CPN recently wrote you about a proposal that will come before the City Council in August for the City to build a massive $15 million dollar parking garage in the heart of a Naples residential neighborhood on 4th Avenue South in Naples.
We gave you some of the reasons why wasting more than $15 million in taxpayer dollars on the “4th&4th” garage is a bad deal for the voters and residents of Naples.
The massive proposed garage is in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood.
The City and the CRA (which is made up of the City Council members) will improperly siphon off $15 million of tax revenue from other needed City projects – using the bogus claim that the neighborhood of million dollar plus residences is “blighted”.
The garage is intended to subsidize already very successful commercial development and businesses on Fifth Avenue – when the “community redevelopment” funds are supposed to be used to redevelop impoverished areas, not wealthy developers on Fifth Avenue.
The garage is designed to attract and accommodate a significant influx of additional beach users — with traffic into and from the garage — on city streets that are already stressed with existing traffic congestion.
See the Naples Garage Coalition website for more details. (https://www.44garage.com)
“Brother – can you spare 15 million dollars?” -- Now the City’s CRA Advisory Board has just voted to ask the City Council and the CRA to borrow $15 million dollars to pay for the land and construction for this massive garage. This is $15 million that neither the City nor the CRA has – and the $15 million debt will have to be paid from diversions of your future taxes known as “tax increment financing” (TIF). (Guess who pays for the diversion of this revenue from the City’s general fund? – YOU!) And it is $15 million that won’t be available to improve and upgrade the less affluent neighborhoods East of Highway U.S. 41 – which is the legally mandated purpose of TIF funding.
What can you do? Here are some key actions you can take to stop this fiasco:
“The 5 X 5” campaign” – Get 5 of your neighbors – and each of them get 5 of their neighbors — and 5 of their neighbors, etc., etc., — to send emails to each of the City Council stating: “As residents of Naples we request that the CRA and/or Council vote "NO" on purchasing the parcels on 4th and 4th and vote to not construct a parking garage on this property” (Council members’ addresses are on the CPN website: http://citizensforpreservingnaples.org/). Make sure each email author copies us (CPN) at email@example.com.
“Get Naples Taxpayers and Voters to the key Council and CRA meetings on August 15 and 16, 2017.” The City staff’s strategy is to ask the Council and the CRA to vote to approve this massive garage project in late August – when many of our residents and voters are away. They want to “fast track” the decision to make it a “done deal” by the time many Naples residents and voters return in the Fall.
If you are here in Naples in August go to the August 15 CRA and August 16 Council hearings and urge the Council to vote NO on this garage project. Your physical presence at the hearings sends a strong message. (Send an email to us at CPN if you can and will attend either or both of the hearings.)
Even if you are away, contact any of your neighbors who are in Naples in August and urge them to attend the hearings and voice their objection.
Let CPN know if you or your neighbors plan on coming to the hearings.
City Council Contact Information
Mayor Bill Barnett firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Mayor Linda Penniman email@example.com
Reg Buxton firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Finlay email@example.com
Michelle McLeod firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen Seigel email@example.com
Sam Saad firstname.lastname@example.org