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City dismantling redevelopment

The Sonora City Council on Tuesday will hear a presentation detailing the effects of the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold legislation that eliminates all local redevelopment agencies in the state.

 City Administrator Tim Miller will give the presentation at the meeting, which was moved to Tuesday from its regularly scheduled date in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The council will also vote on whether to approve scheduling a special meeting Jan. 30 that will outline the necessary actions needed to dissolve the Sonora Redevelopment Agency by the Feb. 1 deadline as mandated by the legislation.


Two Assembly bills were signed into law June 29 that allowed the legislature to divert $1.7 billion in property tax revenues — which otherwise would have gone to local redevelopment agencies — to local schools in order to avoid further cuts to education spending.

As a result, redevelopment agencies were not allowed to conduct any new business unless they agreed to divert a portion of the revenues they received.

The council approved a plan last September that would see the agency making the minimum payments required to stay afloat and continue repaying its debts.

The League of Cities sought an injunction against the legislation and the matter went before the state’s Supreme Court.

The high court last month ruled that the legislature had the authority to redirect the funds, but not to require payment from agencies in order to continue operating.

Days after the decision, Miller described it as “the worst possible outcome” for the community.

The agency will be required to liquidate its assets and hand off its reserves before it folds. The complete dissolution of the agency could also put at risk a nearly $2 million debt to the city, according to Miller.

In addition, the council will:

• Vote whether to approve setting a special joint meeting of the council, Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority for a California Association for Local Economic Development forum on Jan. 20, at the Sonora Oaks Conference Center.

•  Consider adopting the city’s annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011.

• Vote to enact an urgency ordinance that grants Level One status to the city’s reserve police officers, allowing them to carry guns and respond to incidents alone.

• Consider accepting a $1,000 Walmart Foundation Grant authorized by Sonora Fire Chief Michael Barrows, which would toward purchasing new communication equipment.

Contact Alex MacLean at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 588-4530.

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