The Shasta County Grand Jury has taken a close look at the Stillwater Business Park, the City of Redding’s “shovel-ready” development off Airport Road. The numbers are not pretty. The city spends nearly a Million Dollars of general fund money per year to maintain the park. The cost to buy and develop the property was 23 Million Dollars, but when debt repayments and electricity and infrastructure by Redding Electric Utility are figured in, the cost is closer to 41 Million Dollars. If the bond debts are allowed to mature, the cost over the next 20 years will balloon to 59 Million Dollars. Incredibly, the Grand Jury finds that if all the parcels sold for current appraised value, the city would still lose at least 27 Million Dollars. The industrial area off of Airport Road was completed by the city 2010 in the midst of a slumping economy. Seven years of marketing by various firms has yielded 14 serious leads but failed to attract any permanent tenants until Lassen Canyon Nursery, a strawberry grower, purchased a 17 acre parcel last year at a price of $840,000. Stillwater is marketed as a “shovel ready” site, with all infrastructure in place, such as water, sewer, and electric, and it’s met all environmental and other clearances. All a company needs before breaking ground is a building permit. The Grand Jury is recommending that the city get serious about what has become the definition of a government boondoggle. Recommendations include contracting for an external audit of funding and expenditures, and assigning a staff member to manage the project, which apparently is not being done.