MOPR'S 4/11/02 TIF / ARP PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES
TAX INCREMENT FINANCING / AMENDED REDEVEVELOPMENT PLAN
8/9/05 NOTES: As part of site-maintainance, the format of this file has been updated, abbrevs have replaced some words & since this is now simply the Notes Section, the other Sec #'s have been adjusted, totaling 5 now instead of 6.
ORIGINAL NOTES: On 4/2/02, marking 1 year & 9 mos of trying to stop our gov't from stealing my property & livelihood for their profit, alone, I spent hours reading the first information sent to me about Private Property Rights. I learned how the epidemic of trampling & violating them was spreading across America, due not only to Eminent Domain & T I F abuse, but also excessive building codes, zoning & business restrictions, permits, licenses, fees, etc. (I am also a victim of VP zoning/change-of-use oppression.)
It hit me like a train, reading that when one person defends their property rights, they are defending EVERYONE'S because these rights are shared, common to all of us. The impact was tremendous; I felt secretly & overwhelmingly responsible. And of course the same concept applies to speaking out against gov'ts horrific & continuous waste of our tax dollars. The info was from my mentor, Mrs. Carol LaGrasse, President of the Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc. in New York, www.prfamerica.org. Then, on that same fateful day, there was a knock on my door & I rcv' the following via certified mail:
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING - AMENDED REDEV PLAN
VALLEY PARK TAX INCREMENT FINANCING COMMISSION
Notice is hereby given that on April 11,2002, at 7:00 pm at the VP City Hall, 320 Benton St, VP, MO, the Tax Increment Financing Cmsn of City VP ("TIF Cmsn") will hold a PBH pursuant to requirements of the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Plan for a portion of the City VP (the "TIF Dist").
The proposed amendments will not alter the exterior bdry of the TIF Dist. The TIF Dist is bounded generally by Vance Rd, Fishpot Creek, and River Dr on the south; Simpson Cnty Park and Grand Glaize Creek on the west; Big Bend Road on the north; and Dougherty Ferry Rd - Forest Ave, Leonard Ave, Ninth St, Marshall Rd, Meramec Station Rd, Plainview Ave, Main St, and Fishpot creek on the west.
The proposed amendments will provide for allocation of certain add'l revenues generated by increased economic activities within the TIF Dist to pay increased redev project costs for the VP Levee project and certain school dist capital costs. A draft copy of the Redev Plan including proposed amendments (the Amended Redev Plan") will be available for review by any interested party at the VP City Hall, 320 Benton St, VP, MOi, on March 15, 2002.
All interested persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard at the PBH. All taxing dists are invited to submit comments to the cmsn pertaining to the subject matter of the hrg, prior to April 11, 2002, pursuant to Section 99.830 RSMo.
Tax Increment Financing Cmsn, City of VP, 320 Benton St, VP, MO 63088.
EXTRA Note: Despite extreme time constraints, I stole 3 hours on 4/8/02 & found myself at Ballwin, MO's BOA mtg with many other Property Rights Activists. We & Dr. Chuck Portwood, MO Rep (R-Dist. 92), successfully prevented Ballwin gov't ofc'ls from GIVING THEMSELVES THE POWER & THE RIGHT to conduct home searches for possible bldg code violations. Everyone there, united, booing & hissing the tyrants was exhilarating! In 12/01, VP had actually passed & then curiously vetoed the same PROPAGANDA !!!
TIF/ARP Hrg Notes Cont'd: I roughly est'd about 50+ people in the audience; later, some said 75+. Another TIF Cmsn Member present was Ms Pat Detch, St. Louis County Executive Office, P & Z also I believe. (I think there are supposed to be 12 members of the TIF Cmsn.) Unfortunately distressed, I had neglected to turn my tape recorder on for the cmsn members' intros & the Pledge of Allegiance where I had proclaimed, "... INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY & JUSTICE FOR ALL, EXCEPT EMINENT DOMAIN VICTIMS ". I sincerely apologize for my profanity when I lost my composure at this hrg.
Bill #1681, Ord #1556, an ord approving an ARP for the city's levee & infrastructure project, approving changes thereto & affirming related findings was passed on 5/6/02. Ref 5/6/02MOPR's 5/6/02 BOA Mtg Mins, Sec 2; 4/11/02 TIF Cmsn Resolution. CONTACT MOPR & voice your opinion.
MOPR'S 4/11/02 TIF / ARP PUBLIC HEARING - INITIALS KEY
|DK||Diane Keller, Audience Person|
|DL||Dr. Dennis Lea, VP School Dist, TIF Cmsn Member|
|DM||Dan Michel, VP Alderman, TIF Cmsn Member|
|EM||Eric Martin, City Attorney & Prosecutor & Levee Counsel|
|GA||Gary Adams, VP Citizen, TIF Cmsn Member|
|JW||Jeffery Whitteaker, Pres., VP BOA|
|LH||Lois Halamicek, Audience Person, Valley Material Co.|
|MM||Maureen Morris, Blighted VP Private Property Owner|
|MW||Marguerite Wilburn, VP City Clerk|
|TB||Tom Bolte, VP Alderman, TIF Cmsn Member|
|TC||Tom Curran, StL Cnty Exec Ofc, P & Z, TIF Cmsn Member|
|UAP||Unidentified Audience Person|
(TAPE BEGINS) EM: ... quorum comes and here's our quorum right here. (Someone says: Where'd he go?) EM: Gary, why don't u sit next to MW, if you'd like. GA: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ & u ladies. (various miscellaneous cmts from others) just got off work. (more misc cmts & laughter) JW: We all voted for MW to be the Chairman, but we needed one more vote to make it ofc'l I believe. GA: Aye, aye. JW: Ok, tku.
EM: Tku. Uh, Members of the Cmsn, um, when I was last here before u in 1998, we presented an ARP which amended a plan dated back to 1992. & in that plan, this cmsn ah, allowed amendments that have an est'd cost of const for the VP levee project at $23M based on 1997 raw data submitted by the COE. Uh, this cmsn, in allowing those amendmts to the ARP, auth'd the city to uh uh bond uh in excess of $2.79M, all of which was used by the city uh for its local share for the VP Levee Project. Um, since that time, the uh uh work by the COE has uh been in progress, specifically, on this 3.1 mile-long levee project.
