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Adopted Meeting Minutes
May 22, 2003
Special Meeting

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 5:03 p.m.

Roll Call

Present: Heywood, Holden, Jeffries, Mason, Pelleran, Rasmusson
Absent: Canady

Limited Public Comment Regarding Agenda Items

Bruce McCrea - Hi, I am Bruce McCrea. I am a professor of Economics here at LCC. I'm also a resident of the so-called downtown development district although not of the downtown development area and in fact I got a phone call that I didn?t respond to that said, ?would you like to be on the Citizens Advisory Committee for this downtown development district.? So right there if you look at the full downtown development authority proposal you see my name there on the advisory committee. Because I guess I didn?t call and say, no. So, you got the two different perspectives then both being a long time employee of LCC and also a resident of this area that's affected by this district. It did seem to me one good benefit of being on this list was I was on a mailing list that got a copy of the proposal last month, so I sent an email to President Cunningham saying this looks scary. With our current budget problems we're not going to like this. Is there any way the LCC community could be involved in trying to oppose this implementation proposal? Especially those of us that do live in Lansing Township because some of this that Lansing Township decided to take their own tax money and move it to the area, that would be fine. (inaudible) the tax money that the voters of Lansing , for example, the millage we just passed a year or two ago saying that we want to increase the funding for Lansing Community College . They didn?t say in that vote we want to increase the amount of money that Lansing Township can (inaudible) off to this downtown development authority, although this passes that's what would happen. The voters have voted that this money is to go to Lansing Community College for the projects that we have here at LCC. So I would strongly oppose?strongly support any motion to oppose the development and implementation of the downtown development authority.

Chairperson Jeffries highlighted the fact that the resolution before the Board does not oppose the plan, but it opposes the College's inclusion in the plan. He stated that there were individuals present from Lansing Township and he asked if they wanted to make any comments.

Trustee Rasmusson asked what would be the effect of the passage of the resolution.

Chairperson Jeffries responded that the resolution opposes the College's inclusion in the Lansing Township plan and asks the administration to review the legality of the formation of this district and to review that as a possible measure in assisting the Board in opting out of the plan.

