April 12, 2022 Council Meeting Update

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Item L (Cubes - TIF)

This was another discussion on what we're doing to pay for parts of the West French Lake road upgrade.

As I've said many times, TIF has what I would call bad uses and good uses. It can be used as a bribe to convince a company to come into your city or it can be used to pay for the infrastructure needed that would otherwise be paid for through taxes. That infrastructure use actually saves the tax payers far more, due to how it's collected.

An example of paying for infrastructure would be a road costing $1M to build. If it was funded by taxes, that road would cost $1M to build, though the area property taxes would only earn the city $400k. If we declare that area a TIF area, we wouldn't get that $400k in taxes but we would get the $1M road paid for. To me, using TIF in that fashion is a no-brainer.

In this case, the area is the recently approved Cubes property and the road is portions of West French Lake Road.

Item M (CDAA Land Discussion)

CDAA (Champlin Dayton Athletic Association) gave us a presentation on some of the parks they use, the various sports they support, and their belief that Dayton should acquire a 60 acre (or larger) property for a future sports complex. Their opinion is that Andrews (Champlin, roughly 40 acres) is too small.

For years we have had this on our long term plan. In addition, for years we have had a referendum on our long term plan to pay for such a park.

In all my door knocking I have been told that we need to stop buying parks and start putting in trails. When I have talked to other council members and staff regarding this, the answer I get is... The residents are confused about the type of park we're talking about.

A 60 acre park in Dayton is going to run about 3-4 million dollars (bond + interest).

The massive debt past city leaders have tied us to (roughly $16M), is currently paid for by new housing. If housing slows down or stops, that debt would be added to the tax levy which would instantly increase your taxes by up to 25%, or we would have to reduce services by that much). Now add this additional 3-4 million, and possibly a new fire station (8-10 million) in the near future, and you have a disaster in the making. Will housing stop? It's not likely, but possible. However, that's what was said prior to the last housing crash in the mid 2000s. I have no doubt it will take a hit with the massive inflation we're now seeing, supply chain problems, and the concerns people are having. How big that hit is is anybody guess.

In addition, most of Dayton residents I spoke with want development to slow down. We can't keep borrowing money against the same new housing that we want to slow down.

So my answer is simple. Provide a referendum this fall. I have been telling staff and fellow council members that at this point I will not borrow money against new housing for a park. If they are correct and the residents do want land for a future sports complex, a referendum will prove that.

Item N (test well change orders)

Change orders boil down to changes in a contract due to unexpected problems. For example, you hire a company to upgrade your well for a price, but when they get there they find the power to the well is insufficient for the upgrade. At that point they will need a change in the agreement to correct the bad assumption.

Well... we recently hired a company to drill a well for us. Unfortunately the geology for that area was completely unexpected, resulting in the well being drilled too deep. And, due to unexpected pressures, the well couldn't be plugged at that depth so the well had to be abandoned, which resulted in the city having to pay for an entirely new well at roughly $80k. It was clearly frustrating for the council to see these types of change orders, but there isn't much we can do about them.

Item O (closed session)

This was to discuss negotiations with the land owners along West French Lake Road.


As always, contact me if you have any questions / suggestions