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2011 Project Phoenix Outreach…Flash Back

By   /   April 24, 2014  /   1 Comment

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Twentynine Palms, Ca.,- I was searching for my 2011 post on Cactus Thorns when I ran across this story, “Community Divided Over Project Plan,” by Courtney Vaughn dated November 30, 2011, (updated December 7, 2011). It is important to review what took place back then at one of the outreach meetings for Project Phoenix. 

Of note is the quote by Jim Ricker of G-5, warning everyone the base construction is winding down. He said that will have an impact on the TOT, bed tax revenue, Twentynine Palms has been enjoying for several years.  At that same meeting, Ricker stated he did not see any revenue generating out from Project Phoenix and confirmed my concerns about the maintenance costs that I brought up in my post of April 24, 2014, “Questions for the Phab Project Phoenix Folks.”>LINK

Here are a few excerpts from Vaughn’s 2010 story:

“How are you repaying the bonds? Is that coming out of RDA money?” Liz Meyer asked.

Former City Councilman Steve Spear pressed the issue further, asking, “Should the Supreme Court in January rule that RDAs can no longer exist … how will the city repay the bonds?”

“What is it going to cost to maintain those facilities?” Margo Sturges of Yucca Valley asked. Warne estimated it will cost about $115,000 a year to maintain the wastewater treatment plant. He said it’s unclear what the cost of operating the community center will be, but the city anticipates revenues from renting the facility.
Aside from concerns about the bonds, others felt the Project Phoenix plans, which include a community center, a theater, workforce housing, a wastewater treatment plant, underground utilities and improved alleyways, curbs and sidewalks, are unrealistic. 
“This is way too grandiose,” Ben Holstrom suggested of the plans. “Is there a Plan B to further improve the infrastructure of the redevelopment area?” Spear asked.
A total of 39 properties lie within the project area. Of those properties, 21 are vacant. “How long does it take for eminent domain to take place?” Yucca Valley resident Bob Sturges asked. Warne and Spevacek said they don’t anticipate having to use eminent domain, but if it came to that, the move would require a super majority vote from City Council, as well as a court trial and public hearing.
Jim Ricker, assistant chief of staff for the community plans liaison office at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, noted that many of the hotels and restaurants are being patronized by out of town contractors working at MCAGCC, but they won’t have work here forever. Once the contractors leave, the city may be left with an economic void.
Here is one of three comments posted to Vaughn’s story on November 30, 2011 by Cora Heiser, one year before she was elected to office:
“I attended the meeting last night. and it was good to hear what the City Manager and others in the city thought. It was and is a concern how quickly this money is being spent and most of it, 57%, going to one building. I don’t think that is negative, that is prudent. If the RDAs are allowed to continue, the money that the RDA will pay to the state, will be given to the schools, fire districts, and police services. I think we all agree that is a good thing.
I would wonder about the revenue stream of this building because the Visitor’s Center and the Chamber of Commerce are not successful on their own, and the Theatre 29 has done great things, but $1 a month rent is hardly a burden for Theatre 29. Nothing compared to what this 8 million dollar building will cost.
Just because the city is afraid that the state will take the money is not a good enough reason to rush into and skip necessary steps.
While they say our opinions are wanted, it sure doesn’t feel like it. An online magazine has posted the great plans for the theatre and community center taking place in 29. Maybe the only opinion they want is what color to paint it.
Some of us would like roads fixed, sidewalks put in, and still be able to have the original Project Phoenix completed. While it appears that 29 the city is healthy financially, the rest of California is not as fortunate, We may need to think about this and is this a wise move?”
For the complete story and answers given to the above questions…please see this>LINK

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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

1 Comment

  1. Harris and Mintz are drug addicts (Corbin and Klink too). Their drugs are public funds.

    They’re addicted to spending public funds just as someone is addicted to Meth. After depleting all the public funds, they’re waiting for another fix — possibly another drug shipment drugs via Project Phoenix money.

    Both Harris and Mintz are up for reelection. These druggies have to go. They have a helpless addiction.

    Rather than snorting it up their noses or shooting it into a vein– they say the magic word “tourism” and the drug money magically appears.

    Druggies in denial are of the worse sort. Arrogant or self-righteous druggies are impossible to deal with.

    The choice is clear… get these destructive people out of public office forever. Their addiction is stoppable at the ballot box. They’ve done little for the entire community or the public. Take a look at the downtown and general infrastructure in the city. This council has neglected it.

    To reiterate the obvious:

    Ron Peck, Financial Director of 29 Palms, very recently reported come June, for the first time in city history, the city will have more money going out than coming in, that the city will be flowing in red ink, and that the annual reserve funds left over are not going to be there. That annual amount is from 600 thousand to one million dollars.

    The city council converted the annual funds left over that did go into the City Reserve account. They converted the funds back into city funds, and spend those funds too.

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