On Friday, September 25, 2009, the Yelm City Council approved Ordinance 910, authorizing the issuance and sale of a local improvement district No. 2 bond in the principal amount of $10,139,000.
From the city staff report, “It was necessary that the City issue its Local Improvement District No. 2 Bond in the amount of $10,139,000, which is the amount of assessments unpaid. The bond underwriter for the City attempted to market standard LID bonds, but has failed to place these bonds due to current economic conditions and the foreclosure of the Thurston Highlands property coupled with the pending bankruptcy proceeds by the developer of Thurston Highlands.”
The proposed Ordinance was funded by a loan from Thurston First Bank and guaranteed by the USDA Rural Development Agency. With this vote, the federal taxpayer is now guarantor to a project that was supposed to be over 54% Thurston Highlands/Tahoma Terra developer financed.
Mike Edwards, a member of the Board of Directors of Thurston First spoke on-the-record at the May 24, 2006 Yelm City Council Meeting in support of the creation of the L. I. D.
According to the city’s official Minutes of that meeting, Mr. Edwards stated, “…he is part of a pioneer family in Yelm since 1852 and owner of 26 acres on the assessment list.”
The 8 acre, vacant parcel fronting Yelm Ave West behind Rosemont is in the LID and is listed as owned by Hallamer Investments, LLC. with an address of:
920 E BAY DR NE APT 3D301
OLYMPIA, WA, 98506
The phone number listed has been disconnected.
The Hallamer Investments, LLC address is a residential condo owned by MICHAEL DWAINE EDWARDS, according to Thurston County Assessors data.
As mentioned here previously, if Mr. Edwards is still an investor, partner or owner of parcels/property in the Killion Rd. LID that would be a direct beneficiary of this Ordinance, then shouldn’t Thurston First Bank recuse themselves from making this loan due to a conflict of interest?
With the recent failure of Venture Bank, the bankruptcy of Venture Financial and the Thurston Highlands’ trustee Frontier Bank loan mess, hasn’t the time come we demand transparency in our area’s banking practices?
UPDATE: OCTOBER 29, 2009
CLICK HERE for the response from Thurston First Bank.