The Superior Town Council and Resolution Copper could come to an agreement as early as August 2014 if all agree to a tentative timetable requested by Resolution.
Dave Richins, a representative of the copper company, spoke to the council at a special meeting last week regarding the timeline proposed, one that he says is not set in stone.
“We needed to start somewhere and these dates were just a starting point,” Richins said.
The proposal calls for negotiations through May 2014, drafting and editing the Mutual Benefits Agreement in June with approval in July. Final execution of the agreement would be August 2014.
Richins stated that officials from the copper project in Superior would be addressing Rio Tinto’s Investment Committee. “It is our task,” Richins said, “in partnership with you to convince that Investment Committee that we have a viable project, so they will continue to invest in our project. Without their support and without their money we have no project. One of the questions the Investment Committee will ask Resolution Copper is, do you have the support of local communities? It is very important to our Investment Committee and to us both professionally and personally.”
He added that the next important step for Resolution Copper is the permit process and they would appreciate having the support of the Town of Superior.
Superior’s attorney, Steve Cooper, explained the situation to council members present at the meeting.
“There needs to be consideration of both short term and long term agreements (with Resolution) because long term agreements are based on the mine taking operation,” Cooper said. “As we sit here tonight, we don’t know if … the mine would be in operation when they start. If the mine is not in production, what kind of benefits do you negotiate until the mine is operating? What are the Town’s needs to have an agreement with Resolution Copper? Basically Resolution Copper is looking for a workforce. They want a stable community with skilled workers for the mine. How do we show we have a good mutual business relationship with the Resolution Copper? This is a community issue. You have to live with the consequences just as Resolution Copper does. Both sides the Town of Superior and Resolution Copper need to discuss what is needed in the Mutual Benefits Agreement.”
Richins asked the council how Resolution could help. “Maybe paying for the town’s audits or help with your tax code and find ways to maximize revenue,” Richins suggested.
“The hotel that will be opening soon is a great asset to the Town of Superior,” he continued. “During construction we will fill every room of the hotel, every night for five years. What is the bed tax revenue that can be generated from that?” Most cities have bed tax of one to three percent, he stated and asked, what is the percentage of that for five years?
“There are definitely ways to help with generating revenue for the Town of Superior. Let’s not limit our visions as to what we can accomplish together. The possibilities are plentiful and could include financial/audit assistance, IT help to get the town’s computer systems up, the town zoning code or coding compliance, possible revenue sources or other issues the Town of Superior and Resolution Copper can work through,” Richins concluded.
Several members of the public spoke out in favor of Resolution Copper Company during the Call to the Public.
The Council adjourned to an executive (secret) session to discuss the Resolution issue with its attorney. No action was taken when regular session reconvened.
The next regularly scheduled town council meeting is April 17 at 7 p.m. All members of the community and public are encouraged to attend.