Uh, in 1998, 1999 & the yr 2000, work was completed on the northern reach of the project & that's this area (referring to his map/drawing) that parallels the Grand Glaize Creek to the east of the Burlington Northern RR tracks, & it went all the way to the closure structure on StL Ave. And the uh total project, approx. 75% of the project was complete with these closure structures uh in hand & the _ _ _ part on Grand Glaize Creek. Also as part of that 75%, was a closure structure on the RR uh near the Meramec River, on BN RR.
As we are here today, the Army COE has expended $20M on the project. They are seeking uh approval from the Sec'y of Army, I assume to a statute passed in 1998, which raised the $20M federal participation in this levee project at $35M. That approval is expected & anticipated very shortly. Um, the city uh to-date has rcv'd or will an, anticipate rcv'g credit for $9.3M. Um what is left? Obviously we have a project that will commence at the StL Ave closure structure, parallel the Meramec River & tie into the Missouri Pacific RR tracks uh, in Arnold's Grove. Um, it's the longest stretch of the levee. It's uh anticipated const cost is $12M in today's uh numbers. The COE anticipates allowing the contract on that in Nov, with an anticipated uh 2-yr const completion date with final completion expected in Spring of 2005.
The changes that I am proposing to the ARP simply remove the caps which had been placed back in 1998. Uh, &, & those caps were designed to fulfill a settlemt agreemt with the VP School Dist. Uh, the School Dist & the city have entered into an Inter-gov'tal Coop Agreemt. Um the the the changes th that I am asking this board to uh approve would be for the city to bond an add'l $3.5M uh net of cost of issuance of which $2.5M uh or so, will be used to satisfy Fire Dist capital costs, as well as complete the city's local share obligation of the levee project. Uh there will be an add'l hundred thousand $ per annum that will go to the VP School Dist as & for increased capital costs uh over & above the $600K that was uh in the original Revdev Plan dated 1992.
DL or GA: Eric, is this the same that was in the printed report? EM: That u rcv'd? Absolutely. I, I made one change; uh & it was done today, uh after a conference with one of the taxing dists. On page 18, - DL or GA: I, I don't have my book with me. I, I _ _ _ _ _ _ is why I'm asking, appreciate it. EM: On page 18, in the first full parag, item 4 was deleted & that item said, special assessmts other than paymts in lieu of taxes were accepted from the revenue stream for the TIF Dist. The reason that was deleted was that a, a dist uh anticipates uh some negotiations with uh a possible tax exempt entity, full paymts in lieu to take over some svcs & they didn't, they wanted to make sure that that revenue stream would not be construed or considered to be part of the project dev costs.
Um, if, if the cmsn feels that it, it is satisfied uh, as to the uh proposed amendmts, uh I, I would ask the cmsn to strongly consider a proposed resolution uh, which I did give to u all, very late notice, but the resolution simply uh indicates that the project bdrys are, are unchanged. Uh, if the uh amendmts to the project uh calling for $3.5M in bonds & the increase uh, of the School Dist. capital costs uh, are approved, then u would recommend the VP BOB go ahead & approve the ARP & pass an ord that will _ _ _ _ _ _. This in turn will allow the city to bond the additional $3.5M, uh, & satisfy its obligations under the ARP_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
GA: Eric, I, I have read the uh, proposal _ _ _ _ very strongly, &, & u know in the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - MM: Excuse me, Gary, could u please use your microphone? GA: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - MM: Gary, I'm sorry, could u please use your microphone? GA: I'm sorry. MM: Tku. GA: I have, I have read uh, the proposal that was, was uh, printed & um, in the confines of my own home &, & u know (pause), where I could sit back & relax & & _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. & uh, as a strong supporter of the VP levee um, for the last 10 yrs, uh, 8 yrs going to Wash DC, uh, I would move that we adopt this uh program & that we uh recommend to the BOF that we approve the uh proposal. EM: Mr. Adams, but before u get to that, I ask that maybe u may want to consider doing that, but uh this is a PBH & as such, the public uh I, I'm sure will want to address this cmsn. If the cmsn has any c/q, I'll be happy to respond.
GA: But don't we have to have a motion & a 2nd before they hear cmts? EM: No, not, not for the PBH. Tku. JW: Eric. EM: yes, sir. JW: This is uh basically it seems, VP's last, there is no money after this, correct? I mean we, what can we do if this doesn't finish the levee? EM: Um things can always happen. Uh the $35M cap that's now in place by 1998 federal legislation, may always be amended at the COE's request. None of us are are soothsayers. We don't know what's gonna happen once they start excavating in there.
But it's, it would be reasonable to assume, that the $12M contract estimate is a good & valid contract est. Um, we have built in our request, an est based on the total $35M cap, rather than what the COE currently anticipates, & & to be more lucid on that, um we're saying that the COE, which currently says their total federal costs will be $32M, we're saying, 'hey, by the time it's over, it's gonna be $35M, & that's where we're coming up with our $2.2M figure. We have to come up with 25% of the total project costs, we being the city of VP, the local sponsor. (GA gets a beeper call: Gary, are u there?)
TC: I have a couple of ques's. EM: Yes, sir. TC: Um the cost est was was roughly $24M in l998, & the new cost est is $43M. & I know the city of VP isn't the cause of or responsible for producing that type of info & support. In laymen's terms, can u explain why the cost would've doubled or has the COE provided u with that actual material? EM: Yeah, I, I followed it as best we can. Ob, obviously the COE is responsible for design, const & const mgmt of this project. The city is, is a partner, much lesser of a partner than the dev, which would be the COE.
We have no input on the bid process or the letting of contracts. Of the, generally speaking, several things have happened. Uh, the, the Army COE Dist has a policy for minority set asides. One reach of this contract was, I won't call it an unbid contract, but it was a minority set aside contract uh, where a, a, a, the company on a list provided by Small Business Administration was notified that they would have the contract uh & after they were notified that they had the contract, then the COE obviously negotiated the terms of that contract with them. Uh, I mean obviously that's not the standard way to, to let contracts. I think it, that did increase uh, that particular contract cost as opposed to the federal bidding.
