Friday, August 11, 2006

Statement By Mayor Peter Corroon

August 11, 2006 6:00 p.m. Today, with the endorsement of key members of the Salt Lake County Council, Salt Lake County has presented a proposal that I hope will satisfy REAL Salt Lake, The City of Sandy and the State of Utah. At this time we have received no response from REAL. When I came into office I wanted to change politics as usual: No more sweetheart deals and backroom bargaining; I promised less partisanship and politics and an open, honest, and ethical government based on planning not politics I feel Salt Lake County has been more than open about this process. We’ve also been clear about what we believe is feasible. I We see the county as a facilitator and leader. If there’s a way we can find common ground and common good, then it’s worth our time. Over the months, now year, of discussion, we always maintained that we’d consider any plan that benefits taxpayers. With that in mind, yesterday, Thursday, I proposed a plan that was countered by the team. Today, we came in with a proposal that satisfies the concerns of many members of the County Council, the Mayor’s Office and our financial advisors. We believe it is a good deal for our citizens. In general the plan includes contributions amounting to $15.8 million dollars from the county plus the relocation of the planned South Towne Parking lot across the street for use by both South Towne and the stadium. In return, nearly $27.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions from the team through parking revenue, ticket revenue, youth soccer and other promotions. The specifics of the plan are these: The County will provide $20 million for parking and related improvements including land and infrastructure. Salt Lake County will own the property and improvements for which these funds are used. The County will lease the parking garage at fair market value to REAL for stadium-related events. The County will issue a bond up to $10 million in 2010 and another $10 million in 2015 utilizing Transient Room Tax revenue as the payment source; it will cost OUR property taxpayers absolutely nothing. REAL shall provide 50-cents per ticket for all non-concert, stadium related events. REAL will make a $7.5 million dollar cash contribution to the Salt Lake City soccer complex approved by voters in 2003…and ensures that if it develops a soccer academy, it will be in Salt Lake County. REAL shall contribute $1 million each year in in-kind tourism promotion (details later). REAL will guarantee to Salt Lake County it will maintain its headquarters and play its games here for at least 30 years. Should REAL go out of business, it shall be liable to Salt Lake County for repayment of $10 million. As is common with most public-private partnerships, we’re asking REAL to develop relationships with youth and host annual charity events. As with all of our new government buildings, REAL commits to make the new stadium LEED – certified (LEED=Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Salt Lake County will contribute NO money for land for the stadium, hotel or broadcast studio. Over the past 24 hours I have met with the Governor, legislative leaders, Dave Checketts, the County’s financial advisors, my fiscal staff and members of the county council. After crunching the numbers and getting input from Council members, this was the proposal we offered to REAL. I believe it is a plan that is feasible AND protects the interests of the citizens of Salt Lake County.

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