The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution of findings for the consent to receive Redevelopment Agency Funds for the proposed installation of an all-weather track and a synthetic field at Joe Debely Stadium.
Before the Board decided to accept RDA funds if offered, they had to agree that they met three finding requirements for using RDA money since it is outside the RDA area. Those findings include that the project must benefit the immediate neighborhood or area, that there is no other reasonable way to fund the project besides RDA funding, and that the project eliminate blight.
Some discussion on if it was appropriate to use RDA money for the stadium renovation took place. Ultimately it was decided that the City of Turlock and Turlock City Council are the ones responsible for that decision.
TUSD Board President Timm LaVelle voiced concerns that people have had the opportunity to tax themselves through bonds to pay for a stadium project but have not supported such a project. LaVelle went on to say that he didn’t want the school district perceived as an organization taking RDA money away from a community projects that may need the money more.
Board Member Frank Lima clarified that no matter his personal view or feelings are on the matter, as a TUSD Board Member, he was staying out of the City’s business of how they spend their money. As a Board Member he sees that the district meets the criteria to accept the RDA funds if offered and that there is no other way to fund this project if they ever want to get it done.
Lima went on to clarify that if the community, tax payers, and/or voters didn’t feel the City of Turlock should spend their money that way, that there would be public meetings where they could express their views. Again, this would be done at the City level while the City of Turlock and City Council do their business on deciding how to spend RDA money.
The TUSD Board voted on that note to agree to accept the estimated $2.8 million in RDA funds for the Joe Debely Stadium renovation if offered by the City of Turlock.
The project may be discussed by the City Council at the August 25th Council/RDA Meeting.