Uh, there were also some um discoveries of special uh uh waste uh in 2 of the reaches. Uh, at one point there was a concrete batch plant in the levee ROW. Uh all that concrete had to be broken up & carted away with special rates pay at landfills because that is defined as uh special waste. Uh, so u have not only the uh the, the loss of trucking fees, u have tipping fees at the landfill; uh, plus the loss of borrow because that area was originally considered to be uh, the quantity was going to be used for low areas. Uh, & the 2nd reach of the levee, a uh, uh, a diesel fuel uh area was found. Uh, of course mitigation efforts have been taking place. Uh that drove up the costs considerably.
Uh, the original ests did not uh contain a detailed survey of the old VP Glass Works uh which would include the material contained within that facility. The VP Glass Works was a, a huge industrial uh, complex along the river that uh, burned in, in the uh, early 20th century. Uh, it was 3 to 4 blocks long & had uh foundations of the ovens where the glass works are going uh, 3 & 4 stories underground (MM coughing), over a 3-block area, by 1 block. Uh the, the brickwork is all um uh unreinforced, although, uh it's brick work on unreinforced concrete; all that, obviously will be special waste. Uh the, the COE has attempted to do engineered fill to make that the core of the, the levee, but it still, it drives up the cost enormously of this project.
Finally, we have one operating unit, uh & it's called the Wainwright operating unit; uh, it's next door. Uh, that is a a, uh, a mitigation effort by the Wainwright Industries to uh, uh take much of a TCE plume that uh is contained within VP's ground water, uh out of the uh, uh soil. That the impact of that on our project is, is that if there is a flood, the city will have to detain that storm water internally. Um, because of hydrostatic pressure, these detention basins have to have relief wells. Um, these relief wells actually percolate ground water up so that pressure is equalized in some respect on the outside of the levee.
Our whole drainage system had to be reconfigured to go into these detention basins. Fortunately, MDNR feels that the percolation of water from these relief wells may actually percolate contaminated water & they're requiring the city to uh, at least participate in um, some sort of remediation for both PCE & TCE. We just determined or found there's going to be another op'g unit uh, which is a, a bit to the east of, of op'g unit one, & that's also for TCE. So make a long story short, the, the city has the responsibility to um, work out with the COE & MDNR & EPA, a plan uh, to, to dissipate uh, or at least have the water uh, that is discharged eventually to the Meramec River uh, to be uh, at drinking water standard, reprocessed.
TC: Um, my 2nd ques was in regard to the pass thru to the School Dist & I know that this project originally dates far back enough that there have been several changes to the TIF laws in 97, & uh even more, well before that too, but after this project started. Um I'm not sure that I understand the pass thru to the Sch Dist in light of, I mean typically if the funds are being declared surplus & there's a pass thru of sorts, it's returned to all the taxing dists at the same pass along taxing rate that they normally would be generating. & I'm wondering, is this a pass-thru of that nature?
EM: Tom, this is not a pass-thru. Uh, this is a, a recognition of increased project costs. Back in 19 uh 92, when the uh, I guess the Amended Project Plan uh was completed, the Sch Dist had a Master Plan. Uh, & the capital costs then, for that Master Plan were est'd to be at $600K, which would be sufficient to do some features of this master plan of the Sch Dist. They have been rcv'g the $600K & I think the last paymt was made uh, probably 1 1/2 yrs ago to the Sch Dist. As part of their uh continuous updating of their Master Plan, they have now uh began uh, completion of, of their design phase of an early childhood dev ctr, which will cost an est'd $7M uh, of which the city believes that the, the, the, the dev project, the amended, to allow for a M $'s to defer their capital costs for this early childhood dev ctr, which again, is part of the Master Plan contemplated back in 1992. So it's ...(While I exchanged tapes here, I noted that TC said: ... levee projects are rare with TIF...)
TC: Who is the acquisition agent? Who is going thru the process of acquiring the properties, COE or city? EM: City of VP in conjunction with supervision by the Army COE, under the Fed Relocations uh Act, is the land acquisition agent. TC: _ _ _ _ _ _ calling u for Relocation Act Policies? EM: Absolutely. Basically, it works like this, uh we, we get an appraiser & it's all subject to COE uh super a supervisor appraiser, uh a review appraiser, who, who reviews the appraisals & reviews all fair market value uh offers uh & okays any uh additions to those _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - TC: So the city directly is more or less the acquisition agent? U haven't turned it out to a consulting firm? EM: No TC: The Relocation Act Policy hasn't changed since the last time that we met? EM: No, _ _ _ _ Federal Relocation Acquisition Policy. TC:Tku. MW: I just have one speaker card I guess. Ms Morris.
MM: (trembling) If anybody can't hear me, please tell me. I'll try to speak loud, loudly. My name is Maureen Morris. I own rental property at #8 Arnold Drive at Arnold's Landing & I am totally angry. Who is the chairman of this TIF Cmsn? (The audience laughs with MW's expression.) MW: I don't think I want that job, Maureen. MM: Who is responsible for the minutes of this meeting? MW: I guess that's going to be me as well. I think I'm the only one taking them. EM: I'll help u. MM: Will the mins, as well as speakers' cmts, be made a part of the city's journal? EM: There'll be a smry. MW: Ok. MM: There'll be a smry. Um, I rcv'd my notice of this hrg from the mailman on 4/2. Ed Harrawood's notice was not rcv'd from the mailman until 4/6. I think there are some other people who rcv'd their summons, (someone says summons) their notice, late.
I was only allowed 8 days to obtain this 35-page ARP, comprehend it & prepare my cmts for this PBH. How many days notice is required? EM: Uh 10 days notice of mailing was was adhered to; but that's not notice of receipt; that's notice, the mailings were made Certified Mail Receipt Return Requested. MM: Ok, 10 days. Who was in charge of sending out the notices? EM: I was. MM: Ten days is not enough time, especially considering with people, er people that have out-of-town commitments. That law must be changed! The notice states that the proposed amendmts will not alter the exterior bdry of the TIF Dist. I have learned to ask questions not only of what is said, but what is not said. Does it alter the interior bdrys? EM: I'm not sure what an interior bdry is. MM: Well anything other than an exterior bdry would be an interior bdry. EM: It, it does not change the legal description of the levee, but of, of the TIF Dist, I'm sorry, uh no bdry changes, interior, exterior, up or down. MM: Ok, tku.
