Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Response to paid ad from Bellevue mayor



    Mayor Koch’s obtuse response to my guest opinion, “Who’s guarding the hen house in Bellevue?” demonstrates the difficulty the Bellevue City Council has in justifying a $2.2 million gift to developers. It did nothing to substantiate the mayor’s claims.
    The capitalization dollars the mayor cites would come to the city anyway, water and sewer impact fees notwithstanding. Everyone has to pay fees to hook up to the system, but the city cannot use them to lower the bonded indebtedness. In the original negations, impact money was intended to reduce sewer rates.
    By dropping water and sewer from the impact analysis, the council gave up the buy-in to the city’s capital investments. Strahorn came with no water rights. The council gave the developers 13 percent or 19.5 inches of our 1880 spring rights worth at least $500,000. The original sewer buy-in included 10-plus acres of heavy industrial land in Glendale, high-pressure lines and pumps to transport waste, a $6 million plant and collector lines. This represents about $8 million, 13 percent of which would be about $1.04 million that could be dedicated to sewer rate relief.  
    The $2 million in land transfers the mayor mentions has a current value of about $175,000. Council devalued the Cedar Street house by 50 percent in a land trade and the 61 acres will have little value for the next 15 years. The developer got recession discounts, but received bubble values for the property credit.
    The Strahorn gift to developers will be the council’s legacy and we taxpayers will get to pay the bill.
Tom Blanchard
City administrator 2006-2011
Bellevue

 




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