On February 1, 2012, all Redevelopment Agencies in the state of California dissolved due to the Governor’s 2011-2012 budget proposing the closure of RDAs, in an attempt to preserve public financial resources that support core government programs.
“The City of Turlock used the tool of Redevelopment to great advantage for our community,” states Mayor John Lazar. Lazar also explained how the tool of RDA funding allowed improvements within our community, such as the developments made in the Turlock Regional Industrial Park, the Carnegie Arts Center, the Joe Debely Stadium renovation project, the new Public Safety Facility currently under construction, as well as the improvements to Columbia Park.
“Additionally, Redevelopment has been key to providing quality low cost housing for those in need. Most recently all of the work was completed and contracts were signed using RDA housing set aside dollars to complete the first phase of the Avena Bella housing project. This will provide 80 of the 140 units we have committed to build on this site for our community,” states Lazar. “The second phase of this project is in question due to the elimination of RDA. These and other improvements leave a wonderful legacy for this tool that is no longer available because of the decision (by the state) to eliminate Redevelopment.”
The process of dissolution of the RDAs focuses on two goals: (1) ensuring existing financial obligations are honored and paid and (2) minimizing any additional RDA obligations so that more funds are available to transfer for other governmental purposes.
The dissolution process contains four key elements: (1) Local Management and Oversight, (2) List of Future Redevelopment Expenditures, (3) Local Distribution of Funds, and (4) State Review.
Unless it voted not to, each city or county that created an RDA became its successor agency. If a city or county had voted not to appoint a successor agency, then one would have to be appointed by the Governor. The successor agency manages redevelopment projects currently underway, makes payments identified on the Enforceable Obligation Payment Schedule (EOPS) and disposes of redevelopment assets and properties as directed by the oversight board.
In Stanislaus County, most of the cities with redevelopment agencies, including the county, opted to create a local successor agency in their jurisdiction. Local cities that chose not to become Successor Agencies include Merced, Los Banos, and Riverbank.
According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, however, local elected representatives and staff, typically indicated that they thought that serving as a successor agency would put their community in a better position to advocate for continuing their projects and maintaining redevelopment properties.
“Our commitment to and use of Redevelopment cause us to realize we are best suited to wind down the commitments and activities of our Redevelopment Agency by becoming the Successor Agency,” explains Mayor Lazar regarding the City of Turlock’s decision to become the Successor Agency to the RDA.
The City of Turlock is the successor agency for the Turlock Redevelopment Agency (the “Successor Agency”) and the board of the Successor Agency (the “Board”) consists of the members of the City Council. Pursuant to the Health and Safety Code Section 34177, successor agencies are required to prepare a draft initial Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule by March 1, 2012.
On February 14, 2012, the Successor Agency to the Turlock Redevelopment Agency approved to adopt a Redevelopment Obligation Retirement Fund, an Enforceable Obligations Payment Schedule, and authorized the investment of monies in the Local Agency Investment Fund of the State of California.
The Successor Agency Board consists of Chairman John S. Lazar, Executive Director Roy W. Wasden, Secretary Kellie E. Weaver, City Attorney Phaedra A. Norton, and agency members William DeHart, Jr., Forrest White, Mary Jackson, and Amy Bublak.
“While it is added work we firmly believe we best serve our community by moving forward in this way,” said Mayor John Lazar, who is now also serving as the Chairman of the Successor Agency.
At the upcoming Turlock City Council Meeting on Tuesday, the Council agenda includes the appointment of the Successor Agency Oversight Board General and the Successor Agency Oversight Board Former RDA Employee.
The next meeting for the Successor Agency Board will be on February 28, 2012, and will be held at 7pm at the City of Turlock Council Chambers, located at City Hall at 156 S. Broadway. The meeting will be in conjunction with the City Council Meeting also held at the same date and time.
To view the agendas for the upcoming meetings, as well as the minutes from the previous meeting held on the 14th, please visit the City Council website page.