to be digging its own grave here.

How could they be forced into joining Omaha? Certainly Omaha wouldn't want to annex Ralston in that situation. Most likely situation would be the city going bankrupt.

But that whole idea makes a lot of sense as to why Ralston built an arena; it's not like there was a need for yet another arena in the area.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Garrett » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:56 pm

HskrFanMike wrote:
Garrett wrote:Interesting.... Though I would wonder, if their debt becomes too high for them to handle, couldn't they be risking being forced into Omaha? Even if not, Ralston really seems to be digging its own grave here.

How could they be forced into joining Omaha? Certainly Omaha wouldn't want to annex Ralston in that situation. Most likely situation would be the city going bankrupt.

But that whole idea makes a lot of sense as to why Ralston built an arena; it's not like there was a need for yet another arena in the area.


There are cases where a smaller, financially insolvent city has been forced to join a larger neighbor.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby GRANDPASMUCKER » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:47 pm

Coyote wrote:I have heard it from a reliable source... One of the reasons Ralston has managed to keep the hand shake agreement with Omaha on staying its own municipality is because they like to keep their debt too high for Omaha to consider annexing a profitable venture. When their debt became too reasonable they decided to build the arena, and purchase equipment for the Fire Dept.



And here I just naturally assumed that the public officials and powers that be in Ralston wanted that arena even if it broke the city because they had behind the scene you scratch my back I'll scratch your back sweet heart deals. I figured the hot shots in Ralston were just mimicking their big brothers Omaha and Lincon. Monkey see monkey do. This scam is worked on the public tax payers in every city in the country and we all would have to be blind not to see it. But still it goes on. When the public gets hip to this scam after being burned once then they make sure the public never gets a chance to vote or decide on the project at all just like Mayor Fehey did with the new baseball stadium that sits empty most days of the year.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby NovakOmaha » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:57 pm

GRANDPASMUCKER wrote:
Coyote wrote:I have heard it from a reliable source... One of the reasons Ralston has managed to keep the hand shake agreement with Omaha on staying its own municipality is because they like to keep their debt too high for Omaha to consider annexing a profitable venture. When their debt became too reasonable they decided to build the arena, and purchase equipment for the Fire Dept.



And here I just naturally assumed that the public officials and powers that be in Ralston wanted that arena even if it broke the city because they had behind the scene you scratch my back I'll scratch your back sweet heart deals. I figured the hot shots in Ralston were just mimicking their big brothers Omaha and Lincon. Monkey see monkey do. This scam is worked on the public tax payers in every city in the country and we all would have to be blind not to see it. But still it goes on. When the public gets hip to this scam after being burned once then they make sure the public never gets a chance to vote or decide on the project at all just like Mayor Fehey did with the new baseball stadium that sits empty most days of the year.


And the alternative to that is not having a new baseball stadium that sits empty most days of the year. Of course then we'd get to watch the CWS on tv while it was played in Minneapolis or Indianapolis or any other city that would love a huge event such as that.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:57 pm

Coyote wrote:I have heard it from a reliable source... One of the reasons Ralston has managed to keep the hand shake agreement with Omaha on staying its own municipality is because they like to keep their debt too high for Omaha to consider annexing a profitable venture. When their debt became too reasonable they decided to build the arena, and purchase equipment for the Fire Dept.


Not sure why I find that so funny.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby jessep28 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:14 pm

It's not like Ralston threatens Omaha's growth or consumes all that much territory.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Garrett » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:56 pm

Slightly related to the bankruptcy topic, look at this:

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/municipal-cities-counties-bankruptcies-and-defaults.html

The majority of filings have not been submitted by bankrupt cities, but rather lesser-known utility authorities and other narrowly-defined special districts throughout the country. In Omaha, Neb., more than a dozen sanitary districts have filed for bankruptcy, accounting for nearly a quarter of all Chapter 9 filings since 2010.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:02 pm

Yeah Nebraska has one of the highest municipality bankruptcy rates b/c of all the SIDs.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Brad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:30 pm

iamjacobm wrote:Yeah Nebraska has one of the highest municipality bankruptcy rates b/c of all the SIDs.


