Recent discussions centering on the Mello-Roos Community Facilities District Act has caused quite the stir with residents in the Riverbank community.
“I just want to make it perfectly clear for those in the audience and the TV audience that this is an informational item and it has to do with Community Facilities Districts for maintenance of ongoing maintenance in new development,” explained City Manager Jill Anderson, hoping to assuage fears of new fees in existing developments. “Anything that might be implemented in the future would be subject to a number of council actions.”
The recommendation on the agenda was for the City of Riverbank to consider the formation of CFD’s for maintenance of defined City services and that this special tax be applied to all new development projects.
John B. Anderson, Consulting Community Development Manager, gave an informational presentation at the Riverbank City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 9 on the Community Facilities Districts, which are used to fund infrastructure and maintain services associated with new development.
Anderson presented some history on the subject, stating that California’s enactment of Proposition 13 in 1978 gave passage to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities District Act that authorized local governments to create special purpose taxes and sell tax-exempt bonds to fund public improvements.
In certain areas of Riverbank within certain projects, property owners and residents pay a special tax to fund the maintenance, landscaping, and lighting within the area.
“There is a direct benefit and there is a direct relationship,” said Anderson. “We have also with new development created storm drainage maintenance districts; again they have a direct benefit for the services that are provided within those new areas.
“The idea is to try to deal with or come up with a strategy or come up with a technique that allows for the city to collect dollars to compensate for the services that new development requires of it.”
Anderson explained that the CFD they are proposing is a type of super maintenance district where landscape and lighting, storm drainage, police protection and possibly roadway maintenance would be lumped together to close the gap between the dollars the city receives through property tax and sales revenue for the services that are demanded of it with new development.
The CFD being discussed is not a bonded CFD but a maintenance CFD for services only.
“Mello and Roos were two legislators that worked together to get this bill passed that created the ability for the community in the state of California to adopt a Community Facilities District, they are one and the same,” added Anderson of Mello Roos and CFDs.
Mayor Richard O’Brien expressed to the public in the council chambers that they would look into grants and other possibilities as well as considering the maintenance CFD.
The members of the public that shared their thoughts during public comment were generally opposed to the CFD.
“I think because of some of the publicity given in the past and when you say Mello-Roos people automatically think about the bonded infrastructure ones and they are not as familiar with the maintenance CFDs which is what we are focused on,” Anderson added.
There was no action taken on this item on the agenda due to the fact that this was informational only. More information regarding this issue is available on the city website at www.riverbank.org.
Also mentioned at the City Council meeting was a Teen Fest on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Teen Center, 3600 Santa Fe St., for youth ages 13 to 18 that will include music, a dance contest, prizes, food and fun. For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 209-863-7150.