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City to hold public hearing on proposed Auburn Revitalization Area
Auburn officials have proposed creating an Auburn Revitalization Area downtown they hope will help secure funding for the $8 million South Division Street Promenade project and make related crucial infrastructure improvements in the Transit Center area.
Within the newly designated area, the City would rebuild three blocks of South Division Street, including roadway pavement, crosswalks, sidewalks, street trees and tree grates, potted plants, pedestrian and street lighting, city-owned fiber conduits, storm drainage improvements for street drainage and aesthetic improvements at the intersections of First Street and at Main Street.
The Auburn City Council will hold a public hearing on the subject at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 20 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
Dave Baron, Auburn's Economic Development Manager, explained why funding depends on drawing a boundary around the three-block area.
"One of the first things the feds, the state and other awarders of money do is ask you to define the area in question," Baron said. "They demand really specific, and in some cases microscopic, detail about how you draw the borders and where. When the state does tax-credit-type programs, it needs to know physical addresses so it can contact the people who will be affected.
"It's more than the Promenade project in terms of geography, but it would be applied to it," Baron said.
City officials hope to fund the project with a $3 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant and the balance by issuing general obligation debt. The City would repay the debt using local revitalization funding, increases in local property, sales and use tax revenues from participating local governments and taxing districts, applicable real estate taxes and general governmental revenues.
The City would issue general obligation bonds to finance the public improvements and to retire the indebtedness in whole or in part from local revitalization financing it receives. The maximum amount of indebtedness the City would incur is $6,650,000.
City officials say that the time during which local property tax allocation revenue and other revenue from local public sources would be used for local revitalization financing is 25 years. The date when the use of local property tax allocation revenue and other revenues from local public sources for local revitalization financing begins would be no earlier than July 1 2010, depending on the timing of other grant funding.