Wonder how many of those SID's were related to Benchmark and Hearthstone?
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:13 am

How the Ralston Arena became a financial 'train wreck,' and dragged the city with it

Roseann Moring: World-Herald staff writer wrote:“The problem,” said Paul Landow, who teaches political science at UNO and served as a chief of staff under Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey, “is now to the point where it’s no longer a matter of ‘Can we save the arena?’ It’s a matter of ‘Can we save the town of Ralston?’ ”

In 1934, a fire destroyed half of a city block in Ralston. The damage was so expensive that the city became one of the first in the country to declare bankruptcy. Ralston paid off its debts in the 1960s. And during that decade, the suburban city reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” with Omaha: Omaha wouldn’t annex Ralston if the smaller city stayed within its defined borders.

The two sides have honored that agreement, so Ralston remained its own city even as Millard and Elkhorn were absorbed into Omaha.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:16 am

Also... I have heard that Ralston has already dipped into the Keno funds... $3M in Keno funds have gone into this debt.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby daveoma » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:46 pm

In the article there was a mention of having difficulty doing business with the arena. I would love to know more about that.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:13 pm

The mayor of Ralstoncame and asked omaha to change a facility to benefit them. Fast forward to now and we have ice on Grover and UNOs ice to open soon. Haha.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:14 pm

I could see some outside help if one small group pushed this through against resident wishes, but 80 percent of Ralson voters said yes to the arena. Gotta live with the consequences folks.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Linkin5 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:50 pm

Anybody remember when the mayor was comparing the Ralston arena and its old downtown area with the Clink and Old Market? Still possibly the stupidest comparison I have ever seen. This thing was doomed to fail and I think most people that weren't lining their pockets saw this.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:43 pm

Linkin5 wrote:Anybody remember when the mayor was comparing the Ralston arena and its old downtown area with the Clink and Old Market? Still possibly the stupidest comparison I have ever seen. This thing was doomed to fail and I think most people that weren't lining their pockets saw this.


Obviously not even close. So let's pretend that this place either goes bankrupt, or the city can't afford the financial liability any longer. What happens to it/Ralston?
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby bigredmed » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:19 pm

RNcyanide wrote:
Linkin5 wrote:Anybody remember when the mayor was comparing the Ralston arena and its old downtown area with the Clink and Old Market? Still possibly the stupidest comparison I have ever seen. This thing was doomed to fail and I think most people that weren't lining their pockets saw this.


Obviously not even close. So let's pretend that this place either goes bankrupt, or the city can't afford the financial liability any longer. What happens to it/Ralston?


The OWH article said that before bankruptcy, the state treasurer would send in comptroller's to run the city's finances.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Garrett » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:00 pm

And is anyone really surprised by this in the least? Most arenas/stadiums aren't profitable, and it was even more dangerous to do one in what's essentially a small town. Why the mayor would think this would have been profitable is laughable.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Louie » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:26 pm

Garrett wrote:And is anyone really surprised by this in the least? Most arenas/stadiums aren't profitable, and it was even more dangerous to do one in what's essentially a small town. Why the mayor would think this would have been profitable is laughable.

I don't know anyone who thought that it was a good idea. Shocked it ever came to fruition.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Garrett » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:33 pm

Louie wrote:
Garrett wrote:And is anyone really surprised by this in the least? Most arenas/stadiums aren't profitable, and it was even more dangerous to do one in what's essentially a small town. Why the mayor would think this would have been profitable is laughable.

I don't know anyone who thought that it was a good idea. Shocked it ever came to fruition.

80% of the voters apparently did...
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Louie » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:35 pm

Garrett wrote:
Louie wrote:
Garrett wrote:And is anyone really surprised by this in the least? Most arenas/stadiums aren't profitable, and it was even more dangerous to do one in what's essentially a small town. Why the mayor would think this would have been profitable is laughable.

I don't know anyone who thought that it was a good idea. Shocked it ever came to fruition.

80% of the voters apparently did...

Of Ralston? Why would they think that?!

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Professor Woland » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:17 pm

I have always found the Ralston Police to be the most courteous and professional in the metro. None of them seem to have that jerk wad haircut (shaved on the side, buzz cut thing on top) they are friendly and don't seem like they are looking for trouble. I hope the nature of their police department doesn't change as the city chases new revenue streams.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Linkin5 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:22 pm

Professor Woland wrote:I have always found the Ralston Police to be the most courteous and professional in the metro. None of them seem to have that jerk wad haircut (shaved on the side, buzz cut thing on top) they are friendly and don't seem like they are looking for trouble. I hope the nature of their police department doesn't change as the city chases new revenue streams.


I will say they are pretty good, must have decent leadership. Sarpy county however...

