Santa Paula Times

Council meeting to address fiscal issues, sustainability of East Area 1 & 2

March 14, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly  Santa Paula Times A wee touch of the luck of the Irish might be needed when it comes to fiscal issues and 5-year sustainability of the East Area projects, according to a report that will be presented to the City Council at Monday’s meeting.

The March 17 St. Patrick’s Day meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. with a closed session to address labor negotiations as well as the ongoing attempts at arbitration with Santa Paula Water LLC, owner of the wastewater treatment plant. 

At 6:30 p.m. following the closed session at the City Hall Administration Conference Room, the council will move to Council Chambers for the open meeting.

The meeting will be broadcast live by Time Warner Cable Channel 10 and replayed according to schedule; the session will also be live streamed on the city website and archived for later viewing.

There will be one presentation by Interim Recreation Director Ed Mount to the Santa Paula Firefighters Association for the fundraising support of the Youth Basketball program.

The council has two decision-making items before them: again authorizing co-sponsoring the 4th of July Fireworks Show paid for annually by the Rotary Club of Santa Paula with community donations and reconsidering whether or not to launch a voluntary online payment program for city utility customers.

The third item is an update on the revised analysis of East Area fiscal benefits and 5-year sustainability plan.

According to City Manager Jaime Fontes’ report, the “objective of the report is to provide the council with a map of critical upcoming obligations and help focus our budget development for 2014-2015... “ That is when “key issues,” including rising PERS employee benefit rates, increases in JPA self-insurance city rates resulting from a brokered deal to extend payback of shortfalls, the $750,000 General Fund expenditure to match the 3-year Limoneira grant for Santa Paula Police and the General Fund portion “needed to support improvements created by the East Area 1 and 2,” slated to provide 1,500 dwelling units, parks, sports fields, schools and a commercial shopping center among other improvements on property on the city’s eastern most side.

“The city will struggle to meet all these obligations as well as other items the City Council may want to undertake,” Fontes wrote, and the report provides “a starting point for additional work that needs to be done to maintain the city’s fiscal sustainability.”

City Hall is located at 970 E. Ventura St.