FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 1, 2012 –
By Steve Marschke
With the dissolution of its redevelopment agency, a lot of the property tax money West Sacramento used to finance big infrastructure projects and help encourage development will be directed other places — like the State of California.
But some will find its way back to the City of West Sacramento. City staff estimates the city will get about $2.5 million from the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund in the current fiscal year.
The city council has a current policy that this money will serve some of the same purposes that redevelopment did, by heading into the Community Investment Program.
There, says a city staff report, the money will go to “core activities [including] infrastructure project funding and project delivery (planning, design and project management), economic development (business attraction, retention and expansion efforts), and real estate transactions (land acquisition and disposition related to infrastructure projects and development site assembly).”
Tonight, the council will talk about making this a long-term city policy by putting an advisory measure on the November ballot in West Sacramento. The ballot measure could ask the following question:
“Should the City direct ongoing revenue it receives from the dissolution of its Redevelopment Agency to fund community investment projects such as streets, bridges, transportation, and public infrastructure?”
City council member Chris Ledesma is one of those studying how West Sacramento can promote economic development (think of the renaissance now underway in the Bridge District) without a redevelopment agency. He thinks earmarking these funds for “community investment” is a good idea.
“We’re proposing that some of these residual dollars that come back can be directed to some of the same purposes as redevelopment, to maintain our momentum,” said Ledesma. “What we’re trying to get at with this advisory measure. . . is to go to the voters and see if they think this is a good use of the money.”
Ledesma said West Sacramento is better off than many cities, which are struggling just to keep basic services running at an acceptable level in this economy.
If the council approves the planned advisory measure, it will be added to the November 6 presidential ballot. The Yolo County Elections Department plans to call it “Measure G.”
It would be a non-binding ballot measure. Anyone who wishes to draft an opposing argument for the ballot will have until Aug. 20 to submit an argument of up to 250 words for consideration.
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