To the Editor:
Are you confused about the Byers Peak Properties annexation issues, Referendums 300 and 301? No wonder!
The Town is giving up money to the developer for water taps. True.
The developer is paying for water taps. True.
In order to get the whole picture of this issue, one needs to read the Annexation Agreement and related documents.
Money changes hands between the developer and the Town for water taps. If you follow the complicated agreement, the numbers add up to a net minus of $9.8 million dollars in water tap fees for the Town. Plus another almost $2 million dollars in “subsidy” to the developer for water system “enhancements” which the town’s contracted attorney suggests in the Annexation Agreement that the Town get a loan to pay for. This nearly $12 million dollars is money that should be paid into our struggling water fund, rather than for the benefit of the developer.
We’ll get water storage. True
We’ll have to pay dearly for water storage. True.
The Annexation Agreement provides for the Town to pay the developer $4.5 million dollars in a no-bid contract to build a pond for water storage. The developer gets to have commercial gravel operations from what is excavated from the ponds and he can use the ponds for his personal or business benefit. In return, the Town is required to pay for the operation and maintenance of the pond. If the property is developed through the County, the Town would need to look at other options for water storage. There are less expensive options available. Since the Town would not have to get a loan to finance the water system “enhancements” needed for the development, such a loan could be used to provide for water storage instead.
If this property is developed through the County, the Town cannot be required to pay to provide water and/or sewer service by the State or County. If the Town would provide services, they would be paid for. Additionally, the cost of development would be shared by the whole county rather than only Fraser working to support such a large development.
Please vote No on Referendums 300 and 301. We can’t afford to give up the money and additional property rights, which the Annexation Agreement requires.