Steven Hayward - Good afternoon. Steven Hayward. I am the current director of Planning and Development for Lansing Township , have been also named as the executive director of the DDA (Downtown Development Authority). My name also sounds familiar?I've been involved in region project manager for the tri-county regional growth study. It was a three year study - $1.5 million ? talked about how to (inaudible) sprawl. City of Lansing employee for 3.5 years, deputy project manager on baseball stadium. My district used to be the downtown of Lansing . That was my staff assignment and I got to work with a lot of interesting people that I like. I have a love for downtown Lansing . I'm very familiar with it. I also have a love for this region. I spent most of my life in it. In my current role with Lansing Township I'm following up with what was started three years ago when they put me on retainer with my old firm to help them create a destination location for commercial business. that's what is referred to now as the Eastwood Town Center recently been developed. When we were retained to represent the Township in negotiations, because they seemed to think that they needed some help in talking to the land owner, the recommendation was we want to be the jewel of the region. What?s happened is because of the success of Eastwood Town Center , they changed their perspective and said, how do we become the jewel of the state? What do we need to do to become a destination location for people from out of the state will come to? We looked at what they already started. The fact that in 1983 they had the vision and working with the County to establish a DDA. At that time they actually established four DDAs. The law was changed that there could only be one DDA and this was the recommended location. People have wondered why a DDA in 1983 is just coming to fruition in regards to a tax capture plan. I have a fact sheet or an informational packet that I'll hand out and it talks about that a little bit. The fact that Ingham County , actually their economic development director at that time in 1984, recommended there were two approaches. One, put the tax capture plan in place right now - capture taxes in perpetuity and then wait for a developer to come into place. Or wait for a vision, wait for a developer, and then implement the tax capture plan and leverage those resources. The township took the second approach. If they would have taken the first approach, we wouldn?t be having this conversation now and they would have captured your tax revenues for the last 20 years. How many people on this Board have read the development plan? I brought copies of the development plan with me as well as a graphic that represents the plan. Take as little or as much time, believe it or not, as you would like to talk about the development plan. And what we are envisioning creating out there. There?s already partnerships that are being discussed with East Lansing, DeWitt Township, Bath Township, Clinton County, Ingham County, the City of Lansing?s Park and Recreation Department, the Board of Water and Light Department, the Planning Department, we're not doing this in isolation and the plan clearly states that we are looking for a regional partnership to create something that is very unique. I spoke at the Groesbeck Neighborhood meeting last week and 40 residents, Lansing and Lansing Township residents because there is a partnership there as well, asked them what they?I need to know how many people in the room have gone to the development. Everyone raised their hands. I asked them how many people have taken friends or visitors from outside the region, and everyone raised their hands. I asked how many people?how many of your guests had positive things to say and they all raised their hands. How many people had negative things to say - no hands were raised. We want to build on that energy and on that creativity to create something that is truly different in this city and increase the taxable value of this district far greater than anything that would have existed without the DDA and that is the single purpose for a DDA. It is not to stipend off money. Clearly the 35 identified activities on the plan focus back on increasing tax value and jobs. We've created 2,500 jobs out there in the last two years. It's estimated that we're going to create another 2,500 jobs within the next few years. After that for the duration of the plan another 1,500 to 2,000 jobs created. Not only that we've tackled Board of Water and Light?s plume from the fly ash pit that threatens the retail water supply. That mitigation alone is going to be $20 million. It's very similar to the Goodyear Plant that was across the street. Those efforts need to take place. This is not?the rumor on the street is this is a plan to snipe the money and give it back to the developers. Not true. No where in the plan will you see a reference to payback developers. This will be implemented through an annual budget that needs to be approved by the Township board. Once again, there's $20 million in tax sharing revenues that are put in there. That is a first for a DDA in mid-Michigan and questionable for the state of Michigan . Same thing that went on with the County requesting us to limit development for infrastructure for economic development. that's wonderful and I am aware of the Finance Committee resolution before you. We held a special meeting with the County. Had them come in and say, please define what you refer to as infrastructure for economic development. We stopped when we got to $31 million. That exceeded their capture. We said will you please partner with us. They said that we're scared about contributing 100% of our revenue. So we said o.k. how about 80%. They said yes. They left the meeting, unfortunately politics is much like sausage making. You don't want to see what goes on behind closed doors, but they recanted and now they want to talk about more. that's fine it's an open dialogue and we encourage that. They reached out to us, they reviewed the plan, they asked for our input and we met with our board and their representatives to come to some kind of agreement, so we need to talk about that. But at the same time the Township board felt that it was unfair to capture 100% of everyone else and only 80% of them. So they did the same thing Tuesday night. They offered 80%, 20% split to LCC, the Library Board, and for the Township. That changes the revenue stream slightly. What we're talking about, and it's in the fact sheet I'll pass out, is less than 1/10 of a percent of your annual budget will be reallocated. What we're asking for is a partnership that we can leverage that. We've already reached out to Junior Achievement. They're excited about job shadowing in the district. With your new certification for your business program here, we?d like the same partnership. There?s excellent opportunities (inaudible) level out there. There?s going to be new businesses starting every week. The groundbreaking next week for a very small donut shop called Krispy Cr?e. I'm here to let you know that my role is the liaison with all institutions and all jurisdictions to make this something truly unique. We've been battling in an isolationist region for so long, but I helped develop the 198 goals and objectives and visions for the tri-county regional growth study. Most of those regarding regional cooperation and stops and sprawl. I didn?t do that for the money. I did it because I had a passion. I've done the same thing as far west as Muskegon County and as far as Columbus , Ohio . Regionalization is a great tool and we're looking at this as an opportunity to do that. It's going to cost people money to implement what the vision is. What we're asking for is a partnership. We don't want to undo a partnership; we don't want to take more that you benefit from. But if we look at the residents that you serve and the residents that the DDA or the people that work in the DDA benefit, we're talking about a lot of the same population. We partnered with CATA. We were originally going to take their revenues, but they said you're talking about taking, and taking is the strongest word I can think of, $6.1 million of our revenue over 30 years, but you talk about giving us $5 million back plus contract payments. It's a wash. We will in August commit to you, and this is their voice, 6 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. service. Because right now if someone wants to go out there to work, the bus runs from 9:45 to 5:45; that doesn?t cut it for workers, that doesn?t cut it for residents. They're going to extend the service. When we said, well we?ll pay for the bus stops, they said no, we?ll put the bus stops in. I said will you put in bus stops as nice as East Lansing . Um, no, but we will do our best. We looked at it and we decided it was a wash. We exempted them from the plan. I look forward to the same opportunity to work with you to identify how do we partner with the business school or any other programs that you have to get your students real life practical opportunities in the district. It's only a mile and half away. It's known around the state. It's very known around the mid-west as a destination center and we're looking for those partnerships now just like the Junior Achievement, just like with the other jurisdictions. I would just encourage you that if you decide that you still want to opt out, give it some time to meet with us. The plan?s been adopted whether you take action tonight or not doesn?t change anything. we're not asking you to hold off indefinitely, but sit down with the Township board, the DDA board. A member of the DDA board also sits on the LCC Foundation, so he has a very vested interest in this. Look at the plan; see where those partnerships can be expanded to and then come back and say, o.k. we looked at it this is what we like, this is what we don't like, this is what we?d like to partner on. But I?d encourage you to do that and I've gone on and on and on and I apologize for that.