Does Arnold's Landing consist of the area from Old Meramec Sta Rd, westward along the RR tracks & south to the river? EM: Uh, frame of of the subdivision of Arnold's Grove, I'm not sure of the lots along the river are numbered as part of the Arnold's Grove Subdiv. But generally speaking, it's those lots that abut & are on Arnold's Drive, which is a private drive west of 141. MM: & the properties along Old Meramec Sta Rd, like Economy Radiator & Katy Computer, those bizs are part of Arnold's Landing, right? EM: Perhaps. I'm not sure. MM: You're not sure?! EM: I'm not, I'm not sure about the lots & the subdiv, whether or not they are part of the subdiv lots.
MM: Is all of Arnold's Landing currently zoned Planned Development Commercial? EM: I really don't know. MM: U don't know that either! EM: Does anybody know when Arnold's Landing was designated PDC? I know my prop at #8 Arnold is & has been. (EM nods no) U don't know when it was designated PDC? EM: I don't have the faintest idea. MM: Does anyone have any documentation of any kind, of Arnold's Landing zoning prior to PDC designation? EM: I'm quite sure the city has books & files of prior zoning maps. Um, in fact, I remember the first zoning code was uh _ _ _ _ _ - MM: So u do have records of what the zoning was at Arnold's Landing before it was zoned PDC? EM: I would assume so. MM: U would assume so, yes or no? EM: I don't know. I, I just don't know. MM: What is the proposed zoning of Arnold's Landing according to this ARP? EM: There is no zoning designations in _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Redev Plan.
MM: Ok! This notice also states that "the proposed amendmts will provide for allocation of certain add'l revenues generated by increased economic activities within the TIF dist". What exactly does that mean & how is that achieved, Eric? EM: That's an acronym called EATS um & that refers to - MM: E.A.T.S. - Economic Activity Tax. EM: It, it refers to - MM: S, what's the S? EM: I, I don't know. It refers to sales taxes. Um the city has dedicated, 100% of the incremt of sales taxes uh achieved in the area & it represents uh 100% of the incremt of uh gross receipts utility taxes attributable to uh uh whatever base in the TIF Dist.
MM: Can everybody hear him? (at least 2 no's) Could u please stand up & explain that? GA: ..the microphone, we can't hear u when u face in that direction, we can't hear u. MM: Because I don't understand it. Could u please explain that to the audience? EM: The ques was asked what are the economic activity taxes - MM: No, the question was exactly, what is meant by certain additional revenues generated by increased economic activities within the TIS Dis, TIF Dist. That's the exact ques!
EM: Economic activities in add'n to property taxes that flow into the TIF Dist, would include, but not be limited to, sales taxes generated, uh which, which TIF Dists, uh by statute, uh would receive 50% of the increment. The city, in this dev plan, has pledged 100% of the incremental sales taxes achieved within the uh TIF Dist. It also would include uh some, well, sales taxes from other taxing dists as well. Uh, and would also include uh gross receipts utility taxes, which are the 5% taxes that people receive on their utility bills, gas, electric, _ _ _ _ _ _ incremt that is uh, funneled into the uh project acct for the uh TIF Dist. MM: I hope some of u or all of u understand that & it makes sense. Ok.
The 7 black & white, 8 1/2 x 11-inch maps in, in the ARP should be used as exam tools for a masters degree in eyesight! They are nearly worthless! All of these maps are dated 2/92, 10 years ago. Are there any more current dates, or any more maps with more current dates, Eric? EM: Well ah again, the external/internal bdrys, whatever bdrys u will, have not changed. Uh those are still the, the maps that continue delineating the bdrys of the VP TIF Dist. MM: All, all 7 of the maps, those are up-to-date? EM: Inasmuch as they depict the dist, yes.
MM: Then what are they not up-to-date as far as? EM: I think the point of the maps, they depict the dist in in a rough manner, depict the levee ROW, it shows the developments. MM: One was the proposed land uses, one was the existing, one was the bldg conditions, u know, the dilapidated bldgs; so anyway, you're saying that all 7 of the maps are current & up-to-date, all the info on the maps is current & up-to-date? EM: To the extent that the findings of the TIF Cmsn back in 1992, as to blight, perhaps some of the particular findings of blight, contained within those initial '92 findings, may have changed. How that's reflected in the plates, which u call the maps, I'm really unsure, but I don't think it has an impact on anything.
MM: Alright. Before now, I had never even seen any type of city dev plan. So, I have seen & examined my very first - VP's Amended Redev Plan, the ARP. I was & am still shocked! This is not a plan!! This is a piece of, excuse me, it's an expensive P.O.S. Instead of pitching this, the levee attorney pitches out the first 3 or 4 proposed footprints for the controversial Arnold's Landing area! He often leaves needed docs, mtg mins, etc. at home or at the office. Maybe he should've left this one! Apparently this POS is to be adopted on 4/29/02 & is based on a Comprehensive Plan that was adopted 13 years ago, on 2/2/l998 (MM note, apology & correction: that should've been 14 yrs ago, on 2/2/1988). I wonder what dec, decade of info that was based on!
I was not given a page 1 of this POS by city hall. Pages 2 to 14 basically tell how bad things were back then & why we need a levee! I never even really got to page 15! (beginning to shout) Page 14 infuriated me!! I actually trembled at the audacity!! IT DECLARES THAT THE CITY MAY ASSIST PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS & DEVELOPERS IN THE ACQUISITION & ASSEMBLY OF THESE & OTHER PROPERTIES NEEDED TO CARRY OUT THIS PLAN !! IT EVEN GOES ON TO DECLARE THAT THE CITY MAY ALSO ACQUIRE & ASSEMBLE PROPERTIES & SELL, LEASE OR DEDICATE THOSE PROPERTIES TO PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS OR DEVELOPERS, etc.!!
