Monday, October 15, 2018

What is our Downtown Worth?

This is what is at stake in the November 6 election:

For less than $25,000/year, the Council wanted to sell the downtown lot to an outside developer in order to put in a memory care facility.  Not including the one time sale proceeds, the City's share of future property tax revenue from the most recent effort to sell off the downtown lot, plus defraying the current cost of maintaining the land would yield less than $25K/year.   That is less than the Council receives in aggregate compensation.

That doesn't take into account the intangible benefits that accrue to the character of the city, and all the other events and activities held in that area that would be crowded out.  Plus, with the fee revenue from events that utilize the property, the $25K/year benefit is actually substantially less.  But even at the higher value, that is approximately $5.50/parcel.  And for that, the Council was willing to sacrifice the character of our downtown.

Here is Mr. Napper describing the ongoing carrying cost of the open lot during the 11/7/17 Council meeting:

And from a later document presented at a different Council meeting, a document from the city that describes the future projected tax revenue:

The Council was NOT required to enter into the ENA to sell the land - that was a choice they made.  They will say that they were engaging in the process, that they agreed to enter into this agreement so people could speak for or against.  But that shouldn't be the case.  The residents of Clayton shouldn't have to engage in a fire drill to shout down the latest bad idea from the Council.