Resident asks the crucial question on Elk Grove's proposed zoo - Who Pays?

A speaker at the Elk Grove City Council to answer who will pay for the $400 million Sacramento Zoo proposed for relocation to Elk Grove. |  

One person asked the most crucial question during a presentation that was void of how a $400 million zoo in Elk Grove, Calif., would be financed.

That question was, who pays? 

The question came from Elk Grove resident and smart planning advocate Lynn Wheat, who asked Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her four councilmen who would pay for the construction, relocation, and ongoing operation of the Sacramento Zoo. Elk Grove and the Sacramento Zoological Society are negotiating to move the facility located on 15 acres in Sacramento's Land Park neighborhood. 

Ms. Wheat commented during the Wednesday, October 25, 2023, meeting of the Elk Grove City Council. Singh-Allen and her councilmen heard an update on the design features included in the proposed 80-acre zoo.

An expanded story on the update from city innovations czar Christopher Jordan will be posted tomorrow. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

What gets in my craw is that the Innovation Czar went through his fancy dog and pony sketches, even mentioning a so-called "budget" that was driving some design changes, but failed to mention what this so-called "budget" is and how much the City has "unofficially" committed to this so-called budget in order for the design work to continue.

Even worse, while the Innovation expert outlined the timeline for a public workshop, release of the EIR, and final voting on the project, he failed to mention the status of one of the most important required tasks of the MOU agreement--the Financing Plan.

The City and the Zoological Society's strategy seems crystal clear--foment public mania for the Elk Grove zoo until it is frothy with blinded excitement; sidestep discussion of the taxpayer subsidies/bond guarantees that will be needed until the last minute; cook up some voodoo economic analysis that justifies the taxpayer subsidy; and then bask in the political limelight that you brought a zoo to Elk Grove.

I'm sorry, I don't manage my personal finances with "eternal optimism" as Councilman Brewer has suggested, and yes Mayor Bobbie, this may be a "once in a lifetime opportunity", but be honest with the people--the rubber stamps are already on order and only the bond underwriters stand in the way of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Randy Bekker said...

Even with a small opposition most citizens will gladly pay for a zoo maybe down graded from an original drawing to keep the zoo from closing and leaving our region. I think a bigger issue is why has the zoo gotten to where it is today and the neglect of Sacramento city government over decades as their vision changed and was more focused on the Kings than a zoo that most families can afford to attend. Having something will be better than nothing. I think if you look closely we have the money it’s just how far does that money go compared to our wildest dreams put on paper. If Steinberg is trying to go after a regional tax increase for roads maybe he should change that to a regional zoo tax especially since it has been his administration that has been particularly responsible for the zoo’s failure.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Bravo Lynn Wheat! To quote an overused phrase, "SHOW US THE MONEY!"

Kearney Zzyzwicz said...

Most people would gladly pay for a zoo? I didn't see that report floated around.

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Mr. Bekker, do you think people in Sacramento County, say in Folsom, Orangevale, Citrus Heights or North Highlands, as examples, would be willing to pay extra sales taxes for a zoo that primarily benefits Elk Grove? They are not even willing to pay extra taxes for countywide transportation projects. A countywide sales tax for a zoo is unlikely. Mr Steinberg's idea is DOA.

Renegade said...

The city will NEED to raise taxes again to pay for this zoo. Its a very expensive undertaking and costs will continue to rise as exotic food, veterinarian costs and habitat costs rise. This is not a plan where we pay for period until the project is paid for, its a commitment to pay these risingcosts indefinitely. As a resident in an over 55 community that's being gouged yearly by increasing Mello-Roos taxing for community assets that I'll likely NEVER use, the buck needs to stop here. Stop the planning, stop all monetary outlays of my tax money until the city has complete 100% financing in place for the entire project. As stated above, SHOW ME THE MONEY!

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