By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Commissioners question the good of urban renewal districts

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Dundee's urban renewal funds only funded a small portion of the sidewalks along 99W. A limited improvement district that included funds from property owners along 99W provided another small portion. A grant from ODOT funded the majority of the improvements. Dundee's urban renewal funds will pay for improvements to 9th street.

David S. Wall

*"DundeeTed's" example of Dundee's Urban Renewal Agency (URA) use of FUNDs may illustrate an example of an apparently well managed URA in coordination of additional funding sources with professional oversight. But, there are still many questions as to the number of citizens participating in the process.

*From the article, "... Lafayette Mayor Marie Sproul and City Administrator Preston Polasek told commissioners that city residents enthusiastically support the project,..." This statement requires more information. How many city residents? How was their "...enthusiastically support..." solicited and documented?

My opinion of URAs is...they can easily become blood-sucking vampires in need of wooden stakes driven through their hearts. 'Be-aware' for URA's can very easily turn into perpetual 'Debt Machines'.

Does a URA's flippantly incurred financial obligations and failures related to revenue generation have access to a city's GENERAL FUND?

Also, URA's frequently make investments to business property owners who benefit greatly at the expense of the taxpayers who usually, if not always, 'get the short-end of the stick'.

*The Newbergians are getting ready to join the 'indebt URA crowd' for their inane gamble in the development of the old paper mill site and corresponding upgrades benefiting Downtown property owners.

*McMinnvilleans have embraced a URA debt in excess of [$27,000,000.00] and counting.

Consider comparing Redevelopment Agencies (RDA) in California-which were shuttered in 2012 with URAs.

For a brief look into RDAs check-out:

Does a URA look-like and operate as a RDA?

Hold onto your wallets.

David S. Wall

Angela Flood

David S. Wall
Responses were solicited through a low turnout request for a survey. I did not take it, but apparently about 180 people did for a chance in a drawing for a utility credit.
From what I am told, the questions were vague about what was actually entailed and no consequences of the passage were posted.
The point was moot, however, as it had already been been approved by the council before they ever met with the commissioners.