The Taipei City Government should remove a China Youth Corps-owned complex from city land, Taipei City Councilor Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) of the Taiwan Solidarity Union said yesterday.
He urged the city to reappropriate the site of the Chientan Youth Activity Center for a road that would allow scooter riders to drive directly between the city’s Shilin (士林) and Neihu (內湖) districts.
Because of an abandoned swimming pool on the site, riders traveleing between the districts must use the Ziqiang Tunnel (自強隧道) or cross the Keelung River (基隆河) through the Taipei Expo Park area, he said.
Chen’s remarks follow controversy over the site last week after statements by Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-jie (梁文傑) of the Democratic Progressive Party.
Liang urged the city to refuse to renew the China Youth Corp’s lease at the end of the year, saying the group has exploited its ties with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to rent the site and make illicit profits, he said.
City rules let nonprofit tenants pay an annual rent of 3 percent of the land’s publicly assessed value, which is far below market value, he said. While the estimated market value of the land was NT$35 billion (US$1.14 billion) the organization has paid just NT$16.8 million, he said.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that even if the city refused to renew the lease, the buildings would not just “sprout legs and walk off,” he said, adding that city would negotiate a reasonable settlement.
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