Arguments For Proposition 400 - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Arguments For Proposition 400

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Posted: Friday, August 24, 2007 11:46 am | Updated: 7:46 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

These arguments were filed with the Town of Gilbert for a publicity pamphlet to be mailed to voters in September.

Vestar has proven its value in Gilbert, will do so again: Yes on 400

Vestar is proud to have created many of the most exciting and successful retail centers in Arizona, including Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix and the newly opened Tempe Marketplace.

With an assist from voters, the Greer Towne Center in southern Gilbert will be our latest retail destination. Vestar already has a proven record of quality in Gilbert with both Gilbert Gateway Towne Center the Crossroads Towne Center. Crossroads Towne Center went to a public vote in 2003 and passed with an 81-percent majority. We appreciated the voters’ foresight and judgment then, and hope to earn that same trust for this project.

Vestar’s role as a commercial developer is to place retail options in areas where the population and market demands and can sustain them. What can unfortunately lag behind that demand is infrastructure like streets, traffic lights and sidewalks. This is not a poor reflection on Gilbert, simply a circumstance of the phenomenal growth occurring in one of Arizona’s most desirable communities.

For that reason, we negotiated an agreement with the Town that allows our company to front the needed capital to improve Riggs Road and Higley Road around our project now, five years ahead of the Town’s schedule. The Town has agreed, with the permission of voters, to repay – without interest -- the $9.7 million Vestar will spend improving these roads from a portion of the sales taxes that the project will generate over the next 15-20 years. The project will also generate another $39 million in new taxes that the Town can use for vital services over that same period. New roads, new shopping and $39 million in new revenue for the town…this is good government mixed with good business

____________________________________

Ryan Desmond, Chairman

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

____________________________________

Pam Bentle, Treasurer

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

Paid for by "Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert.” This committee supports the passage of the ballot measure (official petition serial number #2007-03)." Primary funding provided by Vestar Development II.

Prop. 400 is a Win, Win, Win for Gilbert

Let me see if I have this right…Vestar, the developer of numerous quality projects in our communities, is going to spot the Town of Gilbert a $9.7 million loan to build out both sides of the streets surrounding its Greer Towne Center project at Higley and Riggs roads five years ahead of the town’s schedule.

Gilbert will only have to repay the principal (no interest or carrying costs), repayment will be from revenue generated from the development itself, and the developer is willing to wait for 15 to 20 years for repayment of the principal.

And – if the developer does not meet the agreed upon benchmarks – the loan is forgiven and the town does not have to repay the principle. Where’s the catch?

There is no catch in this development agreement. Vestar just does not want future street construction to threaten the economic viability of its retail center and small businesses, and is willing to pay to avoid it.

By bringing a mega-retail center into an underserved area of southern Gilbert two-years ahead of schedule, Vestar will save our taxpayers $5.4 million while generating well over $35 million in new sales taxes and other revenue for vital services in our growing town over the next several years.

There are no incentives or tax dollar giveaways in this development agreement; only a reimbursement for road improvement expenses the town was anticipating to incur years from now. This is a win, win, win for the citizens of Gilbert, the Town of Gilbert and the developer.

____________________________________

Councilman Steve Urie

935 N. Tucana Lane

Gilbert, Arizona 85234

(480) 830-8355

____________________________________

Ryan Desmond, Chairman

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

Paid for by "Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert. This committee supports the passage of the ballot measure (Official Petition Serial # 32007-03)." Primary funding provided by Vestar Development II.

Conservative Republican Says Prop. 400 is the Right Kind of Economic Development for Gilbert

I consider myself a conservative Republican and friend of the taxpayer. That’s why I supported the campaign for Vestar’s Crossroads Towne Center project four years ago for the same reason I now support the Yes on Prop. 400 campaign for the Greer Towne Center.

The developer will widen and improve surrounding streets, and will then be reimbursed only for the cost of the improvements by a portion of the sales tax revenue generated from the development itself. This means the Town of Gilbert will not have to go into debt or raise taxes to pay for those improvements, and those streets get built five years early.

And, because the Greer Towne Center at Riggs and Higley roads is in such close proximity to Chandler, Higley and Queen Creek, much of the revenue for improving the roads will come from those communities, not ours.

I remember not long ago when Gilbert residents were forced to travel to Mesa and Chandler to find quality retail shopping options. Vestar helped to counter that with the successful Crossroads Towne Center. Now, the Greer Towne Center will be another major step forward for Gilbert’s economic development and improved quality of life. I urge Gilbert voters to support Prop. 400. It is good for the taxpayer and good for Gilbert.

____________________________________

Bill Norton

1689 E. Tradewind

Gilbert, Arizona 85234

(480) 892-0779

____________________________________

Ryan Desmond, Chairman

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

I know a good deal when I see it: Yes on 400

The proposed Greer Towne Center at Higley and Riggs embodies everything a fiscally responsible, mutually beneficial development agreement should be. I encourage Gilbert voters to support it wholeheartedly as I do.

Here’s why: Gilbert needs road improvements along its increasingly busy southern arterials. The Town is not scheduled to improve these portions of Higley and Riggs for another five years, and would have to borrow money through bonding to do it. This means all Gilbert property taxpayers would be forced to pay back principal plus interest for these road improvements. Vestar is willing to front the $9.7 million costs for road improvements surrounding their project before the many stores and businesses open to serve this part of the East Valley. This plan is far superior to having construction headaches and traffic tie-ups after the many retailers, restaurants and small businesses have opened to the public.