Chairperson Jeffries asked if anyone had any questions.

Trustee Heywood asked of the jobs being created how many of them would be manufacturing or high-tech job to keep younger workers in the area versus the service industry that is there now.

Mr. Hayward responded that right now that is unclear. Currently, 30% of the land is zoned as G light industrial and H industrial. The land that is currently the fly ash pit, which is off the tax roll, needs to be converted to some use. The issue is not a continuation of a mall because it will take care of itself. He said that the issue is how to get storm water, how to get sanitary sewer, how to get the roads improved to provide the infrastructure for that land to the west. Mr. Hayward demonstrated a large map to the Board, which described the township?s plan. He said that with many students attending college there is a need for service jobs. The township may not focus on industry jobs, but they may be able to work with the College's Business and Community Institute to identify where those needs are. Mr. Hayward stated that the Township has developed a partnership with Junior Achievement that will create an incubator program that transitions people from school into small businesses. This will include learning the practices of Junior Achievement and giving them the opportunity to work in a real life setting. He said that it would be wonderful to include Lansing Community College into that dialogue.

Trustee Holden asked of the 2,500 jobs, Mr. Hayward mentioned, how many will be full-time positions that include benefits.

Mr. Hayward responded that currently he does not have the answer to Trustee Holden?s question; however, the waiting list to get into the service industry jobs that are in that location is much longer than elsewhere. If you work in one of the restaurants, there is a better tip base because there are better ticket prices coming out of those restaurants. He said that the restaurants alone are generating $750,000 in revenue a week. Mr. Hayward stated that people from Indiana , Ohio , Illinois or Canada have visited the center because they have heard of the mall. It may be just another mall, but right now it is something that is nowhere else and it is setting records across the industry. He said that a month ago the Vice President of Walt Disney visited the theatre because he heard about the place and it is setting records. Mr. Hayward explained that Eastwood is 192 acres, the town center is 60 of those acres, and the theatre is about 125 acres and that leaves the remaining land yet to be developed.

Trustee Pelleran asked Mr. Hayward to explain what he meant by light industrial, and if the Township is having discussions with potential suppliers to the area or other developments.

Mr. Hayward reviewed the map that describes the Township?s development plan and showed the Board where the light industrial land is located.

Mr. Hayward stated that the Township sat down with the County controller, the economic development director, and two commissioners at a Township Board meeting last Thursday. He said that they went through the project and looked at what can they do and what can't they do. There was an agreement reached, which was 80/20 split. Then it goes back to the committee and other issues were raised. The Township was not aware of the special millage. Mr. Hayward stated that there may be two ways to approach it. He said that the County?s resolution is heavy handed and it appears the Township hasn?t reached out. The Township has held two special meetings for the County and various staff meetings. Mr. Hayward stated that the Township will reach out to anyone just as they are doing tonight with the Board of Trustees. He said that Lansing Community College has been a great partner in the region for so long, but so has Lansing Township . Mr. Hayward explained that Lansing Township has been the contributing jurisdiction for the last two decades. Lansing Township has been the only community in the region, with the exception of the City of Lansing , to lose population in the last three decades. They also have been the only jurisdiction in the state in the last two years to lose economic value. The Township needs to do something to stabilize that and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will help in increasing the taxable value.

