Corona, CA: Corona to oppose governor's redevelopment plan

Nineteen major projects and almost 1,400 jobs in Corona are jeopardized by Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to abolish California cities' redevelopment agencies, Corona officials say.

The City Council tonight will consider a resolution that opposes the governor's plan that would redirect $5 billion to the cash-strapped state.

Redevelopment agencies use property tax money to help businesses expand or locate within a city and replace blighted properties in order to create jobs and increase the city's income from property and sales taxes.

"It's the one last tool that the state of California has to compete with Arizona, Nevada and Texas, who are literally every day ripping businesses from the state and relocating them with their inducements, low-cost labor, low-cost land, less red tape and up to cash inducements," said Corona Redevelopment Agency Director Darrell Talbert.

He said the Dos Lagos, Crossings at Corona and North Main developments would not have been built without redevelopment money.

Opponents say redevelopment amounts to a handout for corporations and developers and that private enterprises should be allowed to succeed or fail on their own.

Brown has said that he wants to shift some of the money to cities, counties and schools.

"These scarce dollars, which could be used to protect police, firefighters and teachers, should not be banked away for special projects," Brown has said.

Corona's Redevelopment Agency expects to net $15.6 million in fiscal 2011-12, according to a city staff report. If the agency were abolished, the report said, seven major redevelopment projects, six programs providing assistance to homeowners and businesses to improve their property, four affordable-housing projects and two infrastructure projects would be affected.

"These are all projects that are proposed, are under review, funded or partially funded," Talbert said.

The resolution says 1,339 jobs would be eliminated. Krista Noonan, director of communications for the California Redevelopment Association, said these are jobs that would not be created.

The association assists redevelopment agencies with lobbying and education. It commissioned a study that determined the number of jobs that would not be created statewide as a result of abolishing redevelopment agencies.

Noonan said the jobs, mostly construction positions expected to be created, were calculated using a formula that takes into account the money each agency receives and its planned construction projects. The figures do not include jobs created by the businesses opening in new buildings, Noonan said.

Tonight's meeting is at 6:30 in council chambers at City Hall, 400 S. Vincentia Ave., Corona. The resolution is on the consent calendar, a collection of items the city considers routine that are usually approved with one vote and without discussion. Any council member or member of the public may pull an item for separate discussion and vote.

If you go:

What: Corona City Council meeting.

When: 6:30 tonight.

Where: Council chambers at City Hall, 400 S. Vicentia Ave., Corona.

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