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Beautification Not A Joint Venture
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The Riverbank downtown beautification project was funded by the Redevelopment Agency and in no way expanded into a joint venture between the City and the RDA, Treasurer Marisela Hernandez assured those in attendance at an RDA meeting on Jan. 9.

She was commenting on a records request from resident Charles Neal querying the funding sources and expenditures for that project.

A council member had observed the city provided the construction inspection and engineering for the project without payment by the RDA and that this action could therefore make it a project of both the City of Riverbank and the RDA.

The city's Development Services Department provides all inspection and engineering services for all projects within the city's right of way, Hernandez said, and would have performed these services regardless of whether the project was financed by other funding sources such as the general fund or water and sewer funds.

Providing such services to the RDA to complete the project did not make the city liable for repayment of the redevelopment bonds.

The final $9.2 million project included improvements to sewer, water and storm pipes plus street and sidewalk improvements as well as development of a vacant parking lot into the Plaza del Rio.

The project was financed, mainly by RDA bonds of $7 million and property tax increments of $1.07 million, plus a $500,000 loan from the Stanislaus County Economic Development Bank and another $500,000 from the Del Rio Reserve For Upgrades funded by RDA bonds.