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Council to discuss redevelopment in special meeting

POSTED October 2, 2009 10:58 p.m.
The Turlock City Council will convene a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the next five years of programs and projects to be funded by the Turlock Redevelopment Agency.
“It's not a budget meeting; it's not a funding allocation meeting,” Turlock Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager Heidi McNally-Dial said. “The purpose of the meeting is to look back at the last five years, what was accomplished, and the next five to 10 years what the council would like to see accomplished.”
Feedback gathered from council and the public will be used to draft the 2010-2014 Redevelopment Implementation and Housing Production Plans, which will specify future projects for the agency.
The council information packet details a list of projects proposed for inclusion in the Implementation Plan, including those adopted in the 2009-2010 redevelopment budget such as the construction of the Public Safety Facility, the Carnegie Arts Center rebuild, and improvements to Turlock High School’s Joe Debely Stadium. Additional proposed projects range from renovations to the War Memorial building to development of a downtown square at the corner of Main Street and Broadway and improvements to Pedretti Park, the Regional Sports Complex, and the Fulkerth Road and Highway 99 interchange.
McNally-Dial said that the council will solicit feedback from the public regarding additional projects for redevelopment funding, which is intended to eliminate blight from specific designated areas of the city by redeveloping, reconstructing and rehabilitating.
Depending on how Tuesday’s meeting goes, the council could elect to hold a second workshop to discuss redevelopment funding or simply direct staff to develop the necessary plans, which must be submitted to the state by year’s end. The council must also hold a public hearing on the Implementation and Housing Production Plans before adoption, which is tentatively scheduled for the Nov. 10 council meeting.
The City Council will, by law, review their Implantation and Housing Production Plans three years into their five-year lifespan. The council also has the ability to amend their plans at any time.
That flexibility could come in handy, as a five-year plan for redevelopment funding is quite challenging when even this year’s budget is in limbo, given a proposed $3.9 million state “borrowing” of the city’s redevelopment funds. However, the city is obligated by the state to submit redevelopment plans by Jan. 1.
“We still have that uncertainty with the state, because if the state doesn’t take redevelopment funds we could fund everything (currently) in the budget,” McNally-Dial said. “We still have some unknowns.”
The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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