Day: October 25, 2011

Councilor has plan to pay debt while urban renewal sunsets

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Councilor Joe Egli has an idea to pay down outstanding bond debt without extending the urban renewal district. It got a cool reception from City Manager Chris Eppley, who said the consequences could be “catastrophic.” Nevertheless, city financial staff plan to run a scenario that would show how the numbers work. A sense of urgency pervades the debate, with Community Development Director Nate Brown explaining the option to use urban renewal ends when the district expires. While Egli’s proposal would include spending about $1 million in unspent urban renewal dollars, he said part of some $572,000 coming back annually to the city after the urban renewal district ends could be dedicated to making bond payments. Urban renewal currently pays a portion of some city employees’ salaries and pays some civic center expenses. After those are absorbed into the general fund Egli expects about $332,000 would be left over. The situation results from a local developer’s apparent inability to make payments on local improvement district bonds the city issued on behalf of Keizer Station. Local improvement districts are a government-backed way for property owners to build public improvements like street, water and sewer service. Extending the urban renewal district means entities like Marion County, fire districts and the like receive less money than they would have otherwise. No final decision has been made about...

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