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Board passes resolution to negotiate with Mosaic over Aquia Towne Center deal

The ATC deal has generated a lot of debate and public discourse, which as far as I am concerned, is fantastic. It was wonderful to see so many people at the meeting sharing their thoughts on the deal, whether for or against. Regardless of where the deal ends up, at the very least it can't be said that this process is being handled behind closed doors.

There is still a lot of confusion about the deal but here are a few things that were made clear at the meeting:

1) The request Mosaic is making of the board has changed. They are now asking for $16.5 million with a maximum 20 year cap for payback.

2) The board has made some requests of it's own in response. They have asked Tom Foley, the County Administrator, to make the following requirements in the agreement with Mosaic:

- Final terms of the agreement (also called a MOU) will specifically be for a Harris Teeter. No payments will be made unless Harris Teeter moves into ATC

- The 167K in commercial space will be completed by a specific date, not in phases

- The Commissioner of Revenue will develop a methodology for "leakage", which will account for businesses that leave other area shopping centers to move to ATC and do not constitute new revenue. He must present this methodology by the August 15th meeting.

- The agreement (MOU) must be presented in final form to the board by Sept 5th. The public will have two weeks to review and the final vote will take place at the Sept. 19th meeting.

3) Supervisors Bohmke and Maurer both voted against the resolution. The both stated that they did not believe the role of the government involves giving these kind of incentives. The rest of the supervisors are not necessarily going to vote for the negotiated deal. Supervisor Thomas made it very clear that he can't be for or against any deal until he knows exactly what he deal is. The supervisors who did vote for the resolution to negotiate want to work with Mosaic to see what the deal will entail and if it can work for Stafford.

The good news is that we have a timeframe and we know that the public will be able to review the deal before the board votes.