Christopher Rosacker
crosacker@theunion.com

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November 27, 2012
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Measure N oversight on council agenda


Members of the Grass Valley City Council are expected to form a process today that will lead to a five-person oversight committee charged with reviewing and advising the city’s expenditure of $2.4 million brought in annually from a voter-approved half-cent local sales tax measure.

Part of Measure N’s approval earlier this month is the creation of a five-member advisory group that will meet three to four times throughout the year to review and give non-binding direction on expenditures. The membership selection process is at the discretion of the council, noted City Manager Dan Holler in his staff report.

Council could form a subcommittee to review prospective council members or consider them in a public meeting. Council members could also appoint committee members as they do for planning commissions, Holler suggested.

Holler advised the committee members serve two- or four-year terms with the first round of appointments being split terms of long terms and short terms to stagger the appointment schedules.

The half-cent tax will take effect April 1 with funds coming into the city starting in June. City staff proposes those funds be incorporated into the 2013-14 budget.

“Having the oversight committee in place and ready to participate in part of the budget process will allow the committee time to gain a better understanding of current programs and services that may be supported by the additional sales tax as provided for in the funding priority program adopted by the council,” Holler said in his report.

Since the economic downturn, Grass Valley’s estimated nearly $10.1 million general fund is $1.5 million lower than its fiscal year 2007-08 peak at nearly $11.56 million.

While Measure N funds are allocated to the city’s general fund, the city outlined priorities to the voters, such as the police department hiring five more officers, 2.5 firefighters and prioritizing city street maintenance.

Nonprofit to run city park building

In other efforts proposed to optimize the city’s budget, the council will also consider allowing a nonprofit organization to operate a community building at Condon Park.

Gold Country Community Services has proposed operating the park’s LOVE building year-round for three years in exchange for use of the building, according a staff report on the council agenda item.

“In these financially constrained times, the city is always looking at ways to provide residents services, while reducing staffing and operational costs,” said Tim Kiser, public works director and city engineer, in a report to the council.

“Having GCCS operate the LOVE Building will greatly reduce staff time involved in reservations and maintenance,” Kiser noted.

Operation of the building would not come at any cost to the city, the proposed agreement indicates. While the nonprofit would be responsible for scheduling community use of the facility, it also would have the right to use the LOVE building for its own purposes, the draft agreement spells out.

Other matters

The Grass Valley City Council will review downtown parking; set priorities for funds from a recent voter-approved tax measure; consider letting a nonprofit operate Condon Park; and check in on the status of the Dorsey Interchange project, which went to bid this week.

Council will meet at 7 p.m. today in the Grass Valley City Hall Council Chambers at 125 East Main St.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.


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The Union Updated Nov 27, 2012 07:51AM Published Nov 28, 2012 07:43AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.