Chancellor Advises He Plans To Rule $9 Million TIF For Aetna Mountain Road Is Void

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chancellor Frank Brown has advised attorneys that he plans to put down an order on Monday ruling that a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bond issue is invalid.

The judge said the City Industrial Development Board (IDB) violated the Open Meetings Act in the way the matter was approved.

He also cited the fact that approval of the bonds to build a road and sewer line to the top of Aetna Mountain in Lookout Valley was based on an opinion from an attorney who was paid $50,000 by the developers, who include Gary Chazen and Doug Stein.

Chancellor Brown also said there was sufficient evidence that the planned development did not meet the definition of an eligible project under state law authorizing TIFs.

Chancellor Brown said with the TIF void that, if a new one is sought, there would have to be a new application filed and notices sent out, then a reconvening and vote of the IDB.

The bonds have been issued and were bought, according to the attorney for plaintiff Helen Burns Sharp, by the developers themselves. He said they stood to make money on the interest involved.

Chancellor Brown said there will not be a trial. It had been set to begin on Tuesday and last several days.

He said his will be a final order on all the issues in the case and can be appealed.

Ms. Burns, a retired planner, had taken on the city, county, IDB and developers in her lawsuit.

She is represented by attorney John Konvalinka.

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