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby RNcyanide » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:09 am

Linkin5 wrote:
Professor Woland wrote:I have always found the Ralston Police to be the most courteous and professional in the metro. None of them seem to have that jerk wad haircut (shaved on the side, buzz cut thing on top) they are friendly and don't seem like they are looking for trouble. I hope the nature of their police department doesn't change as the city chases new revenue streams.


I will say they are pretty good, must have decent leadership. Sarpy county however...


Oh god Sarpy countty...
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Brad » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:57 am

Scuba Steve was on with Bob Bruce this past Friday and someone brought up that the suites for for 30K and going up to 35k next year. The person pointed out that the city has their own suite which the could sell and make another 35k. The same caller also brought up the lack of naming rights which could help a little too.

However now that the ship is sinking, I just don't see either happening.

I also can't think if any additional revenue streams either.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Brad » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:43 pm

Also, are the Lancers still not paying rent down there? Imagine what a dollar or two per ticket could do to that bottom line...
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:56 pm

Selling naming rights might be tough with the bad press around the building, they should have done it when it opened. They could do away with free parking, $5 a stall would go a long ways. Is it possible to add an "arena fee" of a buck to each ticket sold like Brad said? If you did that across the board for all events that could be a big boost. I wonder if that might go against previous contracts though.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Brad » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:31 pm

I was talking to a friend that is very close to the situation. He said the biggest problem is that the very first manager made these terrible deals like with the lancers. He gave the place away and ran away 6 weeks after it opened.

He also said they did have interest in naming rights, but "they" (Ralston Arena) got too greedy.

He said the second manager booked terrible events like Bill O'Riley where the lost their |expletive|.

Then after manager number two left they had the most profitable month during the 5 weeks the police chief was running it.

He said the problem now is that they keep booking Christian Acts where they don't sell alcohol and they struggle to break even on those shows. He said this summer they had the opportunity to book a country act, but went with the Christian act that day and had no alcohol sales.

He agreed with me, they need to book all the sure bet 70's acts they can find, sell the place out and make money off the concession stands.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Linkin5 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:40 am

At this point they need to rebrand and find a business that will pay them for naming rights, stop scheduling political/religious events, and seek out the NBA to get a D league team. If they were able to land a D league team it would be a game changer.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:20 am

Hansen: Ralston Arena's spiral into financial turmoil is a familiar refrain for economists

Matthew Hansen: World-Herald columnist wrote:They also told voters that adding the arena and its debt would keep Omaha from annexing Ralston. At least this last one was accurate. The debt-laden arena virtually guarantees that Omaha won’t want Ralston for decades to come.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby RNcyanide » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:55 am

I guess that's a creative way to prevent annexation. Short sighted as all get out, but creative.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby jessep28 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:16 am

I don't know why the OWH is laying into Ralston so hard. The same things could be said about Pinnacle Bank Arena. Obviously Lincoln is a bigger city and the financing situation around PBA is different, I wouldn't doubt it if similar stories are printed about them in a few years.
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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:38 am

PBA hasn't been shown to be a massive money pit yet with shady numbers from the start and a number of eye raising happenings like the real estate company that the mayor works for being picked without a bidding process. Add in the ability to severely cripple what amounts to a small town and the talk of immense property tax raises and I think it's a relevant topic.

If CLC or PBA went south it would hurt both cities but wouldn't be a knockout blow. Ralston on the other hand will be paying consequences like dramatically less road and school funding to try and pay this building off. It is an example of overbuilding arenas which is happening nationwide.

For all Parks and Rec fans, this is Ralson's Ice Town. The different is this mayor has been in office two decades, not an 18 year old in the show.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Professor Woland » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:20 pm

iamjacobm wrote:PBA hasn't been shown to be a massive money pit yet with shady numbers from the start and a number of eye raising happenings like the real estate company that the mayor works for being picked without a bidding process. Add in the ability to severely cripple what amounts to a small town and the talk of immense property tax raises and I think it's a relevant topic.

If CLC or PBA went south it would hurt both cities but wouldn't be a knockout blow. Ralston on the other hand will be paying consequences like dramatically less road and school funding to try and pay this building off. It is an example of overbuilding arenas which is happening nationwide.

For all Parks and Rec fans, this is Ralson's Ice Town. The different is this mayor has been in office two decades, not an 18 year old in the show.


Cleveland has been engaged in this type of ridiculous development for the past two decades.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:41 pm

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:09 pm

2.5% restaurant tax is passed for Ralston.

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Re: City of Ralston

Postby Coyote » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:51 pm

That's it. I'm never eating in Ralston again.
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