Day: November 5, 2011

Plans compete to solve bond debt

Two plans proposed to pay down delinquent local improvement district debt vary in who would suffer in the short term. The Keizer Urban Renewal Board and Planning Commission will consider the matter at a joint meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Keizer Civic Center. The proposal favored by city staff is to extend the urban renewal district, which spreads the burden out among the city, fire districts, Marion County and other entities with taxing authority in Keizer. Councilor Joe Egli prefers the city take on that debt itself, ending the urban renewal district and using about $315,000 in annual revenues resulting from the end of urban renewal to make debt service payments. “This is a deal that we made with the developer,” Egli said. “It’s not a deal the school district, the fire district or Marion County or the transit district made, it’s not the rest of the districts around us responsibility that the developer is in default. We’re asking them to bear the load, and it’s not right.” City Manager Chris Eppley said that plan was considered, but was scuttled before the Keizer City Council had its initial work session on the topic. He said it would cause the layoff of four to five employees over the next 20 or so years. “We analyzed it up front and decided to find other alternatives,” Eppley said....

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Schools seek guaranteed urban renewal repayment

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes At least temporarily, taxing districts like Marion County, Salem-Keizer School District and Keizer Fire District would forego hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue if Keizer’s urban renewal district is extended. But under the plan proposed by city staff, those districts would get 70 percent of what they would receive if the urban renewal district were to simply expire. City leaders are also promising reimbursement via sale of land the city plans to foreclose on, while at the same time serving reminders that Keizer Station will bring them additional revenue over the long haul. The proposal floated in the past two weeks to county, fire and school officials is to extend the district for a four-year period to collect a total of about $5.5 million. The intent is to ensure the city is able to pay down outstanding bond debt at Keizer Station that a developer has failed to pay. So far Keizer Fire District’s board of directors agreed by consensus to support the city in their efforts. No other jurisdiction has yet voted on the issue. Joe Van Meter, president of the KFD board, said it was the city’s proposal to collect only 30 percent of what’s allowed that helped sway him. “We would like to get something out of the urban renewal district because it was continuing to put strain on...

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