Wednesday, 09 May 2007 02:19

Knight Foundry Price Tag Jumps: City of Sutter Creek’s New Strategy

slide8On the Sutter Creek City Council’s agenda Monday was the Amador County Recreation Agency’s request for an increase in their member contributions. ACRA Executive Director Tracey Towner-Yep was present and explained that ACRA has been a very viable organization over the past few years putting on such events as summer camps, Shakespeare in the park, park upgrades at Bryson Park, etc. ACRA is quickly growing into a full fledged agency, and in turn asked Sutter Creek to incorporate a $5 per person membership fee for the next 3 years. In 2006-07 Sutter Creek contributed $9,025 and if they approve the request their contribution would be $14,720 for the next 3 years.

The idea behind raising the fee to $5 is largely, in part, to provide a base funding for the next three years, as opposed to asking for contributions on an annual basis.  This charge is ideally going to stay at the 5 dollar rate for the next 3 years. Towner-Yep said during 2006-2007 member contributions came to $117,660 while the actual ACRA budget grew to $220,000, a difference of 87%. Towner-Yep said as ACRA grows and becomes more self-sufficient, it is apparent that the base funding used to seed this operation needs to increase as well.  Jackson approved the $5 per capita fee for a 2 year contract, the Board of Supervisors asked ACRA to come back in June when they have a more tangible budget idea and Plymouth and Ione are both looking positively at the prospect. The City Council after discussing the impact that funding increase may have on their budget finally made a motion. The vote to increase ACRA’s funding barely passed on a vote of 3 to 2 and was only approved for one year. City Council members Bill Hepworth, Gary Wooten, and Pat Crosby all voted in favor of the increase while Tim Murphy and Brent Parsons voted against the increase in funding because they wanted to wait and see how the request could be fitted into the budget.

slide12 The final version of the Knight’s Foundry Purchase Agreement was a hot topic on Monday Night. The asking price was given as $1.6 million, and the City’s appraisers determined the value for the real and personal property to be $1.06 million. The price that was brought to the table on Monday from the current owners was quite different. It was established by a personal appraisal done by the owner via a specialty appraiser from Chicago. The appraiser obtained a temporary license from the State of California in order to perform the appraisal and determined the value for the real property alone would be $1.04 million to which the owner then added the City’s personal property appraisal of $300,000. This would result in a total price of $1.34 million when escrow and closing costs are all paid for.

slide14 This price is almost $300,000 more than the City determined the value for both the real and personal property. The purchase agreement states that the Council has 30 days from receipt of the appraisal to accept or reject the offer. The City Council decided to accept the appraisal on the following condition: To raise $300,000 without affecting the city’s on-going operations the city will have to issue debt. If all, or a substantial portion of the difference were taken as a charitable contribution to the City the pro forma indicates that avoiding the issuance of debt might be possible. The owner’s appraisal could be accepted on the condition that he donates ½ of the difference, or the assets it represents, to the City. If the owner rejects the condition then the response would provide that the appraisal is rejected and the transaction is terminated. The price tag associated with the Knights Foundry was not the only issue regarding the subject. The assignment and assumption of Sale Agreement and Trustee ownership and operations were also discussed and approved on Monday night. Access and sub-access agreement discussion was tabled to revisit in the future.

Also a Priority Setting Workshop/Retreat was voted and approved by the City Council for June 19th, 2007. The workshop which will focus on prioritizing the goals of the City will begin at 9am and end around or not long after 3:00 pm. The retreat will be facilitated by City Attorney Dennis Crab and will involve members of the governing board, legal council, chief executive officer, staff members, Dept. Heads, and members of the interested public. The purpose of the workshop is to compile all pending projects, and to interview participants beforehand to determine their 5 highest priorities for the upcoming year.