Hercules continues to be embroiled conversation of cities facing difficult, if not untenable, financial situations. The city is facing the effects of years of mismanagement and risky investments.

The egregiousness of its past mistakes were highlighted last week when the city agreed to sell a redevelopment project before construction was completed. The city spent $38 million on the project, but sold it for just $480,000. It was a project that was meant to revitalize the area, but instead turned into a black hole for the city’s finances. It joins a list of unfinished projects, including an $850,000 baseball park outside of the city limits that was never built.

The city is now looking to pass an emergency sales tax to generate an extra $450,000 per year. The money won’t solve the problems, and won’t even cover the entire deficit facing the already beleaguered city. It faces a $1.6 million budget gap this year – even after cutting its budget from $18 to $12 million.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

If there’s a symbol of California cities’ economic hangover, it’s a pair of four-story, half-finished, plastic-wrapped apartment buildings in Hercules.

The city sank $38 million into those buildings, a 144,000-square-foot redevelopment project gone awry. Last week, the City Council sold the buildings for $425,000.

Read the full article here.