Yesterday the Arcata City Council approved a plan to pay back the $4.5 million they owe to the state from misappropriated redevelopment agency (RDA) funds.
According to the city staff report, Arcata has almost $2.4 million in total assets housed in its successor agency. These funds will be included in the $4.5 million repayment plan, leaving the city on the hook for the remaining $2.1 million.
The Council voted to pay the California Department of Finance $1 million in 2014 and then $300,000 a year until the funds are repaid in 2025.
“While this proposal establishes a moderately long term, it does not over commit City’s finite resources,” according to the staff report.
The plan will be funded from the sale of Sandpiper Park mobile home units, which accounted for the majority of misappropriated RDA spending.
The issue stems from the 2011 statewide decision to defund redevelopment agencies and return assets to the state. After the deadline for cities to dissolve their RDAs had passed, Arcata continued to spend its RDA funding to the tune of $2 million.
On a lighter note: at the October 24 City Council meeting to discuss city’s repayment plan, a resident of the city stood to voice his opinion during public comment. That’s when it got a little weird. As viewed in the video recording of the meeting below, citizen Kash Boodjeh simply stated his name, silently stared at the council for the three-minute allotted public comment period and then just left. According to the North Coast Journal, Boodjeh has been critical of the city’s handling of the RDA funds.