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MEETING

DECEMBER 9, 2010

AGENDA

Date:

December 2, 2010

To:

Commissioners of the Urban Renewal Authority

From:

Michael Collins, Chair

Subject:

Special Meeting, December 9, 11:00 a.m.

City Hall – Pikes Peak Room

107 N. Nevada Ave, Second Floor

Colorado Springs, CO

Agenda:

1.

Approval of October 28th CSURA meeting minutes

2.

Approval of Financial Report as of November 30, 2010

3.

2011 Budget – Jim Rees

4.

Gold Hill Mesa/CSURA Intergovernmental Tax Sharing Agreement – Chuck Miller

5.

Vineyard Project Update – Vince Colarelli

6.

Southwest Downtown Gas Admin Bldg – Chuck Miller

7.

South Central Downtown URA – Jim Rees

8.

Other Matters

9.

Adjournment

MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE

URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY

OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS

HELD ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010

On the 9th day of December, 2010 at 11:00 a.m., the Commissioners of the Urban Renewal Authority of the City of Colorado Springs met in Special session at 107 N. Nevada Avenue, at City Hall in the Pikes Peak Conference Room, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In attendance were:

COMMISSIONERS:

Michael Collins

Brian Colvert

Dottie Harman

Scott Hente

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

ABSENT:

Judy Noyes

Also in attendance:

Ryan Tefertiller

City Development Review

Bob Cope

City Business Services

Rich Laden

Gazette

Drew Rankin

CS Utilities

Bruce Mcormick

CS Utilities

Bill Cherrier

CS Utilities

Tyrone Johnson

CS Utilities

Brad Schmitt

Vineyards Commerce Park

Jim Nakai

Nakai Architects

Stan Kensinger

Olive Real Estate

Vince Colarelli

Vineyards Commerce Park

Sarah Bryarly

City Parks and Recreation

Mike Trapp

Olson Plumbing and Heating

Dan Hughes

CSURA Legal Council

Mar-K. Burnett

CSURA Staff

Chuck Miller

CSURA Staff

Jim Rees

CSURA Staff

Chairman Collins called the meeting to order at 11:05 a.m. and thanked Authority members and visitors for attending the special meeting. He requested that all guests sign in on the sign-up sheet.

Item #1 – Approval of Minutes

Motion was made by Commissioner Harman, seconded by Commissioner Olson, that the Minutes of the Special meeting, held on October 28, 2010 be adopted as written; the motion carried.

Item #2 – Approval of Financial Report

Mary-K. Burnett reviewed the financial statement answering questions from Authority members.

RESOLUTION NO. 1710

A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT AND EXPENDITURES OF THE CSURA FOR THE PERIOD ENDING OCTOBER 31, 2010

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, THAT:

The financial statement and expenditures of the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority for the period ending October 31st are hereby approved.

Motion was made by Commissioner Noyes, seconded by Commissioner Olson, that Resolution #1710 be adopted.

Upon a Call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Michael Collins

Brian Colvert

Dottie Harman

Scott Hente

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

None

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Item #3 – 2011 Budget – Jim Rees

Jim Rees reviewed a document detailing the costs of the process for implementing an urban renewal project, beginning with the conditions study and ending with a completed redevelopment agreement. Authority members seemed to be in agreement with the costs in general and they agreed that not every urban renewal project will fall within the projected costs.

Mr. Rees then explained the 5 year budget projections beginning in 2011 and going through 2015. He reviewed the revenue and expenditures in some detail and noted where changes were made from the 2010 budget. The major change in the budget was moving the services of Chuck Miller from a monthly consulting expense to an as-needed consultant expense. Mr. Rees stated that the budget could be changed if a viable project came on line and additional funding was made available. Some discussion ensued concerning the availability of Mr. Miller for consulting on future projects.

There being no further discussion Commissioner Kin presented the following:

RESOLUTION NO. 1711

A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE 2011 CSURA BUDGET AS PRESENTED BY STAFF

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, THAT:

A resolution accepting the 2011 budget as presented.

Motion was made by Commissioner Kin, seconded by Commissioner Olson, that Resolution #1711 be adopted.

Upon a Call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Michael Collins

Brian Colvert

Scott Hente

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

Dottie Harman

IThe motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Item # 4 – Gold Hill Mesa/CSURA Intergovernmental Tax Sharing Agreement – Chuck Miller

Mr. Miller that the GHM Metro district plans to sell bonds in the near future; thus the need for a tax sharing agreement detailing the reimbursement process for agreed upon expenses within the approved Redevelopment Agreement.

