Hillsboro mayor, city manager discuss baseball team proposal
11:28
The Oregonian: 
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the live chat on Hillsboro baseball with Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey and City Manager Michael Brown. We will get started at 11:30. I'm George Rede, Hillsboro Argus Opinion Editor, and I'll be moderating today's chat.

We welcome your questions and comments and ask that everyone treat the conversation, and especially our guests, with due respect. No personal attacks, no name-calling, no profanity.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:28 The Oregonian
11:33
Jerry: 
Good Morning! This is Mayor Willey and i am ready to answer questions.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:33 Jerry
11:41
Michael Brown: 
Hello. This is Michael Brown and I am ready for questions, as well.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:41 Michael Brown
11:43
[Comment From Annee von BorgAnnee von Borg: ] 
I attended the May open house and read the economic impact study. Has there been a health impact assessment in reaching decisions on how to proceed? I raise public health questions in my post at http://www.carfreefamily.org/2012/05/future-hillsboro-stadium-potential.html. Thank you.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:43 Annee von Borg
11:45
Michael Brown: 
Hi Annee. No, there has not been a public health assessment specifically related to baseball. However, we are working with the owners of the team to examine alternative means of transportation to the complex, such as shuttle service from MAX.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:45 Michael Brown
11:46
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Love the concept of pro baseball in Hillsboro and stadium looks great. Please explain exactly how it will be funded and if the stadium will have other occupants.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:46 Guest
11:50
Annee von Borg: 
Thank you. A pedicab shuttle service would be fantastic! I am especially concerned about the projected revenues from food and drink concessions given the current trends in childhood obesity. Will Hillsboro seize the opportunity to do something innovative and health promoting with this new undertaking?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:50 Annee von Borg
11:51
Jerry: 
The stadium construction will be funded by selling full faith and credit bonds without impact on taxes to the residents. The bonds will be repaid from a variety of sources, which will include revenues generated by the operations of the baseball stadium. The city will be utilizing the stadium over 300 days per year, not including the days the team will be using the stadium.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:51 Jerry
11:51
[Comment From Bob MyersBob Myers: ] 
What would be the financial impact for the community?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:51 Bob Myers
11:53
Michael Brown: 
The team will operate the concession stands during games and therefore control what types of food and beverages are provided. We are in support of healthy options.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:53 Michael Brown
11:53
Jerry: 
We hired a consultant to prepare an economic impact study which reflected that we could expect a $55 million positive net impact over 20 years.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:53 Jerry
11:54
The Oregonian: 
Great questions so far. I know the mayor and city mgr are typing furiously to keep up. Patience, please, if you haven't seen your question appear yet.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:54 The Oregonian
11:54
[Comment From ChrisChris: ] 
I loved that the Portland Beavers played in a stadium on a light-rail line. Could the City of Hillsboro request a MAX spur-line along the old Cornelius Pass Road rail right-of-way? I know this wouldn't get done anytime soon, but it would be nice to prevent someone from building anything to preclude the possibility.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:54 Chris
11:57
Jerry: 
We work with TriMet on a variety of transportation needs and will continue to make public transportation access to the stadium a priority. The cost of a rail line down Cornelius Pass would be extremely expensive and I doubt we will have the ability to acquire support for this project at anytime in the future.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:57 Jerry
11:58
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Understand that the Northwest League, Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball have to approve the plans by the end of this month. Has there been any progress/agreement so far to the proposal?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 11:58 Guest
12:01
Jerry: 
The city council is having a special council meeting on June 26 to review the conditional agreements. The team and the Northwest League have approved the term sheet and all aspects of this project are moving forward. We don't forsee any issues to progressing to our ultimate goal of playing baseball in June 2013.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:01 Jerry
12:02
[Comment From BradyBrady: ] 
Will the stadium / team create any new jobs? Or will the franchise be coming over fully staffed?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:02 Brady
12:03
The Oregonian: 
While Mayor Willey and Mr. Brown are composing a reply, who else has a question? We're about halfway through.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:03 The Oregonian
12:04
Michael Brown: 
Yes, there will be both temporary jobs from the construction of the stadium and new, seasonal jobs (100+) during the baseball season. Preference for the seasonal jobs will be given to Hillsboro residents in accordance with the term sheet/agreement.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:04 Michael Brown
12:05
The Oregonian: 
Michael, can you elaborate on the types of jobs and what they might pay? Would they be suitable for teenagers or adults of all ages?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:05 The Oregonian
12:08