Chairperson Jeffries asked if the goal is to increase values, attract new development and raise revenues, it was his understanding that would all go back under tax increment finance (TIFA) plan anyway. He asked if that was true.

Mr. Hayward responded that the new development goes back to the TIFA for the duration of it. He said that the Township will only be capturing 80% of the new growth. Of the increased revenue 80% goes to the Township and 20% back to the taxing jurisdictions. The difference is that a TIFA doesn?t exist forever. For example, Delhi Township has a 3,200 acre DDA and Lansing Township , if you take all their land left, doesn?t have 3,200 acres. So the chances are that a 3,200 acre DDA could keep dumping money into it year after year and you would never finish. Lansing Township has a very small DDA and they have specific projects to be completed. When they are done, the Township needs that revenue. He said that the plan includes language that states when the projects are done, the DDA should be disbanded.

Chairperson Jeffries asked if it was a 30 year plan.

Mr. Hayward responded, yes.

There were no other questions from the Board.

Resolution Opposing Lansing Township?s Tax Increment Finance Plan

Chairperson Jeffries presented the resolution for the Board's consideration. He said that the resolution does not oppose the development plan, but it opposes the College's inclusion in the tax increment finance plan. The resolution authorizes the administration to work with legal counsel to review the Lansing Township ?s Downtown Development Authority and have discussions with the Township regarding this issue. Chairperson Jeffries stated that Mr. Cliff Flood, from Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone was present to answer any questions.

Trustee Holden asked for clarification that the resolution is not opposing the development or the Downtown Development Authority, but it is opposing the College's inclusion in the tax capture aspect.

Chairperson Jeffries responded, yes. He stated that it is important to give a clear indication of where we are, so when the administration sits down and has those discussions they are clear of what the Board is looking for. Chairperson Jeffries expressed that this is a great development and he hopes it happens and it would do a lot for the Township. However, he is gravely concerned for Lansing Community College and the financial position it is in with the $4 million deficit it faces, the layoffs, and the proposed tuition increase. He said that he takes exception to the statements made by the Township relative to the fact that these are future tax dollars and haven?t been considered in future budgets. Chairperson Jeffries explained that all of these monies have been considered in the College's budget projections, the bond projections, and this is money that the institution really needs. There was an analysis performed by staff which indicates that in order to make up the shortfall the College would have to bring in approximately 217 new students next year. He said that it will be quite a burden for the institution and he hoped that everyone could sit down and have that recognition. Chairperson Jeffries thanked the Township?s comments and offers of partnerships. He said that there may be things that could be worked out and the College always looks for partners in that area. Chairperson Jeffries stated that he would be supporting the resolution.

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Holden and supported b Trustee Mason to approve the resolution opposing Lansing Community College ?s inclusion in Lansing Township ?s tax increment finance plan.

Trustee Pelleran thanked Mr. Hayward for his presentation. She said that part of this is that some of this is new to the Board and the College is struggling with the budget. Trustee Pelleran expressed her support for a lot of the development ideas, but will be supporting the resolution.

Trustee Rasmusson stated that this community needs development very badly and doesn?t like to see political gridlock get in the way; however, he is mindful of the College's problem.

Trustee Heywood said that he would be supporting the resolution. He stated that it is a good idea to develop the area, but the College needs its tax revenue or it will impact the students, the economy, and its service district and that is not acceptable to him.

Mr. Hayward asked that the College review all Downtown Development Authorities in its district as to what its rights are. Lansing Township knows it is a tough economic time, but they would appreciate that they not be singled out in this activity.

Trustee Pelleran offered a friendly amendment to the resolution to include a review other Downtown Development Authorities.

President Cunningham suggested that it not be part of the resolution, but ask the attorneys to review this issue and advise the Board accordingly. There may be issues with the Lansing Township Downtown Development Authority that does not apply to all Downtown Development Authorities.

The Board agreed to President Cunningham?s suggestion.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Heywood, Holden, Jeffries, Mason, Pelleran, Rasmusson
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

Public Comment

There were no comments from the public.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

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