There being no further discussion Commissioner Wood-Ellis presented the following:

RESOLUTION NO. 1712

A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE GOLD HILL MESA/CSURA INTERGOVERNMENTAL TAX SHARING AGREEMENT

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, THAT:

A resolution approving the Intergovernmental Tax Sharing Agreement between Gold Hill Mesa Metropolitan District and the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority.

Motion was made by Commissioner Wood-Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Kin, that Resolution #1712 be adopted.

Upon a Call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Michael Collins

Brian Colvert

Scott Hente

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

None

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Item #5 – Vineyard Project Update – Vince Colarelli

Mr. Colarelli began by introducing representatives from the various project partners who support the public benefit of the proposed Vineyard project. Mr. Bob Cope, City Business Services, stated that this project has a lot of potential and will be an expensive project to build. However, it has some definite stimulus for additional sales tax and personal property tax through the purchase of large equipment. It will also offer additional jobs in the community as well as attracting new companies to the area with data center needs. The proposed site is open to private sector investment which has not been done in the past. Already there are inquiries from potential business clients representing Fortune 250 companies interested in the project. Mr. Cope is working with two other companies as well. The current list of potential customers is enough to bring the project to completion of the beginning phase.

Mr. David White, Economic Development Corporation, stated that he had been in contact with other companies making inquiries about the data center. He confirmed that these companies are very interested in using “green” energy from the biomass plant. He stated that this type of project will “brand” Colorado Springs as a city with a “green” advantage. He felt the data center would attract additional companies to the community and nothing but “good” will come from this proposed project.

Mr. Martin Wood, representing the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, stated that the University Chancellor supports this project with great enthusiasm. The University looks for community collaboration and opportunities for students to utilize their skills in the information technology field. This project offers both. It also has the potential to increase enrollment and expand curriculum opportunities. He felt the project was a major driver for economic development for the community.

Ms. Sarah Bryarly, City Parks and Recreation, stated that this project was a huge benefit to the City as well as Parks and Recreation by offering additional soccer fields with the possibility of artificial turf; saving maintenance and utilities. It would also allow more citizens accessibility to fields with extended playing time. She further stated that the natural environmental area would provide an eco-fit area for community education. The extension of the soft surface trail system would encourage the public to be outside in the fresh air and get more exercise.

Mr. Bruce McCormick, Colorado Springs Utilities, stated that the current low rate of utilities gives competitive advantage and assistance with the biomass plant which would be a low cost generation of power with additional benefit by using public trash to fuel the plant and would cut down on the use of our local landfills.

Mr. Drew Rankin, Colorado Springs Utilities, stated the major challenges with a biomass plant are:

Find the right site and obtaining the appropriate permits

Building esthetics

Fuel supply such as wastewater sludge and solid waste

He felt there was no downside to this project piece. Ash would be the bi-product; the plant would lower air emission levels and has a lower CO2 footprint than natural gas.

The question was asked if the project was viable without the biomass plant. The answer is yes, however “green” energy offers a much higher level of interest in the data center. It was also explained that the cost of energy provided by the biomass plant is 4 cents per KWH compared to 8-9 cents from coal; 13 cents from wind and 15-20 cents from solar. It would also provide an educational center to area student as well as a connection to UCCS by offering student involvement in the “information technology” aspects of the Data Center.

Another question asked by Authority members was if the site met the criteria of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Ryan Tefertiller, City Development Review, stated that the project had not been analyzed by City Planning as yet. He then commented that the master plan for the area does call for an industrial use and said that traffic volumes would be reviewed.

Ms. Ann Ricker, of Ricker/Cunningham, was then introduced as the presenter for the recently completed Conditions Study on the proposed Vineyards project site. Ms. Ricker stated that 9 of the 11 conditions of blight, as stated in the Colorado State Statutes, were found within the Vineyards Property Metro District and the surrounding rights-of-way. The property is located east of Interstate 25, west of Fountain Creek, north of Spring Run (an irrigation canal) and south of El Pomar Youth Park in the southern part of Colorado Springs and is comprised of approximately 109 acres including road rights-of-way. Much of the site was a former golf course with a dilapidated clubhouse, mobile trailers, shed, above ground fuel storage tanks and what appears to be an unsafe residential structure.

There being no further discussion Commissioner Kin presented the following:

RESOLUTION NO. 1713

A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE CONDITIONS STUDY PREPARED BY RICKER/CUNNINGHAM FOR THE VINEYARDS DATA CENTER

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, THAT:

A resolution approving the Conditions Study for the Vineyards Data Center as prepared by Ricker/Cunningham was presented.

Motion was made by Commissioner Kin, seconded by Commissioner Venezia, that Resolution #1713 be adopted.

