The deadline for applications to the program for this year is Nov. 16. Council does not meet again before that deadline so city staff put together a submission for council to consider at Monday night’s work session.
In the end, many council members voiced reservations because of the rush and some stipulations the Livable Centers Initiative would have over the area should that funding be used. Some of those stipulations include transit options and mixed-income housing.
“I know we were up against the deadline which is the only reason this went through at lightning speed … maybe we do want something like this in a year,” said Councilwoman Post 6 Bev Miller. “I think having control of our own destiny at the end of the day is what we want.”
City Manager John Kachmar said his final views were that the council might want to take a step back, not apply for the program this year and consider applying next year because the city will have a better idea of what they will be able to do as far as meeting certain Livable Centers Initiative requirements.
“Right now I can’t tell you we can meet all of the string requirements,” he said. “And yes, the key words are: ‘ARC will write a contract with you and will tell you what your reporting is.’ It’s not a negotiation. It’s a one-way conversation.”
Mayor Mike Bodker made it clear the council is not rejecting the idea for a city center entirely, but this may or may not be the avenue to plan and receive funding for such an area.
“I don’t see the council abandoning the concept at all,” he said. “Let’s leave here pulling together a similar time frame – or whatever schedule [staff] believes is realistic now that our staff is managing it 100 percent – what the dollars would be, what the steps are, what the scope is and let’s have another work session discussion to kind of try to finalize it.”