Santa Paula Times

Council hears ambitious city financing plans

June 24, 2003
Santa Paula City Council

Santa Paula has an ambitious financing plan unveiled at the City Council budget workshop held June 9th.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesSanta Paula has an ambitious financing plan unveiled at the City Council budget workshop held June 9th.City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said city staff plans to conduct study projects in the coming year in order to provide recommendations to the council in June for a “long-term city financing plan. . .”The plan - part of the council’s goals and priority projects - will help guide the council with financing options over the next three to five years, said Bobkiewicz. “I believe the most important way the city can plan for its fiscal future is to focus on the implementation of the its economic development/redevelopment plan.”Since there are more projects and initiatives than there are staff resources to adequately address the options, Bobkiewicz asked the council to prioritize what they feel is most important.
Under public safety are options for police and fire department financing options including assessment district, parcel tax or utility tax. Also to be considered is exploring issues associated with contracting such services with another jurisdiction or consolidating police and fire with another jurisdiction.Utility services could see the creation of a joint power authority or another Santa Paula controlled public agency to operate water and refuse operations. Commercial refuse contracts should be negotiated and appropriate fees imposed. All city utilities should have a long-term financing-operation plan and refuse would be the first priority. Citywide electrical cost savings must be explored.When it came to economic development, Bobkiewicz said the council should consider reestablishing the Santa Paula Economic Development Corporation as well as a special events financing/operations plan.“I honestly think we’re very film unfriendly right now and it’s time to reevaluate,” the city’s motion picture and television filming policy and stiff fee structure, noted Bobkiewicz.The council should also evaluate spending of Gas Tax funds and conduct a study for street impact use fees.“We must begin financial planning,” to balance increased costs with lower financial resources, said Bobkiewicz. “Economic revitalization is critical to the future health of the city budget.”