Upon a Call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Michael Collins

Brian Colvert

Scott Hente

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

None

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Commissioner Harman stated that she supported 5 of the 9 blight criteria included in the blight factors. Commissioner Olson stated he echoed Commissioner Harman.

Jim Rees then asked for approval from Authority members to enlist Ricker/Cunningham in preparing the Vineyards Data Center Urban Renewal Plan. Chuck Miller explained that some financial information had been submitted, however there needed to be some clarification on some of the figures. He further stated that there were some huge numbers equated with this project. The construction of the data center is estimated to cost approximately $1,000 per square foot. Due to the fact that CSURA staff is not familiar with this type of project there will be an educational curve to overcome.

Commissioner Kin stated that the biomass energy plant is quite exciting; however the esthetics of the buildings and surrounding landscape is of concern. He further stated that the additional trail and sports fields along with the biomass plant and data center should be planned so as not to negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood.

There being no further discussion Commissioner Kin presented the following:

RESOLUTION NO. 1714

A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE URBAN RENEWAL PLAN FOR THE VINEYARDS DATA CENTER PROJECT

RESOLUTION NO. 1714

A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE URBAN RENEWAL PLAN FOR THE VINEYARDS DATA CENTER PROJECT AT THE DEVELOPER’S EXPENSE

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, THAT:

A resolution approving the preparation of the Urban Renewal Plan for the Vineyards Data Center Project by Ricker/Cunningham, to be paid for by the developer was presented.

Amended motion was made by Commissioner Wood-Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Harman, that Resolution #1714 be adopted.

Upon a Call for the Vote, the following Commissioners voted:

AYES:

Michael Collins

Brian Colvert

Scott Hente

Jim Kin

John Olson

Rosemarie Venezia

Susan Wood-Ellis

The following voted:

NAYES:

None

The motion was declared carried and the Resolution adopted.

Due to the steep learning curve and to quantify the tax increment financing (TIF) numbers Anne Ricker asked Authority members if they would be interested in a couple of special meetings to share additional information concerning the biomass plant and the potential TIF numbers. She further stated that she anticipated a public meeting to be set in about 3 months and that it would be critical that the El Paso County Assessor be educated on the data center and biomass plant to be sure assessments are fair and accurate. It would also be necessary to have discussions with all taxing entities to be sure they are up to date on this type of development. The financial calculations already submitted for review by CSURA staff did not include any TIF from the biomass plant. Chuck Miller suggested that a presentation be made to City Council on the same topics before the Urban Renewal Plan was presented to them for consideration whether it be the current Council or a future Council.

Item #6 – Southwest Downtown Gas Admin Building – Chuck Miller

Due to a time constraint Mike Trapp, Rampart Plumbing, was introduced. Mr. Trapp stated that the homeless have become a significant problem around his business located directly behind the Pikes Peak Center and that the Police Department has not been able to do much about the issue. He is very concerned about the safety of the citizens who use the free parking spaces in the vicinity after dark. He feels that with so little illumination in the area and the homeless situation that there is cause for real concern for people getting off work and for citizens attending events at the Pikes Peak center and using the free parking. He requested that from a public safety standpoint, that the streetlights are turned back on. Commissioner Kin authorized a letter be sent from CSURA to the City supporting Mr. Trapp’s request.

Chuck Miller stated that CSURA staff has been working with the Colorado Springs Utilities on making an offer to purchase the Gas Administration Building to be able to have control of the property for redevelopment. Commissioner Hente stated that the Statement of Intent needs to be updated as well.

Item #7 - South Central Downtown URA – Jim Rees

Mr. Rees explained that Lehman Brothers is an equity partner in both the Lowell Project (South Central Downtown URA) and the Spring Creek Project. Both projects are currently in financial trouble. The decision has been made to auction off units in the Poet’s Lofts building in the Lowell Project. Mr. Earl Robertson is still managing the Lowell Project. Mr. Miller requested that Dan Hughes, CSURA legal counsel, give Authority members their options concerning the changes in the project situation.

Item #8 – Other Matters

Mary-K. Burnett stated that a Call for Entry had been distributed for sculptures on the four corner pedestals at North Nevada Avenue and Eagle Rock Road in the North Nevada Avenue Corridor URA. The deadline for submittals is January 17th with installation completed by the end of April 2011.

Jim Rees stated that there is some funding that could be put toward future planning in the project area; primarily with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He asked for direction from Authority members. The general consensus was to move forward.

Item 98 - Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Commissioners, motion was made by Commissioner Wood-Ellis, seconded by Commissioner Venezia, to adjourn the meeting. Upon unanimous vote, the meeting was declared adjourned at 1:32 p.m.

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