A current list of Redevelopment Agency projects, including the already approved Carnegie Arts Center plan, may be changed by adding new projects to the list and reprioritizing the list on May 5, 2009 at 5pm when the City Council meets as the Redevelopment Agency.
This reprioritization workshop came about when Vice Mayor Ted Howze suggested at a previous meeting that because the new Public Safety Facility will take up all the city’s bonding capacity for years to come, that the community should get a chance to update and reprioritize the list of public projects as funding from an RDA bond source won’t really be available in the future.
So on May 5th, the community will have a shot to put together their ultimate list of extremely desired public projects to be funded from RDA monies.
Two new projects have came up around the city as major projects that may be proposed to Council and requested to be added to the current list.
The Miracle League handicapped baseball field to be located where the city may purchase land at Tuolumne Road and Countryside Drive is one of the newer projects.
The modernization of Turlock High School’s Joe Debely Stadium is another hyped project coming up a lot.
The reason all of these projects have been talked about around the city is because there is already a current list of projects, so some people are saying these new projects could take be prioritized to the top of list while basically crossing out some previous proposed projects.
One of the current projects would be the already approved planning of the Carnegie Arts Center. The project is at the stage where they are getting the architectural work done and going out to bid soon.
Rumors have been flying around the city that the previously proposed and approved allocation of the RDA funded portion of the Carnegie project may be pulled back and the new projects may be funded with the money instead.
At the last City Council Meeting on April 28, 2009, Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees President Timm LaVelle share some concerns on what he hoped to be misinformation during the citizen participation portion of the meeting.
He stated that he has heard stories about Vice Mayor Ted Howze offering his TUSD Superintendent Sonny Da Marto $2 million for the revitalization of Turlock High School’s stadium. Howze reportedly said that it was a sure thing according and that he had necessary support to make this happen. LaVelle said that he had concerns that a Council Member would be going out doing things and spending the city’s $2 million on his own.
The LaVelle said that Howze has offered $2 million in the past to the Turf Crew and Turlock junior football. Lavelle questions a possible conflict of interest because Howze has believed ties to the Turlock football league.
LaVelle also stated that the TUSD has already said that it was not interested in the funds because they may lose control of their facility and that Redevelopment Agency lines may have to be redrawn.
Vice Mayor Ted Howze came back calling LaVelle’s citizen participation a “cute stunt,” “a pack of baloney,” “lies,” and a “bunch of bull.”
Howze’s version of what happened was talked about before the meeting and that it was just him talking about his own personal ideas on an issue that was brought to him by citizens, and that he is only one Council Member.
Howze has denied the rumor that the funding of the stadium revitalization in an attempt to pull the funding and stop the renovation of the Carnegie.
The Redevelopment Agency Special Meeting will be held on May 5, 2009 at 5pm at City Hall. The public is invited to participate.