Community Interests

LDFA Project #6 “Taxpayer’s” Beware!

LDFA (Local Development Finance Authority) of the City of Wixom.
Meeting of October 7, 2014

Minutes extracted from the noted meeting

The agenda item: REF: Mr. Galbraith’s request through 12/Beck LLC’s for an LDFA project consideration to extend Alpha Drive from ITC Corridor to Beck Road.

Let Taxpayers be aware of the seldom reviewed LDFA (Local Development Finance Authority) projects. This particular area noted is the land paralleling the I-96 expressway between Beck Road and Wixom Road East of the existing buildings as seen from the expressway.

12/Beck LLC now owns all the property (80 acres) purchasing the property previously owned by Lakeside Development.

Question; Is 12/Beck LLC requesting the LDFA to spend + $1.0 million dollars on a mere possibility of future Development?

Answer: Mr Galbraith replied yes. Infrastructure has to be in place in order to attract certain kinds of users which is why they are asking the City to partner with them to a certain extent.

The taxpayer funded improvements are considered by the12/Beck LLC to be a substantial benefit to the City. The road opens up the property owned by 12/Beck LLC for development.

However, the initial costs for a private road way for 12/Beck LLC: $1.0 million taxpayer dollars. Total costs to build this roadway: estimated at $3.69 million and does not include water and sanitary sewer. Cost of entire infrastructure: estimated at 6-7 million dollars.

Later in the meeting a response from former Councilman Cutright. He stated, “…He would not be in support of 12/Beck’s request because it is not a good idea to use City Funds for a private project.

Taxpayers need to watch Project #6 within the LDFA activities; Councilman Giddings was directly or indirectly associated with this development. Taxpayers should be advised that Mr. Galbraith is the “boss” of Councilman Giddings. Councilman Giddings participated in discussions about the development of this property; therefore, the conflict of interest claim against Councilman, Michael Giddings is valid.

Mr. Giddings did not recuse himself from the discussions. As it said, “There is a Fox in the Hen House!”

It was noted at the end of the meeting by Mr. Nowicki,  “That most developers have funded their own infrastructure, but in this case, it will be the LDFA Board’s Action.”

Motion and seconded by Board members Bell and Les to include the Extension of Alpha Drive/Twelve Mile Road in the LDFA Development Plan as Project #6.
Roll Call Vote: (8) (AYES)– Osman, Baker, Bell, Les, Olsen, Shadko, Springer, Weipert
(1) NAY—Cutright
(1) Absent -Cousineau

Will Project #6 be a development where the LDFA Board initiates a precedent setting (and BAD) Policy of using taxpayer’s dollars to fund private development? Project #6 is worthy of taxpayers vigilance. Furthermore, the Mayor and Council are aware of the “Fox” situation. Mr. Giddings was initially recruited to run for Council by Mayor Hinkley.

Taxpayers need to be aware of Project #6 on the LDFA’s agenda, noting that Mr. Giddings is on the inside-track for the potential development of this property.

The LDFA minutes noted can be found and read within the City’s web site for Wixom Local Development Finance Authority of October 7, 2014.

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