The Oakdale City Council on Monday, Aug. 3 set the city’s annual assessments for the city’s numerous lighting, landscape and maintenance districts (LLMD).
LLMDs are established to provide for maintenance of streetlights, safety lighting, and roadway and park landscaping throughout various portions of the city. Residents in those districts pay property tax assessments to finance those services and annually the council must levy the assessments for county tax bills.
Last year the city began the process of establishing designated replacement reserves in each of the districts for street lights, street trees, and park play structures.
“We believe that it is imperative that each district establishes necessary reserves to deal with future replacement of the infrastructure within the district,” said Rick Clark of the city’s finance department. “The proposed assessments are at or below the authorized levels. The authorized level is the maximum amount that can be levied without a required election of the affected property owners within the districts.”
Burchell Hill residents were assessed a rate of $535.48, a $13.22 increase; Bridle Ridge was at $448.26, a $13.06 increase, and The Vineyards had no increase, remaining at $561.74.
“Most districts are at or below assessments for each one,” Clark said.
A number of the city’s other zones of LLMD 03-01 were voted on separately with little or no increases after a musical chairs on the dais with Mayor Pat Paul and Councilmen Rich Murdoch and J.R. McCarty needing to excuse themselves for conflicts.
Affected residents will see the LLMD charges on their statements from the Stanislaus County Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector.
The council also authorized city property located near the wastewater treatment plant on Liberini Avenue for housing of horses and other livestock.
Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins said the area would be used for the department’s re-instituted mounted unit.
“We have three officers at this time and these officers are in the process of procuring their own horses,” Jenkins said. “The costs of this program are covered by the equestrian officers and by local donations. One of the significant ongoing costs borne by the officer is the costs of boarding the horse which generally runs $300 to $400 dollars per month minimum.”
Jenkins said boarding the horses on city property would reduce the ongoing cost of being an equestrian officer and will allow more officers to join.
The department also has non-sworn “posse members” who ride in parades and other public relations type events as volunteers. The posse members also assist with transportation, grooming and training but will not be working enforcement on the horses.
Jenkins added there was the need for the property for animal control purposes when livestock occasionally comes into the department’s control.
“In the past we had animal control officers or police officers with acreage that would temporarily hold the animal for us,” Jenkins said. “This is not the case now and we need a corral or pasture area where we can house the animals until an owner is located.”
The area, approximately one acre, is currently fenced on three sides and would require enclosing which could easily be done, according to Jenkins.
Because of the location near the wastewater treatment plant, the city would need final approval from the State Water Control Board.
“I’m a little leery with (moving forward) the board given recent circumstances,” City Manager Bryan Whitemyer said, referring to the recent halt of the Valley View Trail plan by CalRecycle. “We will not move forward until we have authorization in writing.”