Last Monday the Salem City Council voted 7-2 to form a Lone Oak Road Reimbursement District that's supposedly needed to pay for a missing north and south section, plus a bridge over Jory Creek.
I talked about this in "City Council poised to make public pay for improvements, not Larry Tokarski." Tokarski is the developer of Creekside, through which the north section of the so-far unbuilt Lone Oak Road would pass.
The mystery is why Tokarski never was required to pay for that part of the road, plus the bridge over Jory Creek. He started construction of these improvements in 2007, as documented in a staff report for the June 26, 2017 City Council meeting.
Two photos show what was started by Tokarski, then stopped. (click to enlarge)
I asked some questions of Dan Atchison, the City of Salem attorney. He graciously gave me a detailed response, which I've shared below. But after reading what Atchison wrote, I still was left with this post's title question, "Why did Larry Tokarski start, then stop, construction of Lone Oak Road?"
I understand the reasons given by Atchison why Tokarski supposedly wasn't required to make the Lone Oak Road improvements. But the fact that he started to make them sure supports an assumption that Tokarski knew he had an obligation to build the bridge and road.
So why didn't City officials force Tokarski to restart construction rather than letting him proceed with further Creekside development? I hope this gets answered, because it is a $7.5 million question -- the cost to build the bridge over Jory Creek and the northern section of Lone Oak Road.
Here's my response to Dan Atchison, followed by his message that sparked my response.
Dan, as noted in a previous reply, I appreciate your detailed response to my questions. Having pondered the last City Council meeting where the Lone Oak Road issue was discussed, along with associated documents, I’m still wondering about a few things.
DAN ATCHISON'S MESSAGE:
A few points of clarification on the MOU. First, I misspoke on Monday when I referred to the 2016 LUBA appeal as leading to the MOU, instead it was the 2015 LUBA appeal, as discussed below. Second, the City did not agree to construct or pay for the bridge in the MOU. As set forth in that document, City staff committed to recommending to Council that the project be included in the City’s capital improvement plan (CIP) up to $750,000.
Council later adopted that recommendation, and the project is in the CIP today. In reality the MOU did not bind the City to do anything, or pay any money, that it was not already obligated to do if and when the project was constructed. The City was not an active participant in the 2015 LUBA appeal. The developer and the HOA, who intervened in the appeal, would be a better source on the background for that issue. Moving the project into the CIP simply made the $750,000 immediately available for reimbursement to a developer that actually constructed the improvements. The project is listed on page 32 of the CIP for $1,050,000 in Transportation System Development (TSDC) funds, and can be found at the following link: