AUGUST 10, 2011 Draft Minutes

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MEETING MINUTES

SPECIAL MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 10, 2011

A Special Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 10, 2011, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Pro Tem Aguilar presiding.

SPECIAL MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar opened the meeting at 5:31 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused)

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

City Attorney Jose Sanchez stated that the Mayor’s excused absence was due to a potential conflict because he was not a part of the Redevelopment Agency Board.

City Attorney Sanchez noted that there was one item on the agenda so it may be better to have public comment during the item.

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

  1. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. ___ of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing the City to Participate in the ABx1 27 voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program.

City Manager Jose Ramirez stated that this was an opportunity to talk about the “pay to play program.” A brief presentation was made.

City Attorney Sanchez commented that with the pay to play program, the state is saying that if you want a Redevelopment Agency, you must pay. He said the first year is 2011/2012 and the payment comes out to be $245,755. The Redevelopment Agency would be entering into an agreement with the City. The Redevelopment Agency would be sending the tax increments to the City to make this payment to the Merced County Auditor-Controller in order for them to spread it out to the school districts and other taxing entities. He added the low-to-moderate housing fund could be used for 2011/2012 and currently that fund has $116,816 which could be used towards that first year payment. City Attorney Sanchez noted this program has the City paying an amount every year the City participates. He said the estimate could go up or down depending upon the tax increments that the City has. The estimate for the subsequent years is projected at $57,825 so it drops quite a bit, but is still a payment the City would make yearly. City Attorney Sanchez said the goal here for tax increments is to have money to do projects at the end of the day. This is an opportunity to continue redevelopment even though the payment would have to be made every year.

City Manager Ramirez added that after looking at Exhibit #2 you will note the total amount the City has. The City does not have any negatives which leaves it in a good position.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez, P.O. Box 163 commented that since it looks like the City was going to have to pay to play she would like to hear about those ideas. She has heard a lot about redevelopment and every once in awhile we hear about someone’s vision for the Redevelopment Agency or the downtown and she was curious as to what the City’s vision was for projects within the Redevelopment Agency and the downtown.

City Manager Ramirez stated that the most important thing was to keep this asset and to keep the machine going. He said some general ideas were that the downtown has about 70 year old lighting and it would be nice to underground all of that and do a lot of the downtown revitalization such as curbs, gutter and sidewalk. The amount of money that the City received in subsequent years was not enough so the City was going to have to mix and match some of this money with gas tax money. City Manager Ramirez noted that he had scheduled a meeting with a PG&E representative to see if the City could use its Rule 20A funding which are tax credits that the City has totaling about $600,000. Mr. Ramirez noted those projects usually take about five years, so he was hoping to start one of these major projects soon. He added that other ideas were to bring jobs to the community so possibly some businesses may be enticed. This will increase the City’s tax increments which will help the City grow.

Council Member Samra asked for clarification on PG&E’s Rule 20A.

City Manager Ramirez explained that Rule 20A could not be used for purposes other than to underground utilities.

Council Member Samra noted that he was glad the City Manager was aware of this rule. He also stated that he wanted everyone to know that this was not a voluntary alternative, this is extortion. Council Member Samra added that he didn’t care what you call it, what the state did to the cities was just extortion. He commented that this was not pay or play. The state says you play or we break your legs off and he was very upset about this.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar agreed with Council Member Samra and commented that if this is where the City is right now we need to think of the future.

Motion: M/S Samra/Aguilar to introduce and waive the First Reading of Ordinance No. 595 of the City Council of the City of Livingston Authorizing the City to Participate in the ABx1 27 Voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program. The motion carried 3-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Land, Samra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Espinoza, Vierra

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 5:47 p.m.

_______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: September 6, 2011

______________________________

Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the City Council. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available, upon request, and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.

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