The formation of the Rocking K Community Facilities District first came before the Board of Supervisors on January 17, 2017 (see, Agenda 1/17/2017 and County Administrator Memorandum). On page 5 of the memorandum, County Administrator Huckelberry informed the Supervisors that:
"CFDs are separate legal entities. Counties are neither responsible nor liable for any of the costs of the district's public infrastructure, nor for any liability, debt or obligation of the CFD."
What we are led to believe here is that there is no liability for Pima County with the establishment of a Community Facilities District.
In preparation for the July 11, 2017 Board meeting where the Supervisors were asked to approve and authorize a Development and Intergovernmental Agreement with the Rocking K CFD, we requested further clarification from Keith Dommer, Pima County's Finance Director, as to liability issues--if any existed and to what degree. Mr. Dommer's response included the following:
FOLLOW THE MONEY . . . YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!
ROCKING K COMMUNITY FACILITIES DISTRICT
Tucson, AZ -- At the Board of Supervisors' July 11, 2017 meeting, I questioned County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Finance Director Keith Dommer about the County's liability for the Rocking K South Community Facilities District (CFD) infrastructure.
My concern resulted from the varying responses I received after reviewing the project documents. As you may be aware, I voted "NOT" to support the approval and authorization for the county and the Rocking K Community Facilities District to enter into a Development and Intergovernmental Agreement. Let me explain why.
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Mr. Dommer's response concerned me, especially as to the comment where he states, "The County will have the ordinary responsibilities that come with owning public infrastructure after the infrastructure is built and conveyed to the County." This is where the dilemma began to surface for me. How can we have no responsibility or liability as stated in the First Concern, and five months later be told, "the County will have ordinary responsibilities ...." as reported in the Second Concern? Which is it -- no liability, limited liability, or full liability?
County Administrator Huckelberry explained at the July 11, 2017 Board meeting there is an "additional property tax ... $ .30 per $100 really set aside for maintenance ...." That's when I asked Mr. Huckelberry for clarification that if the maintenance costs exceed the $ .30 per $100, would the county would be responsible for the additional maintenance costs. Mr. Huckelberry's response: YES (watch the video)
That's why I voted "NO" on the request for approval and authorization for the County to enter into a Development & Intergovernmental Agreement with the Rocking K Community Facilities District.
I recommend that future CFD projects be vetted in the public with adequate time to review documents and provide a proper venue for asking questions. Mr. Huckelberry notes in his July 14, 2017 memo discussing CFDs, that two muncipalities (the Towns of Marana and Sahuarita) have already enacted successful CFDs. What is important to note here is that the Town of Marana, in particular, provided study sessions for their elected officials and the public to learn about the complex nature of CFDs and how they operate.
If Pima County decides to move forward with the formation of additional CFDs, I would like to see a more transparent and open process that can serve to assist both the Board of Supervisors and the taxpayers. They are the ultimate bearers of any maintenance infrastructure liability and should be provided an opportunity to understand the CFD process.
Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller
July 14, 2017
Agenda Item Report - January 17, 2017 Supporting Documents
County Administrator Huckelberry - January 17, 2017 Memorandum
Agenda Item Report - July 11, 2017 Supporting Documents
Agenda Item Report - July 11, 2017 Additional Supporting Documents
County Administrator Huckelberry -July 14, 2017 Memorandum