Supes OK redevelopment 'opt-in'
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday to opt-in and pay the state almost $3 million this year to save the county's Redevelopment Agency.
The measure comes back to the Supervisors next Tuesday as a consent item on their agenda. After that, it becomes binding.
While it will save the county's three redevelopment areas, the Springs, Russian River and Roseland, it will cost the county $2.92 million to opt-in this year and an estimated $700,000 a year after that. It will cost the Springs about $700,000 as its share of the initial buy-in and about $140,000 a year in coming years.
By saving redevelopment, the board's decision saves the Highway 12 project. But although the Highway 12 work is being done as part of a $15 million bond issue, the Springs Redevelopment Area might see little non-housing money for the next eight years.
The Springs receives about $1.3 million a year in tax increment money. Twenty percent of that has to go toward affordable housing projects and isn't available to the state's redevelopment grab. That leaves about $1 million for non-housing projects.
But, said John Haig, the county's redevelopment manager, the $700,000 that is the Springs portion, along with about 20 percent mandated pass-through fees and 15 percent administrative fees, will eat up most of this year's money.
Haig said that starting in the next fiscal year, 2012-13, the debt service on the Highway 12 bonds hits the budget. With the $140,000 yearly grab by the state, the mandatory pass-throughs, the administrative fees and the debt service, Haig doesn't see any more non-housing money available until the 2019-20 fiscal year.
"We'll still have the housing money," he said. "But it doesn't look like we'll have much available cash until the 2019-20 fiscal year."
Haig said depending on how the bids come in on Phase II of the Highway 12 project, there could be some money left over from the bonds.
"Bids have been coming in low the last couple of years," he said. "So we could have some surplus there."
If the markets turn around and housing picks up steam again, there could be money for more projects. But Haig isn't holding his breath.
"We'll still have the housing dollars. That 20 percent will continue," he said. "We'll still be able to do affordable housing projects."
First District Supervisor Valerie Brown said the Supervisors' vote makes it pretty clear that redevelopment is important.
"Everybody felt positive about our redevelopment areas," Brown said.
"We've done so well in the Springs," she continued. "This means we can still do Highway 12. That's our highest priority."