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DURA chooses mediator

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The Delta Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) has selected a Front Range attorney, Barbara Green, to serve as a mediator for discussions with Delta County Mosquito Control District #1 and Delta County Fire District #1. Both taxing entities declined to participate in tax incentive funding for future economic development projects in the City of Delta.

DURA attorney Carolynne White said the next step is to notify those entities of the selected mediator. They can either accept Green or choose their own mediator. If each side winds up with a mediator, the two mediators then select a third mediator. The more attorneys in the room, the more expensive and cumbersome it will be for the parties involved, she noted.

Green is charging a flat fee of $6,500, plus travel expenses. The cost of mediation will be split equally among the parties.

According to state statute, the mediator has 90 days in which to determine the appropriate sharing of incremental property tax revenues, taking into account the nature of the project, the benefits of the project, and any capital or operating costs that are expected to result from the project.

Don Suppes, county representative, voted against retaining Green, saying he remains opposed to mediation. Other DURA board members, including Christopher Ryan, said they hope the notification from White will spur discussion with the fire and mosquito control boards. They remain hopeful mediation -- and any hard feelings that may result -- can still be avoided.

DURA was also unable to secure intergovernmental agreements with Tri County Water Conservation District and the Colorado River District, but funding from those two taxing entities is just under $600 in 2019, compared to about $6,000 for the fire district and $5,600 for the mosquito control district. Funding levels decline slightly over the 25-year period of the agreement.

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