Dear Jersey Village Resident,
I presented the questions at the bottom of this email to the Jersey Village City Council Monday, July 15th, at 6:00 pm. I emailed the questions to the City Manager Monday. Austin Bleess, the Jersey Village City Manager answered them. I responded to him my concerns. It is best to read the emails from the bottom first.
Please see the responses below:
Thank you for answering the questions so promptly.
I do believe that a different firm than the one that the city uses should be retained to review the details of the contract and development, otherwise, it would seem to me that there is a conflict of interest with using Olsen and Olsen.
I have grave concerns regarding this project. The citizens do not have a clear understanding of the proposal. Most residents are not aware of any details of these documents. In addition, the citizens were very adamant a few years ago about not moving the city hall over to the other side of
Highway 290. This means that the current city council is disregarding the will of the people. I don’t understand how this has been allowed to go forward.
I am very concerned that citizens no longer are needed to vote on matters. I don’t understand how this is happening.
What I see is the mayor and 5 city council members disregarding the will of the people and when they need more money the council raises taxes to pay for projects that the citizens are not allowed to vote on. Is that a form of taxation without representation? I have been a resident for about 38 years. None of this is logical to me.
Merrilee Rosene Beazley
Good morning Merrilee,
Here are the answers to your questions.
1. The city has not issued any debt. At this point in time the city does not expect to issue any debt in relation to the Village Center project. The original Chapter 380 Agreement, which you have a copy of, contemplated that. However the revised agreement (which you can view here: https://www.jerseyvillagetx.com/page/city.econdevtransparency ) does not contemplate the city issuing any debt.
2. The sale of the property will close no later than August 31.
3. The other acres are land the city does not own, but had an option to purchase. The city assigned the option to purchase to Collaborate back in April. Collaborate will close on the purchase of this land at the same time they purchase the land from the city. The rest of that acreage is the detention area. That area is not being developed, but the detention is a vital component of the development.
4. Section 13.7 of the agreement states ” This Agreement will be binding on and inure to the benefit of the parties and their respective successors and assigns.” So if the property is assigned to another entity the agreement goes to that new entity. All of this information is public information, so it would be available to the end assignee.
5. The City Council has utilized the services of Olson and Olson, the firm for which the city attorney works, to review the transaction to ensure the city (and therefore the citizens) interests ae being protected.
I hope this answers your questions. If you have any others please let me know.
Jersey Village City Manager
Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2019 7:56 PM
To: Lorri Coody
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; Scot Bounds ; Austin Bleess
Subject: City Council Presentation, Monday, July 15th, 2019, 6:00 pm
My name is Merrilee Beazley. I live at 14910 Lakeview Dr.
Here are my questions regarding the Collaborate Contract:
1. Have the Certificates of Obligation been issued by the City? What is the amount? How will they be paid back?
2. Is the projected closing date of August 31st, still happening?
3. The property shows to be 43 acres, exhibits show 15 acres. Where is the other 28 acres?
4. Is $20 million over 30 years being paid to Collaborate even after they sell or assign to another company? Will the end buyer or assignee be privileged to this information?
5. Has OUTSIDE COUNCIL been hired to protect and review transaction for residents’ long term interests?