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This week at City Hall

A photo of the entrance to Riverside City Hall.
City Hall in Downtown Riverside
The Raincross Gazette

From an array of agenda items set for today’s Riverside City Council meeting, here are summaries of the more notable ones from both afternoon and evening sessions.

Item 8

The city council is being asked to again authorize, prepare for and give notice of a special election on November 2, but with some adjustments to the language used in their resolution. In the election, Riversiders will be asked to vote on a ballot measure that determines the fate of the transfer of funding from the electric-utilities revenue to its general fund, or the General Fund Transfer (GFT).

According to the agenda item, voters, as well as council members, will be given until August 16 to submit written arguments for or against the ballot measure.

Item 11

Riverside Public Utilities’s repayment program that soon grants customers certain allowances based on needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be put on hold for the time being, unlike how today’s agenda describes.

According to Carlie Meyers, assistant general manager with RPU, this item was left on the agenda for the purpose of updating the council and public on new state legislation that will benefit RPU customers.

Meyers said she is excited to present the new information today as her office tries to catch up on what this means for the city. Her office is preparing materials for widespread public engagement that informs RPU customers about the process the city will take moving forward.

Governor Gavin Newsom passed two bills a few weeks ago, both of which aim at eliminating water and electric debt accrued during the pandemic by California residents. Assembly Bill 135, the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP), is administered by the California Department of Community Services & Development (CSD) and directed toward electric payments. Assembly Bill 148, the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (CWWAPP), is administered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for past-due water and wastewater charges.

“We are very excited to put this program on temporary hold while we submit delinquency account information to the Department of Community Services & Development (CSD) for past-due electric charges,” she said.

Those past-due charges include those postmarked from March 2020 to June 15, 2021, when the governor’s office declared the state of emergency and when it was lifted.

Item 16

The council is being asked to consent to the appointment of Rev. Dr. Monrow Mabon to the Riverside Charter Review Committee. In June, Mabon ran in the city council election against Councilmember Chuck Conder, Ward 4. He will replace Thanouthong “Brian” Saipramuk as a voting member.

Item 23

This item is standard procedure and is typically found on the city council’s calendar once per year. The city is asking to collect special taxes from what are called Community Facilities Districts (CFD).

The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 provides cities with the authority to form CFDs within their borders to finance the construction of public improvements as well as provide municipal services as well as development. Items typically financed through Riverside’s CFDs include streets, sewers, storm drains, landscaping and other infrastructure improvements.

The city currently has six CFDs that were formed to finance the up-front cost of new residential development within Riverside.

Here are the six CFD locations and where the city is asking to levy special taxes for the 2021-2022 year:

  • Sycamore Canyon Business Park
  • Galleria at Tyler
  • Riverwalk Vista Improvement Area No. 1 & No. 2
  • Highlands
  • Orangecrest Grove
  • Pomelo

Item 21

Similarly to Item 23, the city would like to establish a new, proposed Community Facilities District at Riverpointe/Park Place. This would authorize a levy of special taxes to pay the costs of acquiring or constructing certain facilities, providing certain services and to pay debt service on bonded indebtedness. This agenda item is merely to set the date of the public hearing as September 7, where the council will discuss and vote on the potential CFD.