Grass Valley Council votes to keep RDA | SierraSun.com

Grass Valley Council votes to keep RDA

Kyle Magin
Sun News Service

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; After a short deliberation, Grass Valley’s City Council agreed to pay California’s ransom.

That’s the way Grass Valley City Administrator Dan Holler referred to an estimated $706,000 payment next year to keep its redevelopment agency, which finances infrastructure and economic development projects in the city.

Councilmembers faced two options at Tuesday’s meeting: Disband the agency or pay the state to keep it in operation. They voted unanimously to keep the RDA, citing its value as an economic engine.

Gov. Jerry Brown is looking to recoup $1.7 billion in property taxes from municipalities with RDAs he maintains were used to finance private developers.

That money will in turn be given to local schools to replace dwindling state funding.

A redevelopment agency is a tool used by a municipality, like Grass Valley, to collect an increment of property taxes from a certain part of that municipality to finance infrastructure or economic development projects. In Grass Valley the RDA has long functioned solely in downtown, but recently spread out to include the Glenbrook Basin, a move that should be finalized later this summer.

Grass Valley has not used its RDA to benefit developers, rather to finance projects like the Dorsey Drive interchange with Highway 49, which would provide better access to the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Sierra College and planned Loma Rica Ranch development, Mayor Jan Arbuckle said.

City officials will attempt to appeal the payment amount of $706,000 next year, as it would swallow up nearly all of the city’s RDA fund, said City Administrator Dan Holler. He’s hopeful the city could negotiate a $600,000 payment, leaving some money in the RDA’s coffers, he said.