Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Silver pitches Kalahari to Spotsy EDA

Emily Battle has the scoop on what happened this afternoon at the Spotsylvania County Economic Development Authority, where it was expected to discuss floating bonds for a water park in the city. The city’s EDA up until today was not favoring Kalahari’s request to eat the fees they charge for issuing bonds.

Silver Director of Development Scott Little was pitching the idea to the Spotsy EDA without knowing that the city EDA had already approved waiving the fees. What did he say?

- Little said Kalahari would be willing to pay the same fee it had agreed to pay to Fredericksburg on the roughly $240 million taxable bond issue. That is $59,375 a year for 10 years. NOTE: This is nowhere near the $2 million Supervisor Hap Connors mentioned during last week’s meeting, but it’s money the county wasn’t going to have unless the EDA did this, which is all moot now.

- Little told the county EDA that Spotsylvania could have a “marketing presence” within the Kalahari resort if they issued the bonds, although he did not get into specifics about what that would entail. NOTE: Does Silver have control over who gets a marketing presence in Kalahari?

- Little also said that Silver would “be happy to pledge one of our projects in Spotsylvania County to Class A office space,” since he’d heard the county wants to attract more office tenants. He did not specify which project, and he noted that the pledge would be dependent on finding tenants for such a project. NOTE: Without specifics on what property he is talking about, this might have just been that sweet stuff that’s not really sugar.

- As an added sweetener, Little also said Silver would assist the county in trying to get another entrance to the Spotsylvania Towne Centre at Carl D. Silver Parkway and State Route 3. That is something mall developer Cafaro has wanted for a while. Cafaro has approached the city about condemning a piece of property that would be necessary to make this entrance happen, but several city officials have pointed out that there’s not much incentive for Fredericksburg to do that, since it would put a tax-paying city merchant out of business while making it easier for shoppers to take their tax dollars out of Fredericksburg. Little acknowledged that “We don’t have the say-so, we don’t own the land, but we’d be happy to help.” NOTE: Dear Silver, this connection has been promised for years and never has happened. The Mall has been open before you built Central Park. You also don’t own the land to make such a connection.How can Silver help?

The EDA didn’t really address any of these carrots that Little was dropping all over the meeting room floor.

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  • Martin (Marty) Work

    This one is going to turn into a classic of who really owns Spotsylvania County, but can’t afford to get their own financing in the open market. I sincerely hope minutes are being taken, word for word, or better still, televised for public consumption. I hear the rattleing of swords in the background, so I’ll stand aside and see who enters the field of battle first. There’s Silver and his battalion. To the right I can see Spotsy’s EDA citizen committee members flying their flag. The Spotsy BOS are standing at attention as the parade passes in review, while the County Administrator and Attorney recite chant’s calling for more closed door meetings of the mind…not ours but theirs.

  • Hap Connors

    You’re right, Dan. Seems like a moot point now, but the initial conversation spoke of a $100K fee per year for 20 years, which is where I got the $2M from. Glad it worked out for the City…. Next time, though, we should discuss revenue sharing opportunities for these type of projects.

  • wizard1073

    Marty, your description makes me sad to have missed the re-enactment this past weekend. I had to pick this one weekend to be out of town!

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    Not to worry. BRAVO videotaped everything from the sidelines and Dan took historical notes just to keep the playing field as level as it would be allowed to be. Just kidding. The parade fell apart midstream and everyone went back home, at least until the next horn blow sounds. You should be thankful you made it to the outside world, even if it was only a couple days. See you on the flip side and say HI to HAP next time you’re in town. Later