Gilbert would reimburse Vestar only the for cost of the construction itself. NO INTEREST OR CARRYING CHARGES WILL BE PAID BY GILBERT TAXPAYERS. We then have 15-20 years to pay it back. The money will come from sales taxes generated by the new Greer Towne Center. No current city funds are at risk. So, we end up having not only Gilbert residents but shoppers from Queen Creek, Chandler and elsewhere paying for Gilbert roads!

I’ve been over this deal with a fine-toothed comb and I bring my perspective and recommendation as a conservative Town Councilman and steward of taxpayer money. Please join me in voting yes on Prop. 400.

____________________________________

Councilman Donald Skousen

125 S. Honeysuckle Lane

Gilbert, Arizona 85296

(480) 892-4576

____________________________________

Ryan Desmond, Chairman

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

Paid for by "Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert.” This committee supports the passage of the ballot measure (official petition serial number #2007-03)." Primary funding provided by Vestar Development II.

Economic Development Means Enhanced Public Safety: Yes on 400

My primary responsibility as a member of the Gilbert Town Council is to maintain and enhance public safety as our home continues its incredible growth. Because police and fire service equipment and salaries come at a steep price, seeking out and supporting quality economic development opportunities is a key component of keeping Gilbert safe.

It is in the interest of maintaining that commitment that I supported the development agreement between the Town of Gilbert and Vestar, and why I now urge voters to support the Greer Towne Center project. This is a project that will generate approximately $39 million in new tax revenue and fees for the Town of Gilbert over the next two decades. That is on top of the $9.7 million that the Town will return to Vestar in exchange for widening and improving streets around the project at Riggs and Higley roads a full five years ahead of the Town’s plans.

With its location near the southern tip of Gilbert, the Greer Towne Center will be uniquely situated to become the primary shopping destination not only for Town residents nearby, but for thousands of other residents and commuters from other fast-growing nearby cities and towns like Chandler, Higley and Queen Creek. The means Gilbert wins and our tax coffers grow when others come here to shop.

The faster the Greer Towne Center comes on line, the faster this new source of tax revenue will begin to help the Town’s ongoing efforts to maintain the highest quality public safety services, parks and other community needs driven by our growth.

As a former firefighter, there is nothing more important than this commitment to public safety. A yes vote on Proposition 400 will help keep that commitment our highest priority.

____________________________________

Councilman Dave Crozier

1075 N. Neely Street

Gilbert, Arizona 85233

(480) 497-8873

____________________________________

Ryan Desmond, Chairman

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

Paid for by "Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert.” This committee supports the passage of the ballot measure (official petition serial number #2007-03)." Primary funding provided by Vestar Development II.

Yes Vote on Proposition 400 Good Business for Gilbert -

The Gilbert Town Council has been a judicious guardian of the taxpayers’ dollars and we intend to continue that track record.

The Greer Towne Center shopping plaza and road improvements at Higley and Riggs Roads are another example. This project is a reimbursement for an interest-free loan provided by the developer to expand Riggs and Higley and provide the necessary infrastructure. That is good business for Gilbert.

The town included this area for improving the roads in the last bond election. It is one of the road projects Gilbert had planned to begin constructing in the next few years.

In order to accelerate a project that will bring additional sales tax revenues to Gilbert at least two years early, the developer has offered to build those same roads. Gilbert will see this revenue several years earlier than if this agreement was not in place.

If they meet all of the deadlines contained within the development agreement, they will be paid back out of a portion of the revenues generated only by the development itself.

No existing town funds or revenues are at risk.

Gilbert can now use those bond funds to construct roads in other areas of Gilbert to allow traffic to move quicker and make the roads safer. If certain deadlines are not met, the amount of money diminishes and possibly goes to zero. There is a maximum dollar amount and a set time period.

If business volume is not as good as projected by the developer, the roads are still built and the total reimbursement again is less than the cost of the road improvements.

This is a good deal for Gilbert and all taxpayers.

____________________________________

Councilman Les Presmyk,

610 S. Bay Drive

Gilbert, Arizona 85233

(480) 892-0779

____________________________________

Ryan Desmond, Chairman

Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert

PO Box 2330

Gilbert, Arizona 85299

(480) 423-2329

Paid for by "Yes on 400 = New Shopping, Better Roads and $39 Million for Gilbert. This committee supports the passage of the ballot measure (Official Petition Serial # 32007-03)." Primary funding provided by Vestar Development II.

Argument “For” Proposition No. 400

The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce supports the Town Council’s approval of the Development Agreement with Vestar (Resolution No. 2755.) Accelerating this street improvement project now is a wise and prudent decision. This development agreement not only accelerates the street improvements and brings a much needed commercial project to the southern portion of our community; it also allows our Town to repay the funding of the principal for street improvements over the next 20 years without any interest payments. Were the Town to bond for these street improvements they would pay bond interest payments for the life of the bond. According to the development agreement, should Vestar not meet all Schedule of Performance deadlines the Town will not be liable for repayment of the street improvement costs. Chamber representatives were present for the various public meetings regarding this issue throughout the process and witnessed first hand the Town of Gilbert following all notification requirements. The commercial project and the money saved as outlined in the development agreement is a win-win situation for our entire community. A yes vote will support the Town Council’s approval of the development agreement.

Linda Stanfield Kathy Langdon

Chair of the Board President/CEO

PO Box 527, Gilbert, AZ 85299

480-892-0056

July 27, 2007

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