Thursday, August 27, 2015

First C4C payment, $760,632, received by city

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 9:46 AM

The Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority has received its first allotment under the Regional Tourism Act to fund the City for Champions tourist projects.
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In June, the state gave the URA $760,632, its first annual payment, which is based on 13.08 percent of the state sales tax revenue collected within the Regional Tourism Zone in excess of the base year revenue in 2013. The zone covers most of the city. So, it appears state sales tax revenue is increasing in the designated area, even though none of the tourism projects to be built have been built.

The money has been allocated as follows:

$298,465 for the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame (42 percent)
— $163,445 for the downtown sports and events complex (23 percent)
— $99,488 for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Sports Medicine and Performance Center (14 percent)
— $35,532 for the  U.S. Air Force Academy visitors center (5 percent)
— $113,702 for the "flexible sub-account" (16 percent)

According to the URA's July financial statement notes, administrative expenses for the allocation is estimated at $50,000 this year.

In December 2013, the state Economic Development Commission approved giving the city $120.5 million over 30 years to build the projects. Under the agreement, the city must begin each project within five years of the approval and complete them within 10 years.

Here's that portion of the state agreement:
The Commission authorizes the receipt and expenditure of the full amount of Dedicated Revenue by the Financing Entity provided that the Commencement of Substantial Work occurs for all of the Project Elements within five (5) years of December 16, 2013, and all of the Projects Elements are fully completed and placed in service on or before December 16, 2023, the Final Completion Date. If the  Commencement of Substantial Work condition is not met for a specific Project Element, and the date by which the Commencement of Substantial Work must occur has not been extended by the Commission under C.R.S. §
24-46-309(2), then the approval for that Project Element is revoked as follows:

(1) If the Commencement of Substantial Work condition is not met for the U.S. 
Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, then the Department shall reduce the amount
of Dedicated Revenue transferred to the Special Fund each month by the MEAP for
that Project Element plus 16 percent for the flexible Sub-Account (total reduction:
5 8%).

(2) If the Commencement of Substantial Work condition is not met for the Colorado Sports and Event Center, then the Department shall reduce the amount of Dedicated Revenue transferred to the Special Fund each month by the MEAP for that Project Element (total reduction: 23%).

(3) If the Commencement of Substantial Work condition is not met for the U.C.C.S. Sports Medicine and Performance Center, then the Department shall reduce the amount of Dedicated Revenue transferred to the Special Fund each month by the MEAP for that Project Element (total reduction: 14%).

(4) If the Commencement of Substantial Work condition is not met for the U.S. Air
Force Academy Gateway Visitor’s Center, then the Department shall reduce the amount of Dedicated Revenue transferred to the Special Fund each month by the MEAP for that Project Element (total reduction: 5%).

(5) Any Dedicated Revenue in a Sub-Account associated with a revoked Project Element, or in the flexible Sub-Account and contingent on the Commencement of Substantial Work of a revoked Project Element, that has been transferred to the Special Fund but has not been expended, plus any investment income earned thereon, shall be refunded to the State Treasurer.
At its July 22 meeting, the URA board voted to act as a place-holder of sorts until a project sponsor for the downtown stadium is chosen. Here's the entry from the minutes of that meeting:
Item 5 – Approval of the C4C Event Center Cooperation Agreement
Mr. David Neville presented the Cooperation Agreement between the City of Colorado Springs for and on behalf of an entity to be formed to act as the project element sponsor for the project element known as The Colorado Sports & Event Center and the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority.

Commissioner Merv Bennett [who serves as City Council president] stated he wanted to make sure he was not agreeing to an agreement that would encumber the City of Colorado Springs in a negative manner. Commissioner Merv Bennett further stated that the City Council has said that if it is going to cost the City any money that it will go to the voters.

Mr. David Neville also presented the resolution of the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority approving the agreement.

A motion was made by Commissioner Jim Raughton, seconded by Commissioner Zachary McComsey to approve the Cooperation Agreement and Resolution for the City for Champions Event Center as provided in the agenda packet. The motion carried 7 -0. 
The stadium project has been hugely controversial, because detractors say stadiums have proved to be revenue losers in other cities and that voters should have a say in whether to dedicate local tax money to it.

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