Don Bauder 7:49 p.m., May 22
The city of Chula Vista received a disturbing notice at the July 10 council meeting. City Manager Jim Sandoval told the council the "bad news" was that the city received a bill for $5.5 million dollars from the County of San Diego. The "good news" was that the city had until Thursday, July 12, to pay the bill or start incurring penalties.
Although the county is collecting the money, it is ultimately bound for the state. The $5.5 million bill is a result of AB 1484, and is part of the phasing out of redevelopment agencies statewide. In the wake of the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, cities up and down the state have been presented with similar bills.
The city council responded to the $5.5 million bill in closed session. The reportable item from the closed session reads, "The Successor Agency [which is the city council as another entity] authorized the City to initiate litigation against the State Department of Finance ("DOF), the County of San Diego, and/or other parties as necessary, to challenge the methodology for determining the demanded AB 1484 payment and to enjoin the distribution of any paid amount to other taxing agencies."
Gary Halbert, assistant city manager, said in an interview today that the litigation was a necessary place-holding step, but that it doesn't preclude an amicable settlement. He said the city is currently involved in discussions with the county seeking a resolution to the problem.
Meanwhile, the city council will hold a special meeting today, July 12. The single agendized item is a resolution to approve an appropriation from the Redevelopment Obligation Fund to pay the required amount.
Halbert said, that although the money is available in the obligation fund to pay the bill, technically it has already been committed to other projects like the city's Winding Walk development.