Monday, December 29, 2008

Shovel-Ready Sites Program Funding

On December 18th the City Staff recommend to the Planning Commission the transferring of $876,805 of funding from two little used Capital Improvement Program projects into the Shovel-Ready Sites Program. This was advised to encourage new job creation and increase General Fund revenue for the City. Amending sections 17.191.050 and 17.195.060 of the zoning ordinance in order to transfer funding from the Infill Fee Reduction Program (I06000300) and Low Income Fee Waiver/Deferral Program (I06000400) to fund the Shovel-Ready Sites Program (D21001300) with $876,805.

The Shovel-Ready Sites Program was established in 2004/2005 with the intent of encouraging economic development at key locations in the City. The goal of the program is to promote economic development by leveraging and attracting private investment. The program works to address and provide solutions to infrastructure, transportation, planning and environmental challenges. By preparing key sites for development, the City can help create new jobs and grow our sales and property tax base, thus increasing General Fund revenues. The program was originally funded with $650,000 but those funds have been used for shovel-ready efforts on Florin Road, the River District, and the remainder for the 65th Street Transit Village area. So at this time no funding remains for other economic development and shovel-ready effort.

The transfer of money would take money away from the Infill Fee Reduction Program designed to reduce up to $5,000 per unit of building permit fees for small residential infill projects. The Low Income Fee Waiver/Deferral Program was designed to reduce fees for those residential projects that were required to develop affordable housing under the requirements of the City’s Mixed Income Ordinance. Though both programs were established before the court rulings on prevailing wages, neither program has been used much over the last four years because each triggers prevailing wage requirements. Prevailing wage requirements can often dramatically increase development costs for projects that use these City funds. SHRA has identified that there are no projects on the horizon that could, or would want to, take advantage of these funds.



wburg said...

So what is "shovel-ready," anyhow?

Zwahlen Images said...

As I understand it now after doing a little homework, it means "ready for development” but the devil is in the details. They are designed to help companies looking to build new facilities by doing some of their homework for them. It helps eliminate some of the risks associated with building a new facility.

1) The Site is Available
2) The Site is Fully Served (water, sewer, electric, natural gas, etc.)
3)The Site is Developable (free of any utility easements or rights-of-way)