Minutes - May 13, 2003 - Special
of the Special Meeting
Of the City Council of the
CITY OF DARIEN
MAY 13, 2003
CALL TO ORDER
Carmen D. Soldato called the Special Meeting of the City Council of the
City of Darien to order at 5:45 P.M.
ROLL CALL The Roll Call of Aldermen by City Clerk Coleman
was as follows:
Richard Biehl Joseph Marchese
Morgan Cotten John Poteraske
David Hagen Kathleen Weaver
James Tikalsky (arrived at 5:49 P.M.)
Also in Attendance: Carmen D. Soldato, Mayor
Joanne F. Coleman, City Clerk
Kevin P. Monaghan, City Treasurer
John B. Murphey, City Attorney
Bryon D. Vana, City Administrator
Gregory Dreyer, Director of Community Development
3. DECLARATION OF A QUORUM There being six Aldermen present,
Mayor Soldato declared a quorum.
BUSINESS REDEVELOPMENT DISTRICT / 75th STREET & CASS AVENUE TRIANGLE
Soldato thanked Council for their attendance and stated that the purpose
of the meeting was for discussion purposes and to outline procedural steps
regarding the Central Business District. He commented that the Comprehensive
Plan was updated on November 18, 2002, which had a component for the development
of the Central Business District at 75th Street & Cass Avenue; City
Attorney Murphey outlined steps within a memorandum dated November 26,
2002, which stated that an area needed to be defined as a Business District.
Murphey recommended that the Council should determine if redevelopment
of the area would make planning, policy and financial sense. He stated
that the next step would be to determine what long term financing would
be available; he emphasized that there was a responsibility to the owners
of the properties within the district to progressively continue with the
project. He spoke about condemnation under Home Rule. Alderman Cotten
inquired what would happen if no progress was made for 1, 2 or 5 years;
Attorney Murphey responded that the district was defined and that the
Cityís authority would not diminish if nothing was done for a period
of time. Mayor Soldato stated the whole endeavor would take years, not
months, to achieve.
Alderman Poteraske commented that perhaps the next logical step for the
City to take would be a feasibility study by a real estate consultant
to determine the value of the property.
Soldato referred to the memorandum, which outlined a proposed schedule.
He recommended that the Business District Development and Redevelopment
Commission be created at the May 19th Council meeting. He spoke about
a TIF consultant; he indicated that the land needed to be valued; he stated
that funding was budgeted. He commented that developers have informally
shown an interest in the site and that Administrator Vana received a rudimentary
proposal for the property. Mayor Soldato felt it was important to do ìRequest
for Proposalî in order to formulate what could be placed on the
site and to publish the information through the media; the RFP would be
drafted by the Commission and Administrator Vana for Council review, released
and have a return date of July 31, 2003. He indicated that the Commission
would review the proposals from the beginning to mid-August, make a recommendation
to Council on August 18, and on August 19 the Council would provide the
recommended proposal to the TIF consultant. The TIF feasibility study
would be reviewed by September 1. He noted that there were many legal/procedural
steps to implement, which would include other taxing bodies.
Cotten inquired about the number of proposals received. Administrator
Vana stated that as part of the budget three categories of services were
considered; they were TIF/general economic development consultants, land
appraisers and land negotiators. He said that two proposals had been received;
they were for TIF/economic development. Alderman Cotten inquired about
the Commissionís task; they are to evaluate proposals and make
recommendation(s) to Council. Administrator Vana commented that Council
laid out steps to be taken; money was budgeted last year and he tried
to obtain proposals for consideration. Alderman Cotten felt that the scheduling
was aggressive and that the $95,000 in the budget could be deferred.
Biehl inquired about the number of people for the Commission;
Soldato responded that four people would be appointed at the May 19th
City Council meeting. Alderman Biehl also inquired if June 2nd was enough
time to hire a consultant and an appraiser; Administrator Vana responded
that after May 19th he would assist the Commissioners with evaluating
the consultants to narrow the selection. Mayor Soldato stated that the
timeline contained suggested dates; if the Commission felt that additional
time was needed they would inform Council.
Hagen asked if it would be appropriate to advertise for Commission members
who may have expertise to be involved with the project instead of making
an appointment on May 19th. He asked if it was inappropriate to do a RFP
for a TIF consultant. He asked if there was a breakdown of costs associated
with the $95,000 in the budget. Administrator Vana replied that the budgeted
amount included a variety of studies and appraisals. Alderman Hagen would
like the costs defined; he was concerned about utilizing a TIF consultant,
which could be interpreted that the City decided to make the area a TIF
district; he said there were other financing options available.
Vana commented that an economic development consultant would provide various
finance options. Mayor Soldato stated that the intent was to look at all
finance options, not just TIF.
Poteraske suggested using the term ëreal estate feasibility consultantí
instead of TIF consultant. The consultant would need real estate appraisal
background to provide a fair market value of the property in order for
the City to determine what the value of the area would be to provide an
reviewed the proposed schedule. Administrator Vana spoke about the proposed
consultants and that they could work on an hourly basis. Alderman Poteraske
reiterated that the fair market value needed to be known to make a determination.
Hagen asked that information regarding the process be provided in advance
of a scheduled meeting. Mayor Soldato stated that the purpose of the Committee
of the Whole meeting was to discuss and gather input.
Marchese said that Committee of the Whole meetings should be conducted
throughout the project development.
Cotten inquired about the sale of the land near the Public Works facility;
Administrator Vana said that the appraisal had not been received but expected
it shortly and would forward it to Council; he said that a ëverbalí
offer had been made. Alderman Cotten said he would like the sale completed
prior to venturing forward with the triangle project.
Weaver stated that it would have been helpful if Council had reviewed
Attorney Murpheyís memo regarding the business district; Mayor
Soldato noted that if they needed an additional copy, it could be obtained
through Administrator Vana.
Soldato stated that the sale of the land on Frontage Road would be sold
for market value or above, which would assist the Council to view the
proposed project as significant, not only financially but aesthetically.
People have shown interest in this project and it would require monumental
coordination of efforts by all involved.
Cotten inquired if Council could obtain confidential information about
the people who have expressed interest in the triangle property for evaluation
purposes; Mayor Soldato replied that Administrator Vana would forward
being no further business to come before the City Council, it was moved
by Alderman Poteraske and seconded by Alderman Marchese to adjourn.
VOICE VOTE MOTION DULY CARRIED
City Council Special Meeting adjourned at 6:35 P.M.
supporting documentation and report originals of these minutes are on
file in the Office of the City Clerk under File Number 05-13-03.Minutes
of 05-13-03 CCM
May 13, 2003