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Redevelopment district dispute a tough nut to crack

Sun Advocate

Sometimes an issue comes down the road and it is hard to say who is right or wrong about it. Such an issue is the vote last week by the taxation board to discontinue the Redevelopment District in downtown Price.

While I have lived here only 13 years, I have seen a real difference in the downtown area in a positive way, despite the fact that one of the biggest of box stores moved the outskirts of the city about the time I moved here. At present there seems to be a vitality that I can't remember there. Certainly some of that is due to the low interest rates that developers and potential business owners can get right now, but maybe Mayor Joe Piccolo is right; the RDA is finally giving the business owners and potential owners the feeling that the city is friendly toward them and their businesses. The RDA has only been able to give businesses a small part of an investment to get them going, but anything is better than nothing. For instance, according to sources at the meeting the new James Banasky building that is going up on the corner where Center Texaco used to be will cost almost a million dollars and all the RDA can give toward that is $15,000. Sure it's not a lot in terms of total value, but it is something.

On the other hand I've seen the other agencies on the taxing boards point of view. Price has had 25 years to utilize the money from the RDA and now it is time for those agencies to start to reap the benefit of the higher tax levels that were created by them foregoing the incremental tax increases that went on over time.

Both the county and school district are caught in money binds. The counties tax base is not growing, in fact it may be declining. The school district is loosing more students every year making it harder and harder to operate in the black. And despite the cities proposal to not take as much, they still felt they needed all that they had been giving up over the past 25 years.

It's a tough position to be in. There are always at least two sides to every story, but seldom can you find a situation where both sides are right and deserve a break.

My hope is that they can find some common ground that will work for both of them.

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