csuralogov2
MEETING

JUNE 25, 2014

AGENDA

Date:

June 25, 2014

Time:

11:00 a.m.

Place

City Hall – Pikes Peak Room

107 N. Nevada Ave., Third Floor

Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903

Agenda:

1.

Approval of the Meeting Minutes

2.

Approval of the Financial Report

3.

Citizen Comment Period Rules and Procedures

4.

Board Meeting Location

5.

Gold Hill Mesa Commercial Area Urban Renewal Plan

6.

Other Matters

Audio:

June 25, 2014 Transcript

THE COLORADO SPRINGS URBAN RENEWAL AUTHORITY

HELD ITS REGULAR MEETING ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 25, 2014

AT CITY HALL, PIKES PEAK ROOM

107 NORTH NEVADA AVENUE, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80903

In attendance were:

COMMISSIONERS:

Tiffany Colvert

Merv Bennett

Valerie Hunter

David Neville

Wynne Palermo

Jim Raughton

Nolan Shriner

Peter Scoville

Robert Shonkwiler

Also in attendance:

Carrie Bartow

CliftonLarsonAllen, CPA

Thuy Dam

Dan Hughes

CSURA Legal Counsel

Peter Wysocki

ITEM 1 – APPROVAL OF THE MEETING MINUTES

Motion by Mr. Raughton, Second by Ms. Palermo to approve the May 28, 2014 meeting minutes. The motion carried 6-0 with Mr. Shonkwiler abstaining.

ITEM 2 – APPROVAL OF THE FINANCIAL REPORT

Ms. Bartow reviewed the financial reports as provided in the packet.

Mr. Neville inquired about the Vineyards administration fees, whether or not the Authority has collected from Developer. Ms. Bartow is to research and follow-up on the matter.

Motion to approve by Ms. Palermo, Second by Mr. Scoville. The motion carried 7-0.

ITEM 3 – Citizen Comment Period Rules and Procedures

Mr. Neville reviewed a proposal put together with detailed rules and policies to integrate a public comment period into upcoming Board meetings. Most other URAs have implemented public comment periods across the board. There are no rules indicating that it must be done – we can establish one or not. It is important to have some structure to the comment period though including, time allocation, focused on current subject matter and relevant to items on the agenda.

Mr. Shonkwiler and Mr. Raughton were in favor of the implementation and stated that we should adopt this proposal.

Mr. Bennett stated that he liked the rules and procedures document. He also indicated that items of critical concern should be added to the agenda.

Ms. Hunter and Ms. Palermo indicated if anyone has new issues, they need to be added to the agenda. The Board needs to control the meeting. If possible, it would be better to add the agenda items to the website.

Mr. Neville expressed his concern of the website not being kept current. It should be a depository of all documents available to the Authority and the public. All documents to be posted will go through Mr. Rees. He would like to proceed with this as a separate plan.

Mr. Scoville inquired of the ability to allocate funds to work on the website without requesting from City. Mr. Neville stated that we can decide and allocate available funding from the Authority’s General Fund.

Mr. Shonkwiler expressed that he would like to remove the perception of the public thinking we are doing something in the dark. The plan is to get everything available through our website. The more information available to the public, the better it is to dispel conspiracy theories.

Ms. Hunter stated that submission of any public concern regarding urban renewal items should be made through a formal process.

Mr. Neville indicated that the policy document will be posted on our website after it is finalized.

Motion by Mr. Shonkwiler, subject to amendment regarding that they subject matter be germane to the agenda topics as presented by Mr. Neville and the policy document is to be reviewed again within 6 months. Second by Mr. Raughton. Motion carried 7-0.

ITEM 4 – Board Meeting Location

Mr. Neville expressed his uncertainty of the cost associated with having SpringsTV if the Authority is to have Council Chamber meetings. He also questioned if this is something the Board would like to proceed with. Another option would be switching to Council Chamber for special meetings only and keep regular meetings where they are. He then opened it up for the Board for discussion.

Mr. Raughton suggested we should move to having Council Chamber meetings. We had a meeting there once before and it worked.

Ms. Palermo disagreed and expressed that the current location is more comfortable. The Board could share their thoughts with more information and interactions. She personally does not see the need of switching.

Mr. Schriner and Mr. Scoville also disagreed. Mr. Schriner stated that this is a volunteer group so we should not feel like we are forced into anything.

Mr. Neville also disagreed with moving to Council Chambers.

Ms. Hunter disagreed with moving to Council Chambers. She expressed that as a new member, she would like to be able to speak in a more comfortable environment. She understood that people want transparency; however, this can be resolved by disclosing information on our website and the public can attend meetings as well. Council Chamber meetings are not necessary and we may still have some people saying “no transparency”.

Mr. Shonkwiler agreed with having Council Chamber meetings. He expressed that the way we currently do things are much more collaborative than years ago. It depends on how the Board runs the meeting and discusses topics. He did not care to be on SpringsTV but thought that it would be helpful to have the meeting as open as possible.

Mr. Bennet also agreed. However, he stated that if we do not move to Council Chamber, it is important to post information on the website. No one currently has access to the audio recording. Hearing dialogs going on is different than reading meeting minutes.

Ms. Hunter agreed with Ms. Colvert with the idea that not only minutes but also audio recordings should be posted via a dropbox (one link).

Ms. Palermo was in favor of the idea of having information available on our website. We will need to follow up with Mr. Rees and decide what would be the best avenue not involving City. She liked Ms. Colvert’s idea of a dropbox.

Ms. Bartow indicated that we can easily get everything via a dropbox quickly. CLA does it for many of its clients. It is not a time consuming task.