To me, this is insanity!!! Since when are cities in the friggin' real estate biz, especially FOR PROFIT & by stomping out the current homeowners & landowners!!! (screaming) Nazism, fascism & communism are most likely excellent descriptives of what is going on here, & it must be obliterated, not the homeowners & the landowners!!!! GD it!!!! (Audience is applauding)
It is blatantly obvious, it is blatantly obvious that some gov't ofc'ls are enemies of homeowners & landowners!!! They have increased their troops by inviting others to benefit from gov't's FINANCIAL PROFILING of homeowners & landowners!!!!
Citizens are pitted against their fellow citizens!!!! Those outside the TIF Dist are told that their tax burden will be decreased by implementing this plan!!! They are NOT told that they're tax burden will be decreased if our gov't would simply finish building the GD levee we have earned & paid for & that gov't should simply then get the hell out of our way!!!! (continues screaming over audience applause) History proves, history proves the citizens, that the citizens have worked & benefited each other together!!!! WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT NEED OR WANT BIG BROTHER STOMPING OUT & RIPPING OFF THE EXISTING HOME & LANDOWNERS !!!
I had a lot more to say, but I didn't have enough time, because I only got 8 days, & I still have fragments of my life left, ever since u sent me that April, or September '99 document telling me that my property was required FOR THE LEVEE. (inaudible, but GA suggested I seek an attorney) I have been fighting this on my own because I don't want to hire an attorney, because the attorneys take your money & u have no choice. So I had a lot more to say, but I had no time to edit out all the cuss words!! So I, I was just going to close, but I think I might add some more just spontaneous comments.
I was going to close by suggesting that u PUT YOUR SO-CALLED AMENDED REDEV PLAN WHERE THE SUN DOES NOT SHINE !!! Ok. Now I might as well go on here since I'm on a roll here & I'm maybe making an ass out of myself! I don't know & I don't care!!! At this point, I don't care if I'm saying the wrong thing, to the wrong person!!! I've had it!!! This is bullxxxx!!!!
(frenzied shouting) U do not, this is what's been going on at Arnold's Landing. I've been going to all these levee meetings for a year & a half! I've been taping all the levee meetings; I went home; I analyze those; I, I type them. I transcribe them word for word; & it's obvious what's going on. & this is not my, not only my opinion; there are other people with this opinion.
& I believe that Eric Martin is behind this whole thing. He has been dragging this project out, calling in everybody he can think of. I have no doubt that it's him. U listen to my tapes for a year & a half & u can see. And it is also my opinion, that he & Jim Zerega of, the Project Manager, for the US Army COE, are in cahoots. I watch them; I have been scrutinizing them at the levee mtgs, sitting together. Just the last levee meeting, 3/18, Jim Zerega started talking about, oh now we've got the Historical Society, whatever, I don't have the names exactly right, but there's some historical society that's gotten in it now. Well, I wonder who might have leaked it out, who might have invited them. We have the State, the State Health Dept, u know, everybody's in on this. (someone says not us) It's just unbelievable!
The glass factory, uh - UAP: Historical site. MM: Historical site. UAP: Historical site. MM: They have all this contaminated debris. They were going to have to take it to a landfill & it was going to cost like 2M, so instead they, they want to dump it on Arnold's Landing, & uno first, they were going to take my whole property. Then we raised some hell & this & that & got them to back off a little bit. Then the levee was just going to take a little bit of the front yard.
Then they're going to put this levee right uh, 20', the levee & the access road, 20' in front of my 50' deep garage. Then, then, uh, Eric just told me, "oh, the garage will just have to go", u know. It's a 2-bedroom house with a detached 4-car garage. So now what we're doing, the levee at Arnold's Landing is going to be something like 300 or 360' base, great big fat levee. Other places it's only 120/165' at the base, & uh it's just going to be an enormous levee & they're going to condemn the ground.
Basically, this is what I think they're going to do, they're going to condemn us, u know, lowball our property prices, & uh they're going to use like $350K of the US Army COE money, spread this levee out, fill in Arnold's Landing, after they tear all the places down & rip off the homeowners & landowners. & then they're going to sell it to Quik Trip. Quik Trip has been trying to get in there for years, years & years. Somewhere, somewhere, there might be a blueprint, u know. Start looking around. I'm going to leave with that. Tku so much!
GA: Ms Morris, I have a question for u. MM: Yes. GA: _ _ _ _ _ _ - MM: I can't hear u. (He moves the mic & now speaks into it.) GA: As a member of the TIF Cmsn - MM: Yes, sir. GA: How long have u lived in Arnold's Grove? MM: I don't live there, it's my only rental property. I live in (cut off by) GA: It is what? MM: It's my only rental prop. GA: Oh, it's a rrrrental property? MM: Yes, sir, (& speaking through GA's interruption) it's my livelihood.
GA: So u did not live there in 1982, whenever we had the floods? MM: No, I bought the property (cut off again by) - GA: U did not live there when we had the floods in 1983? MM: I've never lived there. GA: U have never lived at the properties in Arnold's Grove? MM: Right, it's my liv (cut off again) - GA: (shouting) How in THEE HELL, can u stand here before these citizens of City VP & cuss these people for trying to put a protective barrier in place in order to protect ME? I LIVE, I LIVE in City VP. I lived here in 1982. I lived here in 1983. I had to move my family & you're going to stand here & tell these people that how much of a HAAARDSHIP it is on u! I'm sorry, maam, I cannot listen to your CRAP!
MM: No, it is NOT crap & I'm not, I'm not knocking the levee. We do need the levee. GA: Mr. McGhee, I know u have lived here for years, &, & I recognize your concerns. MM: Can I speak, can I respond? Ok. My rental property, I worked long & hard & I invested my money. I could've gone out & blown it. I invested my money in a rental property. Ok? It is a major part of my livelihood. GA: SELL your rental property.
