The following was read during Citizens to be Heard at the City Council meeting on April 26, 2017. During this meeting several citizens stood up to speak about concerns with the toll road project. As of June 28th, this citizen has still not received a response from the city.
Good Evening Mayor and City Council,
I’m here in opposition of the proposed Cibolo Parkway and Expressway. I was not able to attend this meeting because my son has a baseball game, but I will watch it on the video feed.
It’s been stated several times that “Not one cent of taxpayer money will be spent on this project.” Over the past few weeks I researched the City’s cost in regards to the Parkway and Express way. There were some very interesting points brought up and follow suit with my opposition to this road.
The development agreement states that “reimbursement shall be made to the City for staff time devoted to bringing the project to fruition and consultant fees the City incurs directly related to the project, which shall include: an amount equal to $15,000.00 to compensate the City for staff time, and, reimbursement for legal, engineering and public relations consultant fees actually expended or incurred by the City, plus interest at a rate not to exceed 12% per annum."
However, throughout the contract it indicates that the City is required to provide staff assistance, Legal, engineering and public relations when it comes to the development of the Parkway. These requirements will cost a lot more than just $15,000 throughout the project. I understand additional reimbursement will be given for the other fees but the language is specific when it comes to $15,000 for staff time. How much of this has already been used? What of the additional costs over this amount?
The cost to the City if it goes into Default, which Cibolo is already in, is astronomical. Per the contract, Cibolo would have to pay for the studies and any expense that the Toll company may have incurred up to that point.
In the Operating agreement, which is only in draft form at this time but is indicated must be signed according to the development agreement, there are numerous ways that this project will cost the city, including how the City is required to coordinate and get Government approval for the project.
Then there are the tax benefits that will be required by the City.
Section 6.2 Tax Benefits. If Cibolo Turnpike reasonably determines that (commercially reasonable) structural or contractual arrangements related to the Project will maximize the availability of tax or other state or federal government benefits, City shall approve such structural or contractual arrangements and take such other actions as are necessary to maximize the availability of such benefits, including, without limitation City’s actions in entering into an operating or similar agreement for any future portion of the Project to Cibolo Turnpike, or its affiliate or designee to obtain the benefits of depreciation deductions, tax credits or similar tax benefits.
The contract states that the City will be required to pay for all ingress and egress connections that connect to the Toll Road. So for instance if the toll exit connects to a city road they have to pay to connect them. This would also be taxpayer funds.
These are just a few documented examples that I found and I’m sure there are many more. Thank you for your time and I hope you will consider these issues as a serious matter. I know the agreement has been signed but since it needs to be amended this is the time to really decide if this is the best option for Cibolo.