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City Council to deal with RDA closure

POSTED January 6, 2012 8:57 p.m.

On Dec. 28, the California Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a measure which would have allowed redevelopment agencies statewide to remain intact by making annual payments to the state, forcing a statewide shutdown of redevelopment agencies.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will react to the California Supreme Court's decision by considering a resolution which would ultimately wind down the Turlock Redevelopment Agency, pay off existing debts, complete current projects, and see an end to redevelopment.

The proposed resolution would declare the City of Turlock serve as the successor agency for the Turlock RDA. The agency board would consist of one City Council member, one employee of the existing RDA, one Turlock Unified School District representative, one County Office of Education representative, one Yosemite Community College District representative, and two Board of Supervisors representatives, per state law.

By declaring Turlock shall serve as a successor agency, the city will receive 5 percent of the previously allocated tax increment for administrative purposes this year, and 3 percent for each year until all RDA obligations are paid off.

That funding will help ease the reduction in RDA funding, $500,000 of which is currently allocated to administrative, fixed, and employee costs annually. The agency currently funds all or part of seven positions, plus a portion of administrative funding for six departments.

But with the elimination of redevelopment, Turlock will be unable to implement any future redevelopment projects, as no new funding will be allotted to the city. Before the State Supreme Court's action, Turlock had the option of making a $2.46 million one-time payment and a further $615,000 per year to retain its redevelopment agency – and ongoing funding.

The future of some other activities funded by Turlock's RDA – code enforcement, graffiti abatement, and development of the city’s industrial park – remains uncertain.

 

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:

Request that CalTrans post signs referring to Downtown Turlock near the West Main Street exits on Highway 99.Authorize a 4.5 percent base pay equity adjustment for all city employees, from Nov. 16, 2011 through June 15. The additional pay is requested as the City of Turlock came in $1.6 million under budget in 2010-2011, leading the city to give back some of the excess to employees who previously agreed to accept lower salaries in a budget balancing maneuver.Recognize the 100th anniversary of Thorsen's Plumbing, Solar, Heat & Air, Turlock's longest continuously owned and operated business.Recognize the retirement of Marc St. Pierre, fire battalion chief, and Floyd Martin, fire engineer.Hear a presentation on the Stanislaus Sustainable Communities Strategy, by which the county will look to meet the requirements of SB375.Receive the 2011 Northern San Joaquin Section Plant of the Year Award, given to Turlock's wastewater treatment plant.Hear staff updates on leaving Auto Mall Drive open at night, and on existing board, commission, and committee vacancies.Accept a plan for the expenditure of nearly $3 million in federal transportation funds on Turlock's Bus Line Service of Turlock. The plan calls for operating assistance, busses, construction of the new Del's Lane Transit Hub, preventative maintenance, and bus support equipment.Accept the finalized Housing Element, a document which explains how Turlock will meet housing needs through 2014. The document was first approved in 2010, but state approval was delayed until December 2011 due to concerns with the city's plan to address homelessness. That plan was updated in July 2011, when the city created a new zoning area allowing for the construction of homeless shelters.Update the city's building code to meet new state standards. Among the new standards are the addition of cost recovery fees for a new, statewide green building code, and fees for denied appeals from the Building Appeals Board. Additionally, the updated code alters standards which determine when sprinklers are required in residential buildings. Agree to participate in an out-of-court settlement between Bank of America and 28 state Attorneys General, regarding the marketing of municipal bond derivatives between 1998 and 2003. Turlock's share of the $62.5 million settlement is $7,974.80.Conduct a regularly scheduled, annual performance evaluation of City Manager Roy Wasden.

 

The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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