Van Vactors want the new agreement to prioritize the city’s share of proceeds from the sale of lots in the TechFarm to go back into the TechFarm for infrastructure or even reducing the cost of a lot to entice buyers. They also want a three member committee made up of a council member, redevelopment commission member and a representative from Van Vactor Farms. Their proposal gives the decision making on the city’s proceeds to this board and that’s where some of the problem is.
City Councilman Jeff Houin, a local attorney has reviewed all the documents from the inception of the agreement until now and doesn’t see a need for the change. He said he didn’t like a non elected board to determine how the city’s funds should be spent and motioned to reject the agreement. Houin also noted that the TeckFarm is in a TIF District and taxes dollars collected are dedicated for use in that TIF District.
City Councilman Shawn Grobe commented, “I don’t like taking the decision making away from the body elected to spend the city’s money.” He second the motion to reject the proposal.
Dave Miller representing Van Vactor Farms was asked to comment and said, “I apparently failed to convince the group, based the motion.” He continued, “I’m at a loss here, other than to remind you that this was a donation from our company and the intent of the donation was that be used at the TechFarm.”
Mayor Mark Senter told the board, “I looked at this today and I was for it but now I’m having trouble understanding it. I’m not ready to make a decision tonight or vote.”
At that point councilman Houin rescinded his motion as did councilman Grobe on his second.
Mr. Miller told the council, “There are time lines, we’ve got another sale coming up that you know about and we have another sale coming up that you don’t know about.” He continued, “There are unattended consequences to every decision and I appreciate your thoughts on this. I don’t think your gona like the way this ends up.”
The discussion was tabled at that point by the board of works.