By Matt Artz
Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 4:40 pm in Uncategorized.
Last Thursday, Fremont postponed issuing up to $140 million in redevelopment bonds after the sate just hours earlier posted its plan to do away with redevelopment.
The city hoped still to be able to issue the bonds, but that appears unlikely now.
Under the state’s plan, a local oversight board would be able to challenge the city’s bond issuance. That board would be stacked with public agencies (the county, the school district, the water board) that lose tax money because of redevelopment and would stand to get more money if Fremont doesn’t go ahead with that bond.
Fremont officials fear issuing the bond is asking for trouble. If the bond were challenged, not only would Fremont not be able to spend the bond money on the BART station, but Fremont would lose some of the redevelopment money that would have trickled in to the city’s general fund.
The council will vote on the bonds Tuesday, but the ones I spoke with today said it was very unlikely they would vote to issue the bonds.
The timing really is unfortunate for Fremont. The city spent several years and quite a lot of money on environmental reports to increase the amount of available redevelopment funds. It was planning to issue those bonds later this year, but it looks like the state will make that a wasted effort.
Amazing that three months ago the city was counting on two BART station with lots of development opportunities to open by 2015. Now it looks like it will get one BART station next to a rail yard.