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Calexico amendment would put city funds into RDA

June 18, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The City Council here could approve a controversial alteration of the city's redevelopment plan called "Amendment 4" at Tuesday's meeting.

The amendment would divert millions of dollars in future taxes into the till of the Calexico Redevelopment Agency instead of the coffers of the city's general fund.

City services such as public works and the fire and police departments are paid from the general fund.

All five members of the City Planning Commission and City Treasurer Rudolfo Moreno oppose the amendment.

Moreno argued during a June 5 hearing that there were no assurances from the writer of the amendment, Marshall Linn, that the general fund will be able to pay for essential services if the amendment is approved.

Linn is president of the RDA consulting firm, Urban Futures, of Orange. He is on retainer with the Calexico RDA.

Linn didn't address Moreno's complaints specifically.

He told Moreno and other opponents of the amendment at the June 5 meeting that the city would be missing a big opportunity to plan for the next 15 years if it didn't approve the amendment.

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As the city grows, the amount of land that could be added to the RDA plan will shrink, he said.

He recommended amending the plan soon to get land that could be legally considered "blighted" into the plan while it is still possible.

The City Council, which is the RDA board, will decide the issue when it is seated in a joint meeting of the council and the RDA board at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

The council hasn't given any indication whether it will approve the amendment.

To do so, four of five members would have to vote for overturning the Planning Commission's rejection of the amendment.

City Manager Richard Inman filed an appeal of the Planning Commission's decision, so the council is on legally strong ground if it decides to overturn the negative ruling, according to City Attorney Michael Rood.

If the council overturns the commission and approves the amendment, it will be read for the first time.

If there is a second reading at a future meeting, the amendment will be adopted.

In other business, representatives of the Juarez & Lincoln Club will discuss the specific rules that need to be agreed upon before the Calexico club is allowed to manage and maintain the Horacio Luna Gun Club.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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