COUNCIL HOPES TO AGREE ON FOUR IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS BEFORE BROWN PULLS PLUG ON REDEVELOPMENT
By Steven Tavares
The San Leandro Redevelopment Agency had a dream this afternoon and it can’t wait until after the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday to make it come true.
Like many cities in the state, San Leandro is rushing to get contracts on shovel-ready redevelopment projects signed and delivered before Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature can eliminate the multi-billion dollar state program as early as this Spring.
The special meeting of the city council quickly planned for Monday and coinciding with the King holiday hopes to make an end run at Brown’s proposal by giving the thumbs up on four projects totaling nearly $9 million in redevelopment expenditures. A few municipalities in Southern California have chose to gain legal approval for a spate of projects along with local cities in Fremont and Lafayette to name a few.
State budget agencies warned the governor this week of the potential blowback from cities hastily signing contracts for pet project in advance of the proposed elimination of the program. Brown’s plan calls from the end of local redevelopment agencies by July 1 and reserves payment of any residual debts to city’s paid off in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
The projects the redevelopment agency hopes to protect is road improvements to Doolittle Drive and MacArthur Boulevard, streetscape improvements to Hays Street as part of the city’s downtown Transit-Oriented Development. The construction of a two-lane street on Eden Road is also part of Monday’s discussion. A presentation regarding Eden Road was given to the council within the past month before news of Brown’s budget proposal and constitutes the majority of the construction costs for the four projects at $5.8 million.
“City staff has explored potential funding sources and has determined that there is no other source of funds reasonably available to the City to contribute toward the projects due to economic and political factors,” said San Leandro Community Development Director Luke Sims in a memo to City Manager Stephen Hollister.
Potentia funding dollars for the four projects, he said, have been allocated to essential city services such as police and fire. The city has already invested time and money into the four project, he also said. “Failure to complete them would negatively impact the value of the previous investment and impede ongoing efforts to eliminate blight,” said Sims.
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Barry, well said. All you have to do is to google map the locations of the work. The roadwork for Eden Road is nothing less than a payoff for political support. A real journalist would work to expose this chicanery. Of course the folks that got the bribe helped in the payoffs in the past as well. A million dollars in roadwork is a cheap investement in a mayor. Good business. Lousy ethics. Mel
If they have to spend it to finish something, invest in the E14th corridor beautification and facade improvement projects.
John, no one but the contractors and principals of the firms involved in this payola can explain how this is of benefit. Those who get the cash who live in San Leandro will benefit, but there are not any of those folks so this is just Cassidy's first effort at paying off his debts. Even Tony was more circumspect than this. Seems like Maltester to me. Mel
Can someone tell me how a street on Eden Rd. helps the city right now? $5 million could be better spent elsewhere.
“City staff has explored potential funding sources and has determined that there is no other source of funds reasonably available to the City to contribute toward the projects due to economic and political factors,” said San Leandro Community Development Director Luke Sims in memo to City Manager Stephen Hollister.
MEMO: The well has run dry. LMAO
This is a really bright idea, spend $9M that San Leandro does not have otherwise and do not give it back to the state. That way Jerry will just need to cut that $9M for state services for everyone. Smart. Very Smart. Or is that $9M the payoff from Cassidy back to those folks that backed him? Mel