The financial situation at Juniper has continued to deteriorate since the June 16th City Council meeting on that project. Taxpayers should be extremely concerned with the City's recent announcement that Juniper Ridge is "broke" again, and the Council is seeking, among other things, a loan of $200,000.00 from the general fund, which is also strained.
The massive debt being incurred at JR cannot be justified by the possibility of future land sales as ODOT has frozen that option indefinitely. The chronology that follows recaps deteriorating trends and managerial miscues at JR during the past five months, which will assure ultimate failure of the project.
One week after the June 16th meeting, Ron Garzini addressed the Council stating, in effect that he had ODOT covered, and that sales would be booming by August. ODOT replied: NO MAS again. Ron also said that he found new buddies in Jeff & Ray (Juniper Ridge Partners). With friends like those, (fill in the blank).
Then visited the Tower Theatre only to find a conceptual overview of our million-dollar master plan that would require 40 years of constant refinement to be of any value.
The city would like us to believe that Juniper Ridge will be a crown jewel for Bend in the near future. In fact, the gem-stone has been crushed under the weight of a hundred broken promises, massive debt, missed deadlines, and cost over-runs. All that remains now is a rusty box of cosmetic promise rings.
The city would also like us to believe that Les Schwab will serve as a flagship for Juniper Ridge. In fact, the deal with Schwab more closely resembles a shipwreck that was swamped at sea under millions of dollars in concessions, incentives, and unpaid SDC's.
The Council has long maintained that Juniper Ridge was the only large tract of industrial property available in CO to attract major employers. Now Redmond has announced plans for a magnificent 965-acre park that can even move traffic. What a novel idea! Just wait until the bidding wars start for freebies, giveaways, incentives, and pricing concessions between Bend & Redmond!
Suterra represents another broken promise as few if any new jobs are forecasted. How much will it cost taxpayers to relocate them for no net gain to the community?
Now the Council seeks to increase our massive debt obligation despite a potential sale. Why has there been no mention of huge interest accruals on the current debt load?
Published editorials have long predicted that the City would end up throwing good money after bad, and we appear to have reached the point of no return after only one botched project in 4 years.
Bailouts are not popular with the people of America right now! Juniper Ridge is an unmitigated disaster for taxpayers of Central Oregon. We need an exit strategy instead of a bailout for a development certain to fail because it is landlocked with no way in or out. The Council has known this for years, but has chosen to ignore the obvious.
We cannot afford to ignore the inevitable brick wall of debt like they have much longer.
Scott Siewert, Bend