Mr. Schriner stated that if we have the money, let’s proceed with the dropbox idea and have someone work on our website. If the City Council’s concern is transparency, this is the way to do it. We will have Mr. Rees perform some research and get back to us.

Ms. Hunter expressed that we should expedite and proceed with the plan shortly so it will not be a month from now.

ITEM 5 – Gold Hill Mesa Commercial Area Urban Renewal Plan

Mr. Willard opened the discussion by stating that it is the 20th year into this project and he would like to hear comments/questions.

Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of the adoption of this URA plan before any current Commissioner joined the Board. Mr. Hughes and Mr. Rees were involved at the time. He also inquired if the plan specified that the URA should be taking property tax and/or sales tax increment at this point. Also, was there a special district? If yes, what is the mill levy? (10.000 mills for O&M and 30.000 mills for Debt Service).

Mr. Willard continued by stating that on a reimbursement basis, there were no public bonds issued. All capital invested has been private capital. This unique project area will revitalize downtown and will really be an asset. There has been interest from multiple parties of public companies. The environment is right for retail commercial areas. He also stated that there is still a lot of work to be done before the Developers get reimbursed. The difficulty is that businesses all want incentives and we are not inclined to give in to them. Rick Butler was the architect and he believed this is an unusual property and has potential to grow. The URA includes the residential area. The reimbursement schedule for the residential area was written in with a place holder for the commercial area. The redevelopment agreement anticipates a 2nd phase. This next phase took awhile as the project slowed down in 2005 due to the economic recession.

Mr. Raughton inquired if we are talking about a new plan and what the proposal is for. Are there any big box stores coming in such as Wal-mart, Costco, etc.? He also inquired if this is a different commercial structure of an existing design.

Mr. Shonkwiler inquired if the Developers are planning to sell any amount of the property. His understanding was that Mr. Willard is proposing a different reimbursement plan – not only the property tax increment but also sales tax increment. How are we going to fix the City’s problems now that they have to split funds? The City’s general fund will be diverted elsewhere. He would like to bring up the subject early in the process before it goes too far. We need to address the issue of the dollar amount and how to deal with City’s general fund? He also would like to see the entire plan – need to have all information available instead of phase by phase.

Mr. Neville explained that the property is owned by GHM partners. The existing URA already has been collecting property tax TIF, which had started when the original GHM Urban Renewal Plan was approved. The sales tax TIF is to be addressed with City Council later as part of the adoption of the new URA.

Mr. Neville stated that the feasibility study will address the County impact.

Mr. Raughton was supportive of the idea to conduct the Conditions study.

Mr. Hughes stated that the URA had addressed an environmentally blighted area. It started off with a residential phase 1 and anticipated to complete with a commercial site. There are many issues out there other than just another development.

Mr. Neville stated that sales tax TIF has to go through City Council for approval, not CSURA. There are different percentages of sales tax increment that can be approved. Ricker Cunningham will run some numbers based on the assumptions for the feasibility study. He also indicated that he has not heard what level of increment might be approvable by Council.

Ms. Bartow indicated that Board authorization is required to proceed with the condition study. Board approval is needed today.

Mr. Schriner inquired of projecting sales tax figures. The impact report should be the 1st initial step at the process.

Mr. Neville stated that the cost of condition study is $25,000. It’s important to restart the TIF clock. One of the alternatives is to use the existing plan and go through City Council to restart the clock on the entire area. No percentage of sales tax TIF was listed in the original plan, which has already been approved by the City. We just have to go through the City Council.

Mr. Shonkwiler stated that all issues should be resolved before the decision to start the project. This project needs to move forward without another 10-year delay.

Ms. Bartow indicated that the feasibility study will be the 1st step in getting started.

Mr. Shonkwiler stated that it is important to get the redevelopment and financing agreement established before doing any studies.

Mr Neville stated that the Developers will use their own funds for the conditions study.

Mr. Raughton expressed his support of the study of the new URA based on the environmental condition. We will get answers from the studies.

Mr. Willard addressed that Hwy 24 is a bottleneck. The bridge will need to be widened for better traffic flow. The bridge over Hwy 24 will be paid for by the Developers. He also indicated that a few years ago, one of the Commissioners came to a GHM Board meeting and was provided a tour around the area. It is important to understand and see the property with your own eyes.

Ms. Hunter liked the idea of the tour around the project area. She agreed that it is important to understand what is going on in the area.

Mr. Neville invited the public to comment on this agenda item #5. Each person may speak for 3 minutes or less.

Public Comment #1 Bill Murray addressed the concern of not having access to the documentation on the website. The general interest should be the bigger picture. He inquired of when the bridge is going to be completed and who will be paying.

Mr. Willard indicated that the bridge will be constructed and paid by the Developers.

Motion to authorize the preparation of the new conditions study as well as require that a preliminary proforma be prepared that will identify the need for the use of tax increment financing in order for the development to be viable – Motion by Ms. Palermo. Second by Ms. Hunter. Motion passed 6-0 with Mr. Schriner abstaining.

ITEM 6 – Other Matters

Public Comment #1 (Anita Miller) She also requested a more transparent process through Council Chamber meetings. The citizens have no say in where the City for Champions? money should go and do we need to have a new stadium built. The question remains as to who is going to own the stadium. There are many more facts that are not getting out to the public. She also stated that if you give transparency to people, there would be no conspiracy issue.

Public Comment #2 (Bill Murray) demanded the necessary work on the website. The public would like to make specific comments on specific issues so that they don’t feel like everything has been operating in the dark.

Meeting adjourned at 12:32 PM.

Next meeting: July 23, 2014.Mr. Neville stated that we will follow up on potential costs.

No motion to be made today on this item.

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