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No rush on Kalahari bonds, Devine says page 2
Fredericksburg's vice mayor weighs in on Kalahari bond issue

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Date published: 5/24/2010

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Devine said that Spotsylvania's willingness to take Kalahari's EDA bond fees away from Fredericksburg could also be seen as a breach of that agreement.

She said county officials should not have been as quick to publicly say that they would take the bonds. Spotsylvania's EDA will meet today at 1 p.m. for an informational session on the Kalahari bonds.

Devine, who sat in the negotiating room when the performance agreement on Kalahari's 20-year incentives deal was being worked out during the City Council's 2008 trip to Kalahari's Ohio resort, said she thinks putting officials under a false sense that they must act now or kill the project is a "scare tactic" that Kalahari is trying to use to get its way.

"Even with deadlines looming, I just simply think you should not go into panic mode all the time," Devine said. "It's OK to put something on the table and consider it."

In her letter, Devine wrote that she believes Kalahari is a project worthy of some kind of break on bond fees, but she thinks the EDA should be left to negotiate an acceptable arrangement.

"The one exception the EDA has made on its fees was for the hospital, a project of great magnitude and benefit to the city," Devine wrote. "As Kalahari stands to be another project of great magnitude and benefit to the city, the EDA should be given the opportunity to further meet and negotiate with Kalahari. While city staff worked diligently to come up with a compromise, I do not fault the EDA for doing its job and needing additional time to negotiate and look out for the interests of the city."

To read a copy of Devine's letter, visit the City Beat blog at blogs.fredericksburg.com/citybeat.

Emily Battle: 540/374-5413
Email: ebattle@freelancestar.com


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