Mike Buffington, co-publisher for the Barrow Journal, writes the city of Auburn's FY2013 budget — as well as the political aspirations of Mayor Linda Blechinger — could be determined by a single development project.
In an editorial titled "Blechinger's Christmas Wish" posted to the Barrow Journal's website Nov. 30, Buffington discusses Auburn Hills, a proposed 72-unit apartment complex off Mount Moriah Road. The city of Auburn is awaiting news on whether the project's development firm, TBG, will receive tax credits from the state and thus move forward with the development. To assist the firm in obtaining points toward qualifiying for those tax credits, the city implemented a neighborhood transit system in June.
The city's 2013 budget is based on the the project coming to fruition — Buffington writes the city is budgeting more than $100,000 in income from new building permits related to the development. But there are some issues that could impact the development.
"If the Auburn project gets the tax credits, city leaders will look like heroes," Buffington writes. "Although the transit system has cost the city a lot of money, if TBG starts construction on the project in the next few months, the city will get new revenue.
"But if the Auburn apartments don’t get the tax credits, the city will be in a financial mess and its leaders will have a large egg on their face."
Click here to read Buffington's full editorial.
Tell us what you think about Mike Buffington's editorial — and the city of Auburn's efforts to try to secure the proposed development — in the comments section below.