MM: I will. I'll be happy to sell my rental prop at the right price & I am all for the levee going in. I would like to, I have earned & deserve the levee just as much as u. I've cleaned up after floods. I've taken dead, bloated fish out of the drains, had snakes in the ceilings while I was scrubbing. I've been thru that. I have suffered hardships & I have gotten along on my own & fixed up my property. I've had to deal with renters who trash your property, skip out & the law protects them. I've earned it. I've earned it, Mr Adams, & I'm sure u have too & I'm all for the levee. Everybody needs the levee, we all want the levee, but what they're doing at Arnold's Landing, IS NOT JUST A LEVEE.
GA: Miss, Miss, Mrs. Morris, in 1994, as a member of the BOA, here in City VP at that time, which I am no longer on; I am a citizen. I work every day. I was late coming in because I was working tonight, ok? I did go down & I talked with Mr & Mrs Brown. I talked with Mrs uh - MM: LaVonne Brown? GA: Yeah, LaVerne. I talked with Bob & Pat. MM: Oh, LaVerne. GA: I talked with Mike Illig & I talked with all of the citizens in Arnold's Grooove, not Arnold's Laaanding. MM: Well, sometimes it's referred to - GA: It's a grove - MM: Arnold's Grove, Arnold's Landing, it's the same thing. Mr. McGhee: (in the background) Not to me _ _ _ _ _ '85. GA: & I talked with Mr McGhee. Mr McGhee: When? I've lived there since '85. GA: In 1994. McGhee: Ok then it must've been, if u did, then I - GA: Your, your dad had the property then, I think. McGhee: No I had the property. I lived there, I lived there in 1985 & it's my property. He has Alzheimer's, he (cut off by) -
GA: We, we did a door-to-door with the people there & everything. They were not interested in selling their properties. MM: Not at a low price. GA: They, they, no, it wasn't a price. It was a matter of pride. MM: Oh yeah, they didn't want to sell; they didn't want to move at all. GA: It was pride at that time but whatever they - (cut off by) MM: Well, they've been ripped off of their pride.
GA: When, whenever (pause & glares at me) MM: They have!! You're saying LaVerne Brown. I know LaVonne Brown, who lives in her house at #18. GA: No, uno young LaVerne Brown. I'm talking her mother, who owns the property. MM: Right, ok, but I know LaVonne who lives there & I've talked to her many, many times. GA: I really don't think there's any talking to u because u, u have a mindset that u think that the city is going to try to rip u off, or the TIF Cmsn, or the whoever is going to buy u out, is trying to rip u off. Take it to a litigation if, if that's what it needs.
MM: I can't afford an atty. GA: But this project is going to go on. MM: I want the project, I want - let me make this perfectly clear right here & then I'm going to ask if anyone has any q/c to add, if that's alright, I hope. I want to make it perfectly clear that I want the levee desperately, desperately, I want the levee. And I want to also be able to benefit from the levee like most everybody else in VP. But I do not want my property to be condemned. They've already tried. It's not, Mr. Adams, it's not that I THINK they're trying to rip me off.
Eric Martin sent me an offer of $30,123, done by his appraiser, Demba, back a year or whatever ago. I went to Meramec Valley Bank & they recommended an appraiser, I called. I got an $83K appraisal. In 4/98, a very close associate, as I understand of Mr Martin's, signed a contract with me for $100K for my prop at #8 & I believe that he also signed contracts with the other Arnold's Landing owners. He was Mr Sebastian Rucci of Meramec Development, at least at that time. McGhee: I sold mine to him. I finally gave up for $50K. I just said to hell with it. I'd had too many floods & then he renigged on it. He wasn't going to deposit like he said. MM: Ok. McGhee: U can't get blood out of a turnip. MM: Tku, Mr McGhee.
MM: Um, yeah so, Sebastian Rucci signed these contracts. He was going to put in like - GA: Who? MM: Sebastian Rucci (I spell out Rucci.). GA: I think I've heard of him _ _ _ _ _ _. MM: A lot of people are, Mr. Martin, especially. Um so he gave me a $100K contract for my prop & he gave others contracts. He was going to, as I understand, put in like his own levee, a little strip mall, uno maybe QuikTrip at that time was going to go in & uh he evidently could not get uh enough money together or whatever & his project did not go thru. McGhee: Did he leave any kind of deposit at all? He renigged on mine. It wasn't at the title company. MM: I don't know. All I know is it just didn't go thru, but I do know that I had a $100K contract, Mr Adams.
GA: Congratulations, congrats on that for your rental prop that u never lived in & you've never been flooded. MM: Uno, uno, Mr. Adams, it may not be my home, but it is a major source of my livelihood. As I said, I worked, I earned my money & I invested it & I invested it wisely, except there are people that are trying to steal that investment from me. TC: Madam Chair, may I interrupt? MM: yes. MW: Go right ahead.
TC: The purpose of the TIF Cmsn is to make a recommendation to City VP, as to whether or not we're going to allow certain monetary changes in the TIF Dist that already exists, & with a city that already has the power of Eminent Domain, that already has a Redev Plan for a project, which I hope most of the people in the room realize is going fwd. We are an advisory body to City VP. We are not here to negotiate real estate deals. There is no such thing as taking by Eminent Domain without going thru the appraisal process, & if u have to take property by Eminent Domain, it's not the city that's determining the price. It goes to a - & Mr. Martin can elaborate on this - but I mean there's a 3-person panel, correct? EM: That's correct. TC: & a judge that agrees or disagrees upon the final price.
To go to Eminent Domain, takes the power out of the hands of whoever, whatever entity is attempting to acquire the property & none of that can happen without attempts at a negotiated sale first. I'm just saying that for the record. It's fine to debate these issues, but we are not here to make zoning decisions, nor can we & we can't approve or disapprove of a TIF that already exists. We're here only to make a recommendation to the city in regard to a change in the amt of money that's being used for this project. The price of which obviously has gone up. So I don't want anyone sitting in the audience to think that we have any legal or statutory authy to affect the things that we're hrg about tonight. We're hrg about planning & zoning matters. We're hrg about real estate negotiations.
This body has no power to make decisions in regard to these matters. And I want everyone to be clear. We go to a vote tonight, it will be only on the issue of changing the amt of money that would be eligible from existing tax revenue streams, or a TIF that's already in place. Nothing that we say or do tonight is going to affect the price of your land, your negotiations with an acquisition agent. It's not going to affect whether the levee even uh gets done. That's the city's call. So as much as I appreciate that there are people that are upset in regard to real estate negotiations, we have no power & I want people to understand that this is only an advisory body & City VP will be making the decisions. Nothing we say or do tonight is going to make u uh lose your property, gain your property, change the price of your property. We have no power to do that & I just want that on the record.
