Day: February 6, 2012

Urban renewal extension will help pay bond debt

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes An urban renewal extension to cover the city of Keizer’s bond debt was approved on first reading by the city council Monday night. The change will allow the urban renewal district to collect more than $5.7 million before reaching the new maximum indebtedness cap. Part of the plan includes defunding the city’s River Road Renaissance (RRR) program, created to revitalize the city’s urban core in a bid to help compete with Keizer Station. The council’s vote was initially 5-1, with Councilor Joe Egli voting no. Councilor David McKane was absent. But he later agreed to change his vote to yes so that the council wouldn’t have to vote on the matter again. Ordinances require two votes if the first is not unanimous. Egli said the proposal takes needed funds away from the RRR program. He also said councilors were straying from promises to let the district sunset this year. “Urban renewal was meant for investing in our community, for growing and getting a return, and this will not do that,” Egli added. Councilor Jim Taylor saw the vote as insurance for the city. He said that having a lump sum due in 2025 – when the principal is due on the bonds – would render the city insolvent. The extension got more than the required approvals from neighboring agencies, including Marion County, Salem-Keizer...

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