BY DONNA WESTFALL
From the transcribed audio tapes dated September 26, 2007. A workshop was held at the Cultural Center in Crescent City by the City Council and staff.
Ely Naffah, City Manager
“….they (developers) pay up front, the hook-up fee, which covers like about 17 years of the loan payment, and then they start paying the loan payment too, the $30 increase.
So basically new development will be taking care of itself, paying for itself. You’re only paying for your own current, existing use. The plant will be able to handle some new growth, it will be small, but it will be handled, some new growth. You have to factor that in because we do have Walgreens that’s on the books that’s coming in.
We do have the Starbucks coming in. We have the old Square Deal building that’s being remodeled, they’re going to have some more users in there. We have the old Ice Plant that’s on 101, they just put a Sheriff’s sale sign on that so I’m sure something’s going to be happening there in the future.
Naturally some of the vacant things you see along 101 and also in the downtown, we’re hoping that they will get filled up and taken care of. So, again, just moderate growth as you can tell within the city. We don’t have that much room to grow anyway.
So, I just want you to be clear that there will be some growth but the way the rate structure is designed is that you’re paying your share and new growth will pay for it’s share. And it will be moderate growth.”
During public comment, Jeff McCaddon, local resident has this to say:
