City council roundup: TIF vote on hold; new dispensary approved; American Legion recognized – Norman Transcript

After spending another 45 minutes in executive session to discuss potential litigation against the city regarding University North Park, the city council again delayed a vote on the topic Tuesday.

Under the resolution on Tuesday’s agenda, which called for binding agreements to end the TIF by June 30, the city’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget would be prepared with the assumption that TIF allocations will be returning to the general fund.

The item was postponed at Feb. 12 meeting and was postponed again Tuesday to March 26 by a vote of 6-3, with council members Bill Hickman, Kate Bierman and Sereta Wilson voting against.

Council member Alex Scott, who during closing comments referred to the UNP TIF’s ongoing existence as “my nightmare,” said residents should not expect further delays on the vote.

“I just want to make it abundantly clear that this is it,” she said. “We’re not extending this past March 26. I will not agree to that.”

Ending the TIF early would boost the city’s general fund by roughly $3.6 million a year, but attempts to move in that direction have been met with resistance from developer University Town Center and the OU Foundation.

In December, the council received a letter signed by OU Foundation President Guy Patton and development manager Robert Collett threatening litigation.

“… The city and the TIF Trust have multiple obligations to UTC and UNP under the Development Agreements that remain outstanding,” the letter reads. “… Regardless of when the TIF concludes, the City and the TIF Trust must meet all their obligations to UTC and UNP. If the City and TIF Trust rush to end the TIF before their obligations under the Development Agreements are fulfilled, UTC and UNP are prepared to fully enforce their legal rights.”

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