A few days ago I blogged about newly-elected city councilor Jackie Leung's effort to fulfill a campaign promise by attempting to get the Salem City Council to reconsider its decision to form a Lone Oak Road Reimbursement District.
The Reimbursement District would raise money to pay for road improvements by collecting between about $4,000 and $10,000 from lot owners in the south Salem area when a home is built on their property.
It's unclear whether the City Council will undertake a reconsideration of the Reimbursement District, which has to be done at next Tuesday's council meeting, because an agenda item implements the decision that passed on a 5-4 vote on May 14.
One of the five council members who voted for the Reimbursement District would have to make a motion to reconsider the vote: Mayor Chuck Bennett, or councilors Brad Nanke, Sally Cook, Steve McCoid, and Chris Hoy.
After residents in the Creekside neighborhood began emailing City officials, urging that the Reimbursement District be reconsidered and overturned, they got this response from Tami Carpenter, the City Manager's Executive Assistant.
Thank you for your email to the City Council. We understand your concern regarding the possible closure and development of Creekside Golf Course. This however, is a private property matter that, as you know, has been playing out in the courts.The City Council does not have authority to stop the golf course owners from closing the facility. If the golf course is redeveloped, it will then have to meet current development standards and be subject to administrative and possible City Council reviews, as warranted.The issue of funding construction of Lone Oak Road extension with a reimbursement district has been comingled with the possible closure of the golf course. The City Council’s decision has no bearing on the future of the golf course. The decision simply states that if—and only if—the golf course is redeveloped then a fee will be assessed on the new lots to pay for a portion of the street construction. The fee will also be assessed on new subdivision developments south of Jory Creek.Additional funding from other development fees has also been allocated to the project. The existing Creekside owners are not subject to the fee, nor are any existing Salem residents subject to the fee or assessment for this project. Thank you again for your email,
Executive Assistant to the City Manager Mayor/City Manager’s Office503-588-6255 [email protected]
Since I've followed this issue closely, a Creekside resident contacted me and asked if I'd prepare a reply that could be posted on the Creekside NextDoor site. Here's what I wrote and sent to the resident yesterday.
Today I realized that I wanted to share some arguments with City officials about why the Lone Oak Road Reimbursement District is a bad idea. This is the message that went to members of the City Council and key City of Salem staff.
Mayor Bennett and city councilors, I realize that you probably think that everything that could be said about the Lone Oak Road Reimbursement District already has been said.
“We probably would see the southern leg built, because there are a couple of subdivisions coming in that, you know, need to put pieces of it in, and we could probably make that happen.We would struggle financially with getting the bridge [over Jory Creek] built. SDC’s [System Development Charges] would be applied, but there wouldn’t be any leverage, so you see the math that Mr. Davis showed you. We’d be waiting a long time for the bridge, but you’d probably get the southern leg built.”