In the spirit of the New Year, we are happy to share with you an Update on the Local Foods Campus. Our hope is that the information below will help you understand why it has taken so incredibly long for the Local Foods Campus to get off the ground.
In a Nut-Shell – the City of Westminster has been stalling on this issue for over 16 months now. On September 2, 2014, we asked a simple question: How much money has the City been keeping from the South Sheridan Urban Renewal Area (URA) since 2011 and how much will the City be keeping in 2015?
Without the information we could not submit an effective proposal – since we intended to use portions of those funds.
Finally, on September 24, 2015 (over a year later), the City confirmed our suspicions that the City had retained over $5 Million from the South Sheridan URA between 2011 and 2014 and will retain another $2 Million by December, 2015. That’s over $7 Million. The City plans to keep an additional $2 Million per year – each and every year – until 2028 from the South Sheridan URA.
With that information finally made available to us, we submitted a formal proposal 4 days later in an open session to the City Council on September 28, 2015.
Three months later, City Council now tells us and anyone who asks, that their deliberations are in “Executive Session” and are thus “Secret!” Again we wait in limbo!
We firmly believe the City’s stalling on the Local Foods Campus has nothing to do with the quality of our Plan, the Experience of our Management Team, our ability to bring millions of private and foundation investment dollars to the table, our ability to crate over 50 jobs, our help grow hundreds of local food companies and our hundreds of local supporters – but rather this delay is solely intended to find a way to protect the millions of dollars the City is keeping each year from this Urban Renewal Area.
Instead of using these millions of dollars within the URA to continue to the urban renewal in the area, modernize outdated buildings and reduce retail vacancy in the Hidden Lake Shopping Center, as is intended – the City wants to take the money elsewhere.
Action Delayed is Action Denied.
We understand how frustrated our Supporters have grown with the City, and we share in that frustration completely. This City Council has never spoken publicly about this project and the ability of the City to support it.
Make your voice heard to City Council on Wednesday January, 6th from 6-8 p.m. at The Mac (3295 W. 72nd Ave), when Westminster City Council hosts a forum focusing South Westminster.
Thank you for your help and Support and stay tuned all this week on our Social Media, Blog, and Email as we will dive in and give many more details!
Nathan, Kimberly, Vern, Dale and John
Local Foods Campus