UAP: I live outside the levee & the levee's not going to benefit me whatsoever, so why should I pay higher taxes, & my neighbor? The levee is not going to benefit me at all. TC: The TIF Dist - (cut off by) UAP: Well, I'm still going to have to pay it tho, correct? TC: It's, it's capturing taxes that are paid by people - (cut off by) UAP: But the levee don't benefit me, so why should I have to pay? TC: Where do u live at, sir? UAP: I live on River Dr.
TC: If u are - let me clarify something. If u are a property owner, whether you're in a TIF Dist or not, u pay the same amt of taxes. It's just a ques of a portion of the increase of those taxes being diverted for a period of time for a special use. No one gets out of paying taxes by being in a TIF Dist. It is not tax abatemt & no one pays any more taxes by virtue of being in a TIF Dist. And after the PBH, I'd be happy to go over this with folks. I've been doing this for 10 yrs. I just feel there are a lot of misconceptions out there tonight & I just want people to understand what a limited role we play. If u have issues you'd like to address with the city, that's fine, but those really don't pertain to this body, honestly.
GA: And where everybody else fails to realize, is about 60% of the tax base for City VP is located within the tax, within the TIF Dist which reduces, yes sir, it does, reduce your tax burden; otherwise it would be higher at a later date, in order for u to live in, in the inc'd City VP.
UAP: Ok, my other ques is, as an historical site, the VP Glass Co, what are they going to do? GA: VP Glass Co is not, is not on the tax records as a historical tax _ _ _ site. UAP: But it's going to be. GA: It was a portion of the Louisiana Glass Co, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co & they have not recorded or they have not recommended, or have asked for an exception - (cut off by) UAP: Then why are they doing a big thing where I'm signing it, saying they're wanting to, uno get all the signatures? GA: The only big thing is, they are going to run into complications whenever they start undermining into the, into the uh fields, in the old g/f.
UAP: Ok, well the only thing I gotta say, is in '92, u guys devalued our property, I own the house on River Dr, all the way to nothing. And now it's coming back up. But if you're going to take that into consideration, if u ever do want to buy this property, that's not right because u devalued it all the way down. We didn't ask for it to go down. U devalued it. I'm just now back to paying taxes of what I was paying in 1990. GA: We, at that time, was not the City of Valley or City VP was not in the valuation or devaluation of the property. UAP: Who did that? GA: All properties are, are controlled by StL Cnty as far as evaluation or devaluation of the properties. UAP: See, I never did find out why they did that. GA: It's not City VP.
DK: Okay, I have a ques. I live at 15 Vance Rd. The levee came out & they started to build it & they bought the back half of the property. Basically, took all the property with the exception of what the house was on. I have had the house in the family for 100 years. GA: _ _ _ _ property? DK: No, the Keller property. GA: Keller property, ok. DK: Ok. Now they actually, after they bought that property & they shot the lines, they said they actually bought too much & didn't need that much for the levee. Ok. Now this is from VP. Alright, they're saying they got too much property. GA: That's the COE.
DK: So other than, yes, but other than u saying we want to buy this prop & you're going to take an offer & uno, or we're going to take it, the only thing that u need it for is commercial gain. So what is the problem? I don't understand. If u bought everything that u needed & that part of the levee is already finished, plus there are esmts going back there, so u have access to get back there. Why is 15 Vance Rd so important to u? I just got my letter today. I'm sorry. I got it today. GA: I was just appointed to the TIF Cmsn a month ago. DK: Well u had 29 more days than I had.
GA: But, but I can tell u that the reason they appointed me to the TIF Cmsn was because of previous history & we have, we have worked together on thee, the levee project and I think in 1983, 84, I think I was one of the first members of the TIF Cmsn, & then when my term expired, then I gradually faded away & everything. But whenever Mayor Palmer asked me to serve on this TIF Cmsn because of, of my knowledge & the history on, on the levee project, I could answer a lot of these ques's. And I think one of the, one of the, the main ques's has always been, was if the COE is going to go in & they're going to take a piece of property, or make an offer for a piece of property, they've always wanted to totally buy out the piece of property.
DK: They did not tho. GA: versus only taking a portion of it, unless it was a large - DK: It was a large back half & which they purchased - GA: large lot of land. & I, I, I can't answer it because I wasn't on the negotiation on your property. DK: But, but the thing is, is that, uno, tonight's vote - GA: I agree with - D.Keller: is dependent on whether or not we can stay where we're at & that's my concern. GA: I agree with the gentleman on the end which I don't even, I don't even know his name - DK: _ _ _ _ _ _ historic registers. GA: But I think he, he, he is, he is, he is right that we are not in the biz of buying land or negotiating land. We are here as a recommending body in order to allow the cmsn to go ahead & proceed with our purpose in life & that is to get our levee built.
DK: Well, like I said, the, the levee behind the house is all finished, so what would be the purpose of, of wanting that property when they have bought more than what they needed to begin with? GA: Maybe - DK: So I would like to know from the COE - GA: maybe - DK: what's the importance of that property, other than financial gain? And I don't want to sell it. I mean I, I, we would like to keep the house. It's been in the family for A HUNDRED YEARS.
EM: Mrs Keller, maybe there's a misconception here. Just because u got a notices in the mail, does not mean, a notice of this hrg, does not mean that the city or your property is necessary for the VP Levee Project. It's simply to appraise u as a member of the TIF Dist, as a person who resides in the TIF Dist, that this cmsn was going to convene. Your property is unaffected by, by this Redev Plan. DK: So if this passes tonight, you're not going to knock on my door a month down the road & say, guess what, we're going to make u an offer? Is that what you're saying?
EM: There's, there's no - GA: They're not going to kick u out by Oh Domain. EM: The project is complete in your area & you're correct, no - DK: Like I said I got my notice today. You'll get the return receipt saying that I got my notice today. So I had no preparation whatsoever. But like I said, from what I'm hrg, I'm like saying, I want to know what's going on because I don't want a knock on my door. EM: Nothing to do with Vance Rd. DK: Nothing to do with Vance Rd? EM: Um, I think we just, we have one reach of the levee left. Clearly it's along the Meramec River, in Arnold's Grove, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. So that's where we're at. DK: Ok, so Vance Rd is kind of - EM: By the way, this this has been published twice in the _ _ _ _ _.
MW: Eric, are we about ready to uh consider the resolution now? EM: That, that's up to this cmsn. LH: Excuse me. I rcv'd a letter, a notice & I'd like to speak & I think somebody else wanted to. MW: Oh, ok, I'm sorry. Ok, Tory, do u want to go first or Lois? Tory Catanzaro: I have no ques's at this time.
LH: I had no ques's about the limits of the TIF Dist at all. I understand it. I do have some serious ques's about the, about the levee. I've never seen a final footprint of the levee. I don't know whether or whence it's going to be there, & until - I would think that until City VP knows exactly where that levee's going to go, they should do nothing, as far as the TIF goes.
I also want Eric to expound on what the EATS is. Extra - tell me about the taxes. EM: Taxes are generated in the levee dist above & beyond property taxes & that is - LH: & that should include only taxes that are added to your utility bills. I understand that; however, u can also add to that, can't u? EM: Uh, uh, uh, also on top of that are sales taxes that are generated by new bizs that moved in before - we have what's called a Super TIF & there was a date where, um, I, I can't remember what the base rate is, but anyway - LH: It said point 075, which is higher than a lot of other ones. EM: It's the base rate of the units as a yr.
LH: But that's not really the ques. My ques is, that in within the city limits of VP, in the area that's going to be protected by the levee, which I really want to see come thru, badly, are numerous properties that are not owned by the people who run the bizs in VP. Their home bases are not in VP. Their revenues do not get (purged?) in VP. They do not get their taxes sent back to VP. Now I think that's something u people should address. You're looking at a lot of the bizs down here that do not have home bases here. I don't know if u have any provisions for a special use permit for them, a special op'g permit for them, or if you've even thought about trying to collect some taxes from these people who don't contribute to u.
I've seen a report in front of the BOA a long time ago, keep trying to keep out a competition uh here in VP. I'm with Valley Material Co by the way, famous for concrete. Because their home base is in Webster Groves, they came & wanted a (someone coughs) permit. Darn near got it, till people found out that they weren't going to pay a dime to City VP; it all was going to go to City of Webster Groves. Same thing with - I could name a bunch of them; I'm not going to name names. All u have to do is look at your roles of who u collect taxes from. It's really quite simple!
EM: Do they pay a biz license? LH: I don't think so because biz licenses I believe are based on gross receipts & I think that's the same way most biz licenses are based in other cities. It depends on where their home or hdqtrs are. U even have a co down here that's got a hdqtrs & their ofcs that do all their billing & all their mailing & everything else out of Chesterfield. That's where that money goes. Um that's just a fact & I think u should look into it, very, very closely.
But I do think that u here on the TIF Cmsn, should find out where this funding is going to go. What is going to happen to the g/f &, & before u approve anything - I know u need money, ok, but City VP has always needed money & they've let this go by for yrs & yrs & yrs, & there's money there to be collected. Now how u do it, I don't know. I'm not a lawmaker. I'm not an atty, but boy, there's got to be some way.
And u are not going to attract biz to VP when u put small, little things on people. A friend of mine with the biz assn went around to recruit new members for the biz assn, & ran into a young man down on the end of StL Ave who got harassed something terrible because it was, it was October. He put out some bales of hay; he was going to sell some pumpkins or something - a little craft store. & he bought one of those little tow-along signs. It wasn't lit, no, no lights on it or anything else; it wasn't at all obnoxious. Apparently there was an ord against it or he didn't come down & ask for a permit to use it, um but they gave him all kinds of trouble for this little, tiny sign. Um & another member of the VP Biz Assn who wants to have, to conform, to uno, do what is necessary to have a sign that promotes their biz. Um I encouraged them to come to the city, talk about it, see if they can work it out.
But I'm talking about money & and you're missing a lot of money from revenue sources that here in town that u don't get & I think that should be addressed; & I think it should be addressed almost before u do anything in this town. And I think the final footprint of the levee should be done so nobody has to worry. But, I'm sorry (I tell her my name) Maureen, nobody has to be concerned about where they're going to dump the fill from the g/f or what they're going to do with it. And that's all I have to say.
But I really think u city fathers should look into the revenues that are out there, that are not being captured, that should be. GA: Lois, U need to make the next BOA mtg & tell the city fathers these same things. LH: I would do that. GA: or run for ald. LH: I don't live here. Tku. MW: Monday at 7:30 is the next Bd Mtg of Alderman. LH: Tku. MW: Tory. (who says no ques's) MW: Ok, I guess now -
TC: Madam Chairman, may I suggest that we have a motion & a 2nd & then approval of the close of the PBH? It's critical that that be in the records. GA: So moved that we close the PBH. TC: 2nd. MW: All in favor? (all are in favor) MW: All opposed? (none heard) MW: Ok, now I guess we're at the part for the consideration for resolution for the ARP.
GA: I move that we approve the reca_ _ _ the resubmission of the redev. I will move that we approve the redev approval, as printed. TB: 2nd. MW: Moved by Ald Adams - GA: I'm not - MW: I'm sorry. GA: I'm not an ald any more, Marguerite. MW: Cmsn Adams, Cmsnr Adams uh to approve the ARP as printed, 2nd'd Mr. Bolte, Alderman TB. Are there any ques's? EM: Let me just request that u add to that, as amended April, 2002. GA: Yes April, April the 11th, 2002. MW: All in favor? (all are). Opposed? (none heard) GA: & that is as a recommendation to the BOA. EM: That's correct. MW: I guess _ _ _ _ _ _. ?: Move. ?: 2nd. (several or all say "aye".) MW: All in favor? (all say "aye") Opposed (none heard) EM: Tku, Cmsnrs. (Tape ends as the PBH adjourns.)