While the town was shot down the last time they tired it, Mammoth Mayor Kirk Stapp mentioned that the creation of a redevelopment agency, a government tool to remedy urban blight, could be used as an option to bring money to the community.

At the Town Council this week, Mayor Stapp was talking about negotiations with developers over Developer Impact Fees. The town has proposed not building a performing arts center and a conference center in order to reduce the developer fees. Stapp said that no more town projects will be removed from the to build list. The trick now is to figure out how to pay for the projects that the town still wants to build.

In explaining the meetings with developers to the council, Mayor Stapp said that the options to fund town projects, if not developer impact fees, include grants, special assessment districts, and looking at redevelopment again.

The last time that the Town considered creating a redevelopment agency, court fights brought in national media attention and judge ultimately decided that there was no urban blight to justify the creation of a redevelopment agency. Redevelopment agencies are a tool that governments can use to fix up rundown or economically depressed neighborhoods by selling bonds that are to be paid back by tax increases after the fixed up properties go up in value.

Kirk Stapp explained that some parts of town, Main and Old Mammoth, did not experience the boom of recent years. Redevelopment was a viable option to bring money to the community, he said.

With a slowdown in construction, that affects not only local businesses but also the towns ability to build public works projects, Stapp says that they have put every funding tool on the table, including redevelopment though nothing is certain at this point.

Copyright 2007 Sierra Wave

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