Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Below is a list of some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the Historic City Hall Rehabilitation Project.

1. Why can’t we just tear the building down and build another one?
Because the building is a registered historic structure, it CANNOT be torn down. Even if we could demolish the existing structure, clean-up and reconstruction would cost more than the City’s share of reconstruction costs. In addition, demolition of the building would cause FEMA assistance to become unavailable.

2. What is this building good for?
It will be the headquarters for Atascadero City Government as well as home to artifacts to be displayed by the Atascadero Historical Society. As an original Colony building of unique design, it is the icon of the city and a tourism draw. The building is a valuable community asset.

3. Is this project going to raise my taxes?

No. The costs of repairs are covered by disaster assistance funds from FEMA and Cal EMA, a grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Atascadero. There will be no increase in taxes to cover the costs of this project.

4. Did the City of Atascadero misrepresent the facts when it applied for FEMA funds for this project?
Absolutely not. FEMA has determined that this funding process meets all government standards.

5. Will the financing for this project degrade the City’s ability to finance capital projects in the future.

No. The City has an excellent bond rating, which will be unaffected by this financing process. Moreover, this bond will free up approximately $5 million in Redevelopment funds. The City Council has already prioritized the expenditure of these funds.

6. How do we know we won’t over-pay for the reconstruction?
The City of Atascadero has engaged the construction management services of Bernards to oversee the project. Bernards will review all construction plans to ensure the most cost-effective implementation, and work directly with contractors keep costs in line.

7. Will all of this work be done by out-of-town firms?

No. Wherever possible, local contractors will participate in the repair project. For complete information about how to participate, please consult construction information in the City of Atascadero’s website, www.atascadero.org, and click on the link under “Historic City Hall Project.”

8. Will the spending of City funds on the project take away from City services?
Not at all! Economists estimate that every dollar spent in construction has a multiplier effect of 4 to 7 in the local economy. In other words, a dollar in construction generates 4 to 7 dollars in related jobs, such as raw materials, processed materials, on site and off site labor, transportation, ancillary support services, and workforce support (from food to insurance). The reconstruction of this building will provide an economic boost of approximately $40 million directly and, conservatively, four times that much – or $160 million – to our local economy over the next three years. These jobs then support other jobs, whose workers in turn support other industries. The employment of many local people will increase Sales Tax revenues to the City’s General Fund, and could help revive flagging property values by putting more money in to local workers’ pockets. The revived historic City Hall will also create the “domino effect” of raising the value of nearby properties and making Atascadero more attractive to families and new businesses. This project could not come at a better time in the history of our community!

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