Day: October 10, 2011

Urban renewal could pay off developer’s bond debt

Extending the urban renewal district to pay off a developer’s outstanding bond debt will ultimately save the city’s financial future from draconian cuts, the city manager said Monday night. The move would most likely mean the end of River Road Renaissance, the city’s business corridor improvement program that built sidewalks and helped finance facade improvements. The city may foreclose on the properties where bond payments are past due. The Keizer City Council has yet to take action on the proposal. Formal votes cannot be taken at a work session. A joint meeting of the planning commission and the city’s urban renewal advisory committee will meet Nov. 9, and councilors will take up the matter again at their second formal meeting in November. “The ultimate goal being to sell it as was intended by using it as security, and take the proceeds to pay down the debt … or reimburse the overlapping jurisdictions for the foregone urban renewal revenues,” City Manager Chris Eppley said. Details of foreclosure won’t be discussed in open session, said City Attorney Shannon Johnson. Extending the urban renewal district past its anticipated sunset date in 2012 affects taxing jurisdictions like fire districts, counties and others. School districts are reimbursed by the state for any lost funds. The city must get agreement from jurisdictions contributing a total of at least 75 percent of the revenue; any combination of...

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McNary restarts athletic booster efforts

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Ron Richards, McNary High School’s athletic director, finds it strange, considering the level of support the Celtics have in the community, that there is no organized sports booster club. “Most all 6A programs have a booster club, and I’ve had many people ask about one so we’re trying to lay the groundwork for a sound booster club for all McNary athletics. Not because of current times, but because successful programs have that support,” Richards said. Richards set a first meeting for 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17, at McNary. McNary has not had an athletic booster club for two years, but several individual sports have clubs that raise funds for specific needs. Richards views the new club as one that will tackle projects that support all athletics at the school. “I want to help create a club that will draw in the people who could fund-raise and organize activities that bring the community of Keizer and McNary closer together,” Richards said. One of the first projects Richards would like to see the club coalesce around is improvements to the Celt training and weight room. “McNary has a training room like none I’ve ever seen,” Richards said, indicating that it was not up-to-snuff with the facilities at other 6A programs. “I see the booster club as helping us make improvements, but I want the projects...

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Proposed tax is town hall topic

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Two town halls aim to shed light on a public safety fee on the ballot next month. The events are both at 7 p.m. and on Thursdays: One’s October 13 at the Keizer Civic Center, and the other is October 20 at Gubser Elementary School. Voters will be asked in November whether a $4.86 monthly fee will be assessed on residential and non-residential units like businesses. About 69 cents of each dollar would go to Keizer Police and the other 31 cents to fire districts operating within the city. The forum on Oct. 13 is sponsored by the West Keizer Neighborhood Association, while the event on Oct. 20 is backed by the Gubser Neighborhood Association. Members of the Keizer City Council will also be on hand to answer...

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