Craig Smith with Smith Hartvigsen PLLC visited the Wellington City Council during its meeting last week to discuss Community Reinvestment Areas.
Smith stated that he is with a law firm that represents redevelopment and community agencies, both large and small, throughout the state of Utah. He explained that they deal with a lot of land use issues and similar topics that keep them in rural areas often.
To Smith, the ironic thing in Utah is that this is the only economic development tool given to local governments and places that need it the most use it the least.
A lot of projects have been conducted along the Wasatch Front, which Smith stated does not need as much help as Carbon County and other rural areas do. Smith noticed that there has been a lot of discussion on economic development and industry in Wellington and wanted to explain the tool that is available to Wellington City.
Smith stated that this tool can be used to help make things happen that otherwise may not. In Salt Lake, $20,000,000 was given through the redevelopment agency to revamp the Vivint Smart Home Arena. He furthered the discussion by saying that funds can not be given to private enterprise.
The redevelopment agency is created as a separate entity, then the city is able utilize it for public use. The city would also be the board of agency. From there, the project area would be chosen to use power to redirect tax dollars. Concurrence and agreement from all taxing entities is also a must.
The council then asked what Smith would need for the agency to be created. Smith informed the council that he is paid personally by the hour and does not receive money from the projects. Around $2,500 is needed to create the agency and a project area would be anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.
The council chose to meet with another presenter in two weeks time. Given the complexity of the Community Reinvestment Areas, various firms will be met with before moving forward. However, Wellington City is very interested in learning more about these incentives and hopefully utilizing them in the future.