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MOVING REDEVELOPMENT ASSETS

Posted by xaviervir on March 5, 2011

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS FROM THE WEST COUNTY TIMES:

San Pablo approves $26.5 million for improvements, shelters redevelopment assets

Posted: 03/02/2011 11:16:35 PM PST

In a pair of moves to thwart state control over redevelopment assets, the San Pablo City Council has pledged about $26.5 million for capital improvements and transferred ownership of more than a dozen properties from the redevelopment agency to the city.

The capital improvements are the subject of an agreement between the San Pablo Redevelopment Agency and the city approved by the City Council at a special meeting Tuesday. They include utility work on El Portal Drive; replacement of the Rumrill Boulevard Bridge; storm drain upgrades; sidewalk and street improvements; rehabilitation of the San Pablo Archway; improvements to the Wildcat Creek Trail, 23rd Street Park and Davis Park; and construction of Wanlass Park and the Helms Community Center.

The bulk of the $26.5 million would come from tax increments; the redevelopment agency also has about $2.4 million in bond proceeds, and the Redevelopment Agency General Fund has $5.3 million to contribute toward the agreement, according to a staff report by Assistant City Manager Kelsey Worthy. An environmental review must be completed before any of the public improvements begin.

The council also transferred to the city 14 pieces of real estate acquired by the redevelopment agency for public purposes over the past 30 years.

On Friday, March 4,  the council will consider an operating agreement between the redevelopment agency and the recently formed San Pablo Economic Development Corporation, and the



transfer of other redevelopment agency-owned properties such as the Circle S former mobile home park site to the Economic Development Corporation.The council’s moves come as the Legislature prepares to consider Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to abolish city and county redevelopment agencies statewide, which would put an end to the ability of those communities to capture property tax increments, a practice that critics say deprives school, fire and other districts of needed funding. It also would strip the communities of much of the control over their cash and property assets by creating successor agencies to the redevelopment agencies.

The properties transferred to the city Tuesday include the future Wanlass Park and Brentz Lane Park; one parcel along the BNSF railroad tracks and two on Rumrill Boulevard intended for recreational fields; other future park and recreation sites along San Pablo Creek, Wildcat Creek, Moraga Road and San Pablo Dam Road; the police station and sally port site; a 17th Street site used for storage; 2030 Broadway, acquired for street improvements; two parcels adjacent to Bayview Elementary School used for student drop-off; the future site of the city’s Corporation Yard on Rumrill Boulevard; and a parcel on San Pablo Dam Road that could be used for a sign promoting local businesses.

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