BOCC Statement on Raydient/ENCPA
Recently, disagreements between Raydient Places + Properties(the current name for Rayonier Inc.’s development subsidiary) and the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) have become very public with regards to the East Nassau Stewardship District (ENCPA). One of the issues atthe forefront of this debate has been public recreation space, particularly who will fund the public recreation space contemplated within the ENCPA.
In short, the BOCC believes Raydient and the ENCPA committed to not only providing the land for public recreation space inside of the ENCPA but also to fund any necessary construction for elements such as ball fields.Raydient, however, is asserting it was never under any obligation to fund such recreation space.
Raydient has stopped communicating with the BOCC regarding these issues and has refused to attend two public BOCC meetings held specifically to address the public-private partnership and funding concerns.First, an email was sent to Raydient and ENCPA officials on December 21, 2017 asking for proposed dates and times for a public workshop, which resulted in a date of February 12, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. being chosen. No representatives from either Raydient or the ENCPA attended.
A second meeting was set for February 16, 2017, following notice that Raydient was supporting an amendment to Senate Bill 324that would effectively remove its obligation to fund recreation space within the ENCPA. Again, no representatives from Raydient or the ENCPA attended the meeting.
Instead, Raydient has produced statements and videos publicly in attempt to downplay its obligations. Accordingly, the BOCC has determined it is now necessary to present its side of the story, which includes providing easy access for the public to representations made by Raydient in writing and in public meetings.
Below you will find two video presentations given by Raydient and its attorney at BOCC meetings held on September 16, 2015 and November 28, 2016 when it was lobbying the BOCC to support its attempt to become a stewardship district – which grants it benefits greater than a normal development.
In the meeting on September 16, 2015, Dan Camp from TerraPointe/Rayonier said, “Also, we’ve got community infrastructure which needs to be funded by the East Nassau residents – the burden needs to be only on the East Nassau residents.”
Later in the meeting, he said, “It allows East Nassau to pay to provide additions or enhancements to County services without impacting County finances or other residents.”
And later, in speaking specifically about park space, hesaid “I know the County doesn’t have the ability to do a lot of these things, but this gives us the tool to do a lot of those things.”
In the presentation from November 28, 2017, it states:
“The District will finance infrastructure and enhancements for recreational purposes (e.g. parks& trails) using revenue bonds secured only be special assessments on the lands within the District. This ensures that the growth within these lands pays for itself and does not burden Nassau County or its taxpayers. District powers& assessments only apply to district residents e.g. Amelia Concourse &Amelia Walk. The Act provides that this debt cannot become the debt of the County.”
What Raydient and its attorney said while courting the BOCC to support its stewardship district designation differs great from what Raydient now says it’s obligated and willing to do.
In addition to the oral presentation, written slides produced by Raydient are included for public consumption, which specifically address the ENCPA funding the recreation space at issue in writing.
Also included below are minutes from a negotiation session held on October 11, 2017 and a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the ENCPA on December 14, 2017. Both contain additional comments and representations regarding funding of the recreation space.
The BOCC would like to thank all of the citizens who took an interest in the debate over Senate Bill 324 (and accompanying House Resolution 697). The BOCC urges citizens to review all publicly available information, including the pertinent video and documents below, and remain vigilant as we work to get Raydient back to the table and hold those involved accountable for the representations thathave previously been made.