By Linda Sutter, February 8, 2017 –
Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. a 2 x 2 meeting between Supervisor Cowan, Supervisor Howard, City Council Member Darrin Short and Mayor Blake Inscore, as well as Del Norte County, CEO Jay Sarina and City Manager, Vandermark, took place at the Flynn Center Chambers.
The only agenda item of discussion was regarding the West Park Mobile Home Park formerly called CRASHERS.
But first some history.
In an article printed by the Triplicate newspaper on January 23, 2015, $850,000.00 of Community Development Block Grant money was utilized to create a lift station near West Park Mobile Home Park to connect the 39 mobile homes to the Crescent City Sewer System. The City’s capacity fees or hook-up fees charged the park $226,000. Normally fees are $9,700 per unit to hook into the sewer plant. But mobile homes are considered 60% of a whole home so they were charged $5,800 per unit.
Spending $850,000.00 for $226,000.00 is very interesting. What else is very interesting is the fact that no one from the City will tell the public or the local Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayers Association how many single family resident equivalent hook-ups the Harbor uses being connected to the sewer plant. In some public meetings they said 1,000 and in other public meetings, they said 1,850.
Well, if the mobile home park is charged $5,800 each for 39 hook-ups equaling $226,000, just think how much richer the City would be if they actually charged the Harbor $5,800 x 1,000 = $5,800,000 . Or $5,800 x 1,850 = $10,730,000. TEN MILLION BUCKAROOS! That would make a humongous dent in paying towards the State Revolving Fund Loan. So much of a dent the city wouldn’t have to be in default on their loan after losing the 20% sewer rate increase on November ballot by 57%.
During the 2 x 2 meeting it was discussed how Mayor Inscore came up with the generous and grand idea to have the City of Crescent City finance this $226,000 with a low interest loan and giving them 20 years to repay the loan. This is very generous of the Mayor of Crescent City to provide loan services to public entities at such reasonable rates. The question asked during the meeting was whether or not this set precedent.
Supervisor Cowan asked, “What if they can’t pay it back?” That was a very interesting statement from Ms. Cowan, as her past experience in business gave her first hand insight on her own business bankruptcy.
Jay Sarino discussed minimally about the Proposition 1 Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. And the administration is waiting to hear if they are eligible to receive those funds for this project. City Manager Vandermark stated, “CHROMIUM IN WELLS IN OUR AREA IS THE REASON WHY THEY ARE PUSHING WATER SYSTEM TO BE UPGRADED.” REWIND….CHROMIUM IN OUR WELLS IN OUR AREA IS THE REASON WHY THEY ARE PUSHING THE WATER SYSTEM TO BE UPGRADED?” Bam! Should we be talking to Erin Brokovitch?
The meeting continued on without any specific agenda item, the possibility of raising Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for hotels and vacation rentals was brought up by Supervisor Cowan. “Everyone else in the state is paying 12% while our county only receives 8% and the city’s is 10% tot tax. Don’t you love it when an elected official thinks we ought to raise our taxes…. again…. and again….. and again.
What about reducing expenses? Huh?
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU’S) for Animal Control was discussed. The animal control received a 17% increase. That is also very interesting since the SEIU county workers were offered 6% when they requested 9%. Dispatch MOU has expired, and is an ongoing process to negotiate.
Much talk about how to go about the discussion for shared services between law enforcement and one question brought up by Mayor Inscore was whether or not the Sheriff should be an elected position. It appears the City of Crescent City was successful in waiving the citizens rights to vote for the City Clerk which the citizens of Crescent City voted for, however the County residents should be very concerned about voting to waive their right to elect a sheriff.
More news later……….