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City Council to vote on Turtle Bay land deal

By Mark MESTER
Published On: Mar 04 2014 02:08:00 AM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2014 02:45:36 PM CST

The McConnell foundation is looking to purchase two parcels of land at Turtle Bay, 14.17 acres, for $600,000.

REDDING, Calif. -

The Redding City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on whether to approve a city land deal with the McConnell Foundation.

The foundation is looking to purchase two parcels of land at Turtle Bay, 14.17 acres, for $600,000.

If approved, Turtle Bay would start the process of building a 4-star Sheraton Hotel on the property.

The reason The McConnell Foundation wants to buy the land is so hotel builders can avoid a higher prevailing wage, which is required for buildings built on city property.

A newly formed group called REVOLT, Residents Entitled to Vote on Land Transaction , held a press conference in front of City Hall late Monday afternoon, urging city council members to vote against the land sale.

Two representatives from the Northeastern Building and Construction Trades Council addressed attendees and the media.

One spokesperson told the crowd, "While I can spend hours here before you explaining the importance of prevailing wages in elevating workers and their families to the middle class, and discussing the importance they play in our local economy, today is not about prevailing wages. Instead, it is about a shady land deal that our own elected officials are preparing to approve, despite widespread public opposition."

Redding City Attorney, Rick Duvernay took issue with the statement .
"What they're [The McConnell Foundation] offering to pay for it is well in excess of the highest appraisal,"Duvernay said.

Duvernay said the city consulted three professional appraisers, and the McConnell foundation is paying $157,000 more than the highest appraisal.

Revolt members said they will immediately begin a ballot referendum process and put the issue before voters if council members approve the land sale.