When the Campbell City Council approached now Vice Mayor Mike Kotowski about being on a scoping committee for a potential redevelopment agency, he agreed.
Now, 25 years later Kotowski watches as the agency he helped form is dissolved and the city of Campbell picks up its responsibilities.
"It's strange to sign off, a strange feeling but I have to smile because the things we got out of it," Kotowski said.
The Campbell Redevelopment agency helped build out the downtown, revisions of the roads downtown, make streets like Campisi exist and the location of the Highway 17 onramp.
At the August 2 Campbell City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted to dissolve the redevelopment agency and designate the city of Campbell as the successor agency, adopt an enforceable obligation payment schedule as required under ABx1 26.
Besides dissolution, the only other option would be to pay back money from the state. Campbell would be looking at about $2.2 million this year, with subsequent payments of about $520,000, said Campbell Community Development Director Kirk Heinrich at the meeting.
The deadline to make the decision to either dissolve or pay is August 15, and goes into effect October 1.
"The redevelopment agency of Campbell has been here for 25 years and has served this community well," Heinrich said at the meeting. "The acquisition of the community center, the Heritage Theater and numerous capital improvement projects ... It's been a great tool for us, but unfortunately is coming to an end."
Although the council was in agreement that they dissolve now, rather than pay, a lawsuit that is currently in process over the new law was a variable that Vice Mayor Kotowski wanted to know more about.
"To the lawsuit by league of cities, should that lawsuit be successful and the state not be allowed to take redevelopment agencies away, is that going to create a problem, financially, if we dissolve ourselves?" he said.
The answer, made by Heinrich was that as it stands, the current redevelopment agency is not doing so well.
"By 2013, we would be struggling to make those payments," he said. "We have to decide to dissolve or continue."
Here are some of the comments residents left regarding the announcement:
Campbell Patch After 25 years, the Campbell Redevelopment Agency is no longer.
- Dana Smith likes this.
- Sonya Paz Oh wow, this is sad news.
- Dutchess Melanie :( they helped us with making our buildings at 346 E.campbell ave so amazing!
- Alina Squeak I agree, that's really sad. I hope that the City doesn't hate their decision later. The CRA has done a lot for Campbell.
- Sonya Paz Redev was an asset for us in our business expansion and relocation into downtown hands down in 2007 2008. Such is a great agency for all business and the relationships they have with the land owners moving forward to bring quality to Campbell. Such a shame.
- Alina Squeak Plus, does the city council have the ability to undo their decision in a couple of years if they realize it was a bad idea? How hard would it be to go back and start it over? Will the state let them do that also?
- Sonya Paz Good idea!
- Sonya Paz I meant to say @Alina, good idea.
- Sandi Skidoo It's not just Campbell. This comes down from the state: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2011/06/jerry-brown-signs-laws-redevelopment-agencies-taxes-online-retailers.html
- Sandi Skidoo The state is broke, so they have to cut costs somewhere. And honestly, if the choice is between, say, police departments and redevelopment agencies, this choice makes sense. One big aspect of this issue is taxes, and the corporations that aren't paying (or collecting) their fair share.