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Negotiations of the terms of the STAR Bonds for SK Baseball Begin Today

It's been a long, political, controversial, sometimes heart-racing journey up to this point. After successfully beating a sunset clause which would prevent developers from 'double-dipping' into both sales tax AND property tax financing, we are now to the point where City of Reno staff begins negotiations with SK Baseball on the actual terms of the STAR Bonds. The City has provided them with a term sheet, and now the developers will review it and come back with revisions/their own terms etc. These terms include how much they will get, when they will get it, what the rules and conditions are. John Hester in yesterday's meeting mentioned a couple of the terms the city will be adamant with, one being that new businesses that aren't already in Reno are brought here as part of the project, and the other is some kind of proof that 51% of the taxable sales would actually be from visitors/tourists by tracking zip codes of people buying taxable goods. Securing actual bonds may be difficult in this economy, if not impossible, so the City is also exploring ways the developers are to be reimbursed/rebated.

This addresses some of the controversy involved with both Legends and Cabella's. In Cabella's case, because they were not required to report to the city on how much of their taxable sales came from tourists when the deal was sealed, they don't have to report this to the city and refuse to give up those numbers. There were also some prevailing wage issues as well. In Legends at Sparks Marina's case, there was a lot of controversy that STAR bonds were utilized to simply move a Target from one area to another. However I have not found any evidence that say STAR Bonds were specifically used for the Target, and not other parts of the mall. In fact, that mall did bring a lot of stores unique to the area and it's one of the nicest malls in the region.

SK Baseball is also interested in tapping into Recovery Zone Facility bonds created by the federal government as stimulus packages. These bonds are meant as tax-exempt PRIVATE activity bonds to be used in Recovery Zones. The City of Reno last year designated the entire city as a Recovery Zone.

Now is your chance to write your city council members and let them know how you feel about this, positive or negative. Let them know the terms you'd like to see SK Baseball adhere to in order to receive STAR Bonds, or even Recovery Zone Facility Bonds.

Mayor Cashell: cashellr@reno.gov
Pierre Hacheff: hascheff@reno.gov
Sharon Zadra: zadras@reno.gov
Jessica Sferrazza: sferrazzaj@reno.gov
Dwight Dortch: dortchd@reno.gov
Dave Aiazzi: aiazzi@reno.gov


Post your comments
Posted by: MattO - 1/6/2010 3:53:19 PM
What's the deal with Tessera? Is this still planned

Posted by: Roger - 1/7/2010 7:36:16 AM
I take issue with you refering to Legends as "one of the nicest malls in the region" - nothing else even compares. While most stores are not directed towards my shopping needs, I can easily hang out and enjoy the art and landscape while my teenage daughter shops.

Posted by: Fireman - 1/9/2010 11:56:46 AM
It's a good thing that development is still happening here in Reno despite the economic downturn occurring today. However, here is a second chance for SK Baseball to truly say that they are part of this community and make a FIRM and PUBLIC committment to rebuilding the Reno Firefighters Memorial that was demolished to make way for this stadium (Not to metion our staion also). Will Stuart Katsoff and his business partners finally come through on all the promises and niceties that they had told us before they signed their first deal? Or will they simply take more of our tax dollars and our land and spend them on $790K inflatable singing baseballs and $388k on towers with flashing lights? Do the firefighters that died protecting the citizens of Reno not deserve to be remembered? We took care of remembering our own brothers with our money and with help from the public and local businesses by building our the memorial we lost. Now SK Baseball has refused to spend any of the money that they are getting from this city to remeber those who have served this city and its citizens. Growth and development is a great thing. But not when we lose our soul in the process.

Posted by: EL Diablo - 1/14/2010 6:25:13 PM
Wow, the city of Reno is going bankrupt and laying off people partially because of the contract with the firefighters and Fireman wants someone to build him a statue. Firefighters are the biggest group of whiners ever.

Posted by: James - 1/14/2010 10:16:59 PM
El Diablo: So true. Let's make sure that you never have to deal with us. If your house burns down, we'll just let you put it out yourself. Wouldn't want you to have to hang out with any "whiners", now would we?

Posted by: El Diablo - 1/16/2010 3:46:25 PM
You would probably show up with three firefighters and then tell me that you can't start putting water on the fire until a fourth firefighter shows up because of your "union rules" and by that time my house would be burned down. Firemen care so much about this community that they are willing to let other firefighters get laid off and firestations closed instead of taking a pay cut.

Posted by: Steve Watts - 1/16/2010 9:01:26 PM
Stop blaming firefighters El Diablo. The reason the city is in BAD financial shape is its own incompetitence. Really, STAR bonds for CHAIN STORES that pay close to minumum wage, and put locally owned stores out of business? And a (duh) baseball team? Sure I like baseball but lets spend my tax money on something smart, like tax breaks for those who renovate their old downtown homes to really bring back the city. I've seen that work in places like Salt Lake. The firemen are just doing their job, serving the city. What have you done, El Diablo??

Posted by: Bugsy - 1/16/2010 9:24:33 PM
Ok, whats going on downtown makeover dude. Its been 10 days since your last post and I noticed you havn't posted as much as you use to. I know things are slow downtown economically, but things are not that bad. Did you get a new job or are you working more? Whats going on?

Posted by: DowntownMakeoverDude - 1/17/2010 5:10:10 PM
Hi Bugsy! I am working more yes but I am also working on a new version of the site as well! Also, don't forget to become a fan of Downtownmakeover on Facebook. When I am tight on time it's much easier for me to post quick blurbs on there.

Posted by: Mr Fireman - 1/18/2010 12:21:03 PM
Wow, El Diablo, missing the point here aren't you? We had a memorial that we built and paid for but was bulldozed by SK Baseball. Wouldn't you want the replacement of something you built and cared for replaced by someone who destroyed it? Firefighters did take a pay cut ($1.6M to be accurate, and reduced overtime by 80%). And as for "union rules" as you stated, that is actually a Departmental policy, and NFPA 1710 (research it) which if I were to violate I could be terminated (fired)for trying to save your house. But why would you care to know the truth. It's much easier to hate and wallow in falsehoods that to become educated on something. But if your interested, since this isn't the forum for this, go to RenoAtRisk.org. Sorry, Makeover dude. We love your site, follow it regularly. We don't want to take the focus away of what is really happening with some redevelopment taking from our city and not giving back. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Bugsy - 1/19/2010 10:00:19 AM
Thanks Downtown makeover dude. I added your site to my facebook. I wasn't aware of your facebook page. Its cool to get all the updates. I still love this site so due try to keep it up when you can. thanks again!


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