Spec Homes and Our Budget

Council agreed 7-0 to allow my request for a future agenda item to discuss the discontinuation, continuation or other options for the City of Flagstaff’s Speculative Housing Program. As I’ve written before, the City has been building spec homes with tax payer dollars for years and currently we have two homes that have been for sale for over 130 days each. It is my strong opinion and that of other professionals that these homes are over priced and no longer a good value for those purchasing them. Why do we continue to build these homes when over 150 homes are for sale under $200,000? Why would anyone want to buy a home on leased land for more than you could buy a home and own the land? These questions and many more will be on a future agenda!

Our streets are now getting a lot more attention largely due to the recent article I was featured in by the Arizona Daily Sun. Last night I requested that on or before our next budget meeting in April I want a list of all possible options to fix our streets. The $25,000,000 problem is only getting worse and we must take action now to stop the disintegration of our roads. I believe we can cut millions from our budget and reallocate the funds to our streets. A recent editorial suggested we bond for this. I find it irresponsible that for years we’ve spent money that should have been going to streets on things like trails, signs, beautification, public art, aquaplexes, auto malls, and spec homes while we let our streets deteriorate. Now the bill comes due and we’re going to borrow money? What message does this send to our kids, don’t pay your bills then when the bill comes due borrow and pass the buck to a future generation? Our kids and grand kids should be outraged!

Finally, last night I asked for a future discussion on street sweeping and sidewalk sweeping. Flagstaff is always a bit dirty in winter due to snow and cinders. The previous Council voted to cut back on street sweeping to save money. In a tourist town is it wise to have a dirty city? Surely there are many other things we could cut back on instead of street sweeping. Perhaps we can use some of the BBB tax for beautification instead of public art, FUTS trails or signage for FUTS trails.

Join me tomorrow from 7:30-9:00AM on Flag Mornings on 93.5FM and online http://www.Country935.com

One more thing. At last nights Council Meeting there was apparently some misunderstanding as to what a spec home is.

“Single-family dwelling constructed by a builder or developer in anticipation of finding a buyer”

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/spec-house#ixzz2MnYluq7E

4 thoughts on “Spec Homes and Our Budget

  1. No other comment beside — Thank you for being Jeff Oravits with his care for working people of Flagstaff!!!!

  2. Jeff, we heard from some council members last night that they absoluly wanted to continued building these homes, regardless of the financial logic. Once stated that “those folks that already bought these houses don’t want an empty lot next to them!” In my experience, an empty lot next to you is a good thing, more space and you’re not paying for it. In this case, the city would own it and SHOULD sell it quickly to a private developer so that it can start generating tax revenue and be developed when it makes market sense.

  3. Jeff I can’t thank you enough for all you do. It sure woke up some when you talked about an increase in sales tax. I can’t think of anything more that our city and our whole country needs then just simple common sense and you sure are bringing that to the table.

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