Government & Politics  October 18, 2023

Loveland seals deal, ratifies Centerra South URA revisions

LOVELAND — The final vote on the revisions to the urban renewal plan for Centerra South, while still drawing contentious comments from members of the public and Loveland mayor Jacki Marsh, picked up one additional vote Tuesday night.

Councilmember Jon Mallo, who has voted against the plan throughout the process, cast a vote in favor, making the decision 8-1.

At issue for the council was ratifying what was termed “substantial modifications” to the URA plan as a result of Larimer County voting last week to commit 65% of incremental property-tax revenue within Centerra South to infrastructure costs at the development. The LURA ratified those changes last week as well.

Tuesday, the council debated whether to vote in kind, and it did.

As noted by city consultant Andy Arnold from Pioneer Development Co., the addition of Larimer County to the financial plan for Centerra South results in an increase to the city of $21 million over 25 years above what would have been the case if the county were not participating. That’s because the county contribution permitted the city to reduce the amount of retail sales taxes that it would devote to the project in order to hit the $155 million of public infrastructure costs in the proposed $1 billion development planned by McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc.

Council member Andrea Samson posed her questions to how much of the $155 million is actually coming from the city versus other taxing authorities. She noted that 49% is coming from metropolitan districts — money paid by new residents and new businesses that establish in Centerra South. Of the 51% remaining, 35% comes from the city, 22% from the county and 43% from the Thompson School District, which will see all of its contribution backfilled by the state of Colorado.

Samson said the real city cost is $27 million, not the $155 million cited by some members of the public. With the city able to collect an additional $21 million as a result of the county action, the net outlay for the city is even less.

Councilmember Jon Mallo, a consistent “no” vote until Tuesday, asked about downsides to the city. 

Arnold said the risk is largely on the developer. “The only downside for the city is that it will expend a lot of effort, and there’s a risk that it might not happen, but a very low risk because it (the project) has to generate revenue in order for the spending to occur,” Arnold said.

Councilmember Overcash, frustrated with the debate, said the council was “refighting battles that we already fought. … We’re voting tonight on whether to collect an additional 17% in sales tax on this project,” he said.

Marsh said her opposition to the project remains, and she repeated her arguments about the county not “coming willingly to the table. I think they were somewhat misled” by the city.

Arnold noted that Larimer County will end up with $21 million more in its budget as a result of the project than it would have if the development were not to occur, a sum that he said would likely far exceed any additional costs to the county.

LOVELAND — The final vote on the revisions to the urban renewal plan for Centerra South, while still drawing contentious comments from members of the public and Loveland mayor Jacki Marsh, picked up one additional vote Tuesday night.

Councilmember Jon Mallo, who has voted against the plan throughout the process, cast a vote in favor, making the decision 8-1.

At issue for the council was ratifying what was termed “substantial modifications” to the URA plan as a result of Larimer County voting last week to commit 65% of incremental property-tax revenue within Centerra South to infrastructure costs at the development. The…

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.
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