Members Loren and Sue Cook of the Fiddyment Farm Neighborhood Association attended two meetings and Sue Cook has prepared this Review for our members:
10/5/2017 City Council Goals Workshop at Maidu
City Manager Rob Jensen and various department heads presented various considerations for City Council members:
- Fiscal Forecast—projecting need to close $2 Million deficit gap, noting reduced local sales taxes because people are buying online and increases in employee retirement benefits (also apparent PERS funds to be repaid from past borrowing).
- Reaching out to community through CPAC, and other efforts to find out community priorities for cutbacks, and measures to attain fiscal soundness to balance future budgets.
- City owes the North Central Specific Plan a refund for CFD overpayment of $1.6 Million—they will discuss how to return it.
- Parks news for the West Roseville Specific Plan was not good—plans are ready for Phase 1 of F-56 and Phase 1 of F-54 Regional Park properties, but stated they need funding for construction and maintenance; basically, they want us to self-assess funding or they will “provide a lower level of services”. The City is supposed to be responsible for Regional Parks, and stated in the beginning of the presentation that they pay for Maidu and Mahany Regional Parks, but compared our regional parks to Harry Crabb neighborhood park which they are also asking to self-assess.
- Public Works section will do “Sensitivity Analysis” for traffic priorities for the next 5-years and present a report to City Council within the next month or two. Loren Cook mentioned the Blue Oaks Extension as a health and safety need for priority, and Mayor Rohan asked the Public Works Department to take all area concerns into its “sensitivity” consideration. Rob Jensen said he’d have the Chiefs look into it also.
- Roseville Utilities reviewed their projects—Solar Pilot project, Sierra Vista Specific Plan substation, smart meters (next year), steam turbine replacement. They indicated challenges with new federal regulation commission, regulatory uncertainty, and staffing turnover (facing many vacancies/shortages—lots of retirements).
- Rob Jensen discussed challenges—golf course debt, land needs for job growth, and future of retail sales in general. He indicated the City should consider sales of some of its 20 properties—Post Office building’s lease will expire in 2020 and City should consider sale of that property (get PosT Office to move to West Roseville area); also a property on Washington Blvd. He also discussed other income sources—1st responder fees, utility user tax, raise general sales tax to 8 ¼, raise parks assessments. They await CPAC comments in March for other suggestions for priorities.
- John Allard mentioned $1,000,000 increase for stormwater costs, they’re looking into legislation changing the definition of storm system, and potential to move costs to “user costs”.
October 18, 2017 State of the City address at City Council Chamber
Mayor Susan Rohan and Rob Jensen gave overview of City of Roseville:
- Measure M funding failed, but they are looking towards more local funding options.
- Congratulations to the Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations for its 20th anniversary on collaboration with agencies and encouragement towards neighborhoods helping each other to succeed.
- The City is facing major employee impacts while currently providing 100% of the employee share of retirement plans.
- Other budget challenges: property taxes revenue is growing steadily, but sales tax revenue is decreasing; the population is growing, but additional staff are needed to meet the growth.
- “Engage Roseville” (CPAC—panel of volunteers from across the City) is underway to consider services residents value most, set priorities—recommendations due in March 2018.
- Population will grow 2% to 139,000 this next year; 10% in 5-years.
- Business investment has grown—i.e. the FBI facility and Top Golf in the west; new headquarters for medical facilities. New SPCA facility to open next year—joint funded by the City. Warwick University research facility to open in old Fire Station #1 facility.
- Rob Jensen said taxes are not providing sufficient sources to the General Fund for the full range of municipal services needed, citing slowing revenues and increased costs of goods. City also faces unfunded government mandates.
- They have managed 3 years of balanced budgets by eliminating vacant positions and closing libraries on Fridays, etc. He said Public Safety is their first priority; they have refocused their Social Services unit in the Police Department; medical aid calls are highest number of calls for the Fire Department.
- He indicated parks development for new parks was “on hold”; they will concentrate to maintain existing parks. Those with dedicated funding may go forward, but they won’t construct what they can’t maintain.
- Homelessness is a key issue—legal changes have directed that the homeless have a “right to sleep” so police can’t roust them out of parks, but regional discussions are underway to address alternatives and potential grant funding.
- New developments for water sources are being investigated, potential plan to share reservoir sites at Chico; the City will oppose the current statewide water tax proposal.
- Roseville is 9th nationally for solar usage; next year they will start a solar lease project.
- City will launch a new website; and they will look into new, more cost effective online tools for sharing communications with residents.
** Loren Cook, on behalf of the Fiddyment Farm and WestPark Neighborhood Associations, presented the Petition for Extension of Blue Oaks Boulevard during the Public Comments segment of City Council meeting which followed the State of the City presentation.