Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Another Urban Renewal project

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cascade head

The Lincoln City Council is planning another urban renewal for Roads End and The Village of The Cascades.

The mission statement for the City states “eliminate blight and depreciating property values with the agency and attract job production private investments that will improve property values”.

Since the beginning of urban renewal in 1988, the City has received over $49 million dollars of your tax money. The agency has spent millions on purchasing buildings and vacant lots which are now off the tax rolls and none of which gives return to the taxpayers.

The City owns over $52 million in property values. Approximately 34% of these properties are surplus. The City has used our money to fund public works projects which also do not add to the tax base.

In summary, the City has caused the opposite effect for which urban renewal was intended:  they have not produced private investments or working employment that would improve the tax base. It has been a complete failure for taxpayers. The City has taken millions away from the tax base which takes it from our schools, public safely, and college.

The six years the City has owned the Village of the Cascades has already cost the taxpayers hundred of thousands of dollars.

We have allowed the City Council to continually abuse the purpose and goals of urban renewal and promote government over the needs of its taxpayers.

Jerry Warner

PO Box 512

Lincoln City, OR

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The views and opinions expressed in letters to the editor are not necessarily those of Lincoln City Homepage.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I might add this as well. Lincoln City does not need to purchase a homeless facility that will be another payment each month. This only encourages the homeless to come here. It is very hard for families to live on the Oregon Coast and make enough money to support them. The building they have decided to purchase is too close to apartments with families. Some of these homeless men are dangerous. Just another added expense to taxpayers.

  2. Jerry, I salute your continued engagement in city government, but couldn’t disagree more about Urban Renewal. It’s done amazing things for the community. Just ask any SW 51st St merchant. Or ask the 20-plus employees of the glass shop this summer, or the landlords that rent to them or the shops that sell them clothing and groceries — or those who do the same for the countless tourists that descend on the studio or walk the safe, wide, welcoming sidewalks throughout all the areas Urban Renewal has improved. Urban Renewal has proved a critical funding mechanism for infrastructure improvements across the nation, as it had here at home. The alternatives are simple: allow the streets and structures our parents built to decay and erode, or raise property or other taxes to fund the upkeep. UR remains an elegant middle-ground solution that requires communities to take a long view and build funds over time for deliberate and thoughtful improvements. It’s been done well here.

  3. Mr Werner,
    I think your reporting on the City’s plan to gift 3/4 of a million dollars to Helping Hands Rehab Transitional Housing may be the tip of the iceberg. The real question is not about homelessness, it’s what to do about mental health and addiction. I wonder why the council thought this money would better serve the community through Helping Hands instead of helping the working poor of our city, possibly by rent subsidies where landlords get a tax credit to help lower rents. As a permanent resident and taxpayer of Lincoln City, I would like more information about this transaction, because this deal appears to have the look of a backdoor good old boys feel to it. More answers to questions should be forthcoming. For instance, who owned and sold the property, do they have any connection to the city or council? Has the $350,000.00 loan for code upgrades already been promised to a favoured construction company? These are some questions taxpayers need to know. We need to be assured that everything was done in an above board manner, as this transaction occurred behind closed doors.

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