Jerry: 
While waiting on more comments, we want to let the community know that the team owners are very community- and family-orientated and have every intention of becoming active members of Hillsboro. We are excited to have the only professional baseball team in the metro region and want to make every aspect of this family activity to be a regional asset.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:08 Jerry
12:10
Michael Brown: 
I don't know all the types of jobs or what they might pay as that is up to the team. I believe it will include jobs like concessions, security and maintenance, and we will inquire with the team to find out more. It is my understanding that there will be job opportunities for both teenagers and adults of all ages.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:10 Michael Brown
12:10
[Comment From TJTJ: ] 
Have there been any talks with the OSAA or other organizations about using this stadium for championships? If so, what organizations?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:10 TJ
12:14
Jerry: 
We are still in negotiations with Major League Baseball and until these are complete it would be premature to have other discussions. We know, however, that there are numerous organizations including the OSAA that are aware of this opportunity and we intend to follow up once negotiations are completed.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:14 Jerry
12:14
The Oregonian: 
Excellent questions, readers. We have time for a few more, so keep them coming.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:14 The Oregonian
12:14
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Although it might be a little early since the agreements aren't all in place, is there a planned team naming event where fans could vote? Or would the current Yakima Bears name just transition over to Hillsboro Bears?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:14 Guest
12:16
Jerry: 
The city will be working with the team to come up with a process for choosing a new name. We know for sure that "Hillsboro" will be a part of the name. We need to be respectful that the team name is also their business name.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:16 Jerry
12:17
The Oregonian: 
Critics of public financing of new stadiums question whether the investment is worth it in the long run. What does your research show on this question?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:17 The Oregonian
12:21
The Oregonian: 
While we await an answer, are there any other questions from readers?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:21 The Oregonian
12:22
Annee von Borg: 
Just want to add that I would like to see the city incorporate a Health Impact Assessment (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm) and perhaps even an Environmental Impact Assessment (impact on nearby wetlands and wildlife such as herons?) to guide the stadium's future direction. Thank you.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:22 Annee von Borg
12:24
Jerry: 
While baseball drove the decision to look into building this stadium. having a facility of this nature will provide another resource for the community. It will increase our inventory of great recreational facilities at the Gordon Faber Recreational Complex and will add to our list of community resources similar to our Shute Park aquatic center, parks and libraries. This also relates to the Hillsboro 2020 vision plan and is supported by the Hillsboro School District as well as the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:24 Jerry
12:25
Michael Brown: 
Thanks for your comment, Annee.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:25 Michael Brown
12:25
The Oregonian: 
Some readers have questioned whether the team can draw enough fans to make this a profitable enterprise. Is there a break-even attendance target that the city and its consultants have identified?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:25 The Oregonian
12:31
Jerry: 
Estimated revenues from baseball and other uses of the stadium should cover annual maintenance costs. The real value is providing a family friendly and affordable entertainment option as well as the overall economic impact for the region.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:31 Jerry
12:32
The Oregonian: 
Do those revenues also cover the cost of paying back the bonds? If not, should city residents be leery of the council having to dip into the general fund to meet those obligations?
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:32 The Oregonian
12:33
Jerry: 
Thanks to everyone for participating. This has been a new way of communication and has been enjoyable. We look forward to getting ready to throw out the first pitch!! Plan to be there!
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:33 Jerry
12:33
The Oregonian: 
We've used up our allocated time, everyone. While the mayor and Michael Brown are composing an answer to the previous question, I'd also like to offer them a chance for a final comment.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:33 The Oregonian
12:38
Jerry: 
Potential sources for the debt repayment in addition to the stadium revenues could include other discretionary funds including revenues from the strategic investment fund, the parks system development charges and a variety of other sources.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:38 Jerry
12:38
Michael Brown: 
In closing, we are excited about this opportunity. We look forward to a great partnership with the owners and team. Building the stadium will be a great community asset and expand the many wonderful programs and activities we have at the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex. Let's play ball!

Thanks for the opportunity to chat with all of you. Have a great day.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:38 Michael Brown
12:39
The Oregonian: 
My thanks as well to everyone who participated. A special thanks to our guests. An edited transcript will be posted this afternoon.
Tuesday June 19, 2012 12:39 The Oregonian
 
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