By Michael YEGHIAYAN
The City of Glendale will enjoy greater budgetary flexibility after the city met state requirements regarding redevelopment dissolution legislation. A finding of completion was issued by the California Department of Finance, giving the city the authority to move forward with a number of long-awaited projects.
After the dissolution of the Glendale Redevelopment Agency in February, the city labored to protect any assets owned by the agency and to reclaim formerly blocked funds. Approximately $12 million dollars was also wired to Los Angeles County as part of the agreement.
City Manager Scott Ochoa, who served on an oversight board during the process, hailed the positive impact the newly available funds could have on the city.
“This is great news for Glendale,” said Ochoa. “We wanted to wire the funds to the county quickly to allow us to take advantage of constructing important public projects with our bond funds.”
Glendale’s Chief Assistant Director of Community Development Phillip Lanzafame, who also served on the oversight board with Ochoa, mirrored the positive outlook for the city.
“This is very important to us,” said Lanzafame. “Glendale will now be able to continue to provide the level of service that our community expects and has grown accustomed to.”
Included in the planned bond projects are renovations to Central Library and improvements on Central Avenue. The funds will also help the city close the budget deficit, which has been steadily shrinking in recent years. Glendale’s budget will begin to reflect the new funds beginning with the 2014-15 fiscal year.
“Countless hours of work have gone into securing this approval and the fogginess associated with the redevelopment dissolution process is beginning to clear up,” said Mayor Dave Weaver in a statement released by the city.
Glendale’s Redevelopment Agency was dismantled after a Supreme Court decision dissolved over 400 such agencies in a December 2011 ruling. The decision was supported by Governor Jerry Brown who argued that the funds were better served within the state budget.