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The Civic Minute: what’s happening at Citrus Heights City Hall (May 24)

During tonight’s council meeting city leaders will consider adopting a draft $59.5 million budget for the city’s next fiscal year, along with hearing several presentations and holding a public hearing related to a 15-home subdivision currently under construction off Antelope Road.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s on schedule for the council’s May 24 meeting, followed by vote highlights from the most recent council meeting:

PRESENTATIONS

  • National Public Works Week – Recognition of Public Works Staff
  • Annual Report from the Greater Sacramento Economic Development Council

AGENDA ITEMS OF NOTE:

Housing subdivision assessment. A public hearing will be held regarding a proposed annexation of three lots in the 15-home Mariposa Creek Subdivision, currently under construction off Antelope Road near Mariposa Avenue. According to a staff report, a total of 18 lots exist at the site but three are slated to be used as public areas for landscaping, creek open space, and access corridors. The lots would be annexed into a Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance Assessment District, which would provide for the maintenance of the lots at an annual rate of $753 for each of the 15 developed lots, to be paid for by each lot owner in the subdivision. In a separate item following the hearing, the council will consider approval of the final subdivision map for the housing project.

Draft Budget. Council members will consider adopting a draft 2018-19 budget, which shows the city’s general fund with total revenues of $36.6 million — with additional funding sources bringing total revenues to $59.5 million. The largest source of revenue is sales tax, listed at $12.4 million, followed by $8.4 million from motor vehicle licensing fees. Also listed is $5.6 million in property taxes, although that amount has to be transferred out to Sacramento County until 2022, due to a revenue-neutrality agreement with the county as a condition of the city’s incorporation.

The top expenditure is for police, listed at $21.3 million, or nearly two-thirds of the general fund budget. Management and support are listed at $5.6 million in expenses from the general fund, with additional funding bringing that total to a little over $7 million. To see the 15-page financial summaries portion of the budget, click here. To see the 128-page draft budget click here. As part of the budget approval item, the council will also consider adopting a five-year Capital Improvement Program, a $33,800 agreement with the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, an amended payrate schedule, and a $51,400 contract with Sacramento Self-Help Housing for Homeless Navigator services.

Department Report. The City Manager’s Office is scheduled to give a “public information update.”

The city council will meet at 7 p.m. on May 24, 2018, at 6360 Fountain Square Drive. The full agenda packet can be viewed by clicking here.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MAY 10th COUNCIL MEETING:
Present: Mayor Steve Miller, Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins, Bret Daniels, Albert Fox, Jeff Slowey
Special meeting length: 1 hour.
Regular meeting length: 1 hour 19 minutes

QUOTABLE: “I don’t trust the state, I trust local entities… and if we do something that voters don’t like then they can vote us out of office; I’m fine with that.” – Councilman Jeff Slowey, commenting on his opposition to the “Tax Fairness, Transparency And Accountability Act Of 2018,” which he called a deceptively titled ballot proposal.

  • LED lighting (Approved, 5-0). Council members authorized the city manager to pursue a low-interest loan of up to $3 million from the California Energy Commission to fund the replacement of street lights with LED lights. If the energy commission approves the request from the city, a staff report estimates 526 street lights could be converted to LED, with estimated annual energy cost savings of $27,000 per year and annual maintenance costs of more than $5,000.
  • Land transfer (Approved, 5-0). The council approved a request to transfer a small, 436-square-foot portion of a city-owned lot at 8026 Patton Ave. over to the Citrus Heights Water District for the purpose of allowing the district to construct a new well in the future.
  • Contracts (Approved, 5-0).  The council approved a staff recommendation for the city to enter into contract with several private companies for providing on-call environmental and traffic engineering services. Bollard, Foothill, ECORP, DeNovo, and Dudek were approved to provide environmental services, and Fehr & Peers, Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc., and TJKM Transportation Consultants for traffic engineering services. Hourly rates listed by the companies range from around $50 per hour up to $400 per hour, along with travel reimbursement.
  • Opposing ballot proposal (Approved, 4-1). Council members voted to put the city on record in opposition to a ballot proposal called the “Tax Fairness, Transparency And Accountability Act Of 2018,” with Bret Daniels being the lone “no” vote. The proposal is currently in the signature-gathering stage for the November ballot and, among other changes, would require all local taxes to receive two-thirds approval from voters, whereas currently some taxes only require a majority vote. The act would also require any local fees imposed to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the city council, rather than the current majority vote. A staff report recommended the council oppose the proposed act, stating that it would “make it harder for local governments to maintain adequate levels of, and fully fund, essential services.”Councilman Jeff Slowey, echoing a comment from Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins, called the title of the proposal a “complete misnomer” and said the effort is being pushed by Pepsi and Coke as a response to cities who are tacking on hefty “soda taxes” at the local level. Daniels said that cities shouldn’t fear requiring a two-thirds vote when asking residents to pay more money in taxes, arguing that the requirement would help keep local governments across the state accountable. The act is sponsored by the California Business Roundtable PAC, with major funding from the American Beverage Association California PAC. It is opposed by the League of California Cities.
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