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Council Approves Property Transfers
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Members of the Oakdale City Council are still sorting out and finalizing property issues associated with the now-defunct Oakdale Redevelopment Agency.

In a 13-action item council agenda for its meeting Tuesday night, Feb. 17, the council acting as a successor agency, addressed transferring four former redevelopment properties back to the city after the State Department of Finance approved the city to take ownership of the properties.

In 2012, the state legislature and Governor Brown dissolved the 400-plus city redevelopment agencies. As a result, successor agencies, in the city’s case the council, have been established to manage redevelopment projects and dispose of redevelopment assets and properties.

The city took ownership of the parking lots at 129 N. Yosemite Ave., 161 N. Third Ave., 330 S. Sierra Ave, and the Sierra Avenue parking lot that were once considered redevelopment assets.

Finance Director Albert Avila told the council that as a condition of ownership, that if the properties are developed for any other use or are sold, the city must share the proceeds with all affected taxing entities.

“These are the school district, the county, and other taxing agencies,” said Avila. “We would probably only get 10 percent of the proceeds.”

In total there have been 11 properties given back to the city from the former redevelopment district.

The council also adopted a Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule by the state which includes the indebtedness of the former Oakdale Redevelopment Agency and reimbursement of city staff time that administered the dissolution and maintenance of the various properties owned by the successor agency.

City Manager Bryan Whitemyer presented a mid-year budget update stating the city finances were tracking through the first half of the year as planned.

“There have been some upticks in property tax and expenditures,” said Whitemyer, adding that the hiring of two additional police officers was part of the increased spending.

Whitemyer also said the city’s financial situation and subsequent rating has improved.

“Bond holders will now look at us when before they would not,” Whitemyer said.

City Councilman Tom Dunlop also pointed out that the city’s reserves had risen from 30 percent to now 45 percent of the budget.

The Feb. 17 meeting was Councilman Don Petersen’s last meeting on the dais.

Petersen, elected to a four-year seat in November 2012, resigned at the beginning of this year, effective Feb. 28.

The council finalized the selection process for his replacement, stating applications would be accepted by the city through March 13 with interviews scheduled at a later date.

Dunlop wanted to ensure that applicants were aware that the person selected would have to report their financial interests per law as it applied to those in elected positions.