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 us to continue to go out to Keizer Station, but we got no revenue from there,” Van Meter said.
The Salem-Keizer School Board will hear from city officials on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Michael Wolfe, the district’s chief operations officer, said important votes like this generally require a first and second reading.
Wolfe wants to see guaranteed repayment at some point.
“The way it appears in the proposal now is that at some undefined point of time in the future with the sale of the foreclosed property, if there’s enough money to pay us back, then we’d be paid back in full with interest,” Wolfe said. “If there isn’t enough proceeds to do that then we wouldn’t receive the full amount. We’d like to see at least some of those terms and conditions tightened up.”
Jurisdictions representing at least 75 percent of total revenue collected must sign off.