A mail marketing firm that has proposed relocating to Moorpark is having second thoughts about the move because the city may require it to pay as much as $100,000 to improve a stretch of Los Angeles Avenue.
"I was disappointed that they imposed that fee on us," Bob Mednick, vice president of finance for G&S partnership, said Thursday. "I guess we are in a waiting period now."
The council on Wednesday approved G&S Partnership's application to construct two buildings totaling more than 400,000 square feet on nearly 20 acres of partially completed industrial park near the connection of California 23 and the Simi Valley Freeway.
But council members--eager to attract the firm but unwilling to shoulder city taxpayers with the full cost of the road improvements--delayed until next month a decision on whether G&S will be required to help pay for the roadwork.
Meanwhile, city staff has been asked for a more detailed estimate of what the roadwork will cost and how much the city will be able to recoup from the original developers of the land, who were forced to post a $213,000 bond years ago to fund its share of future roadwork.
"I know the partners of G&S have a real tough time with this," Mednick told the council. "We really don't feel that this was part of our agreement. . . . We don't feel responsible for this."
Councilman John Wozniak suggested that the city and G&S merely agree to negotiate a contribution later if the city is unable to recoup the money from the original developer of the land.
But Councilman Bernardo Perez said he is unwilling to leave the matter unresolved since city residents would be left with the bill if the city could not collect from either source.
"I'm a little uncomfortable with the way that this is proceeding," Perez said. "I don't know that I'm compelled to put the community at risk."
To Mednick's dismay, the council then decided against letting the company completely off the hook and left open the question as to how much G&S will be asked to pay until the council's Nov. 3 meeting.
G&S is planning to buy the land, construct the buildings and lease the space out to Mail Marketing Corp.--which is owned by the same principals as G&S and would relocate from a smaller facility in San Fernando. The firm processes letters, brochures and catalogues for mail order firms, Mednick said.
The 300-employee firm expects to hire new employees from the Moorpark area, although many of the positions are already filled by people who will be transferring with the company.
Mednick said the the company's relocation plans may hinge on the outcome of next month's meeting. But he stopped short of saying G&S would definitely go elsewhere if forced to pay the $100,000.
City officials said that the firm has known for weeks about its possible contribution to the road improvement project and that the city has gone out of its way to extend the company other incentives.
In its approval, the council agreed to waive more than $60,000 in fees it would normally charge incoming businesses to provide art in a public place and landscape replacement. The city has also agreed to cap the company's contribution to a citywide traffic mitigation fund at $200,000.
"We really feel like we've extended the welcome mat," said Councilman Scott Montgomery. "They've got a heck of a deal here in Moorpark. We're welcoming them with open arms and there's just every reason in the world to come."
Montgomery said he believed it likely that the city would be able to recoup the money needed to improve Los Angeles Avenue from the original developer of the property and would not be forced to charge G&S.
"By all the look, smell and feel of it, it looks like they're not going to have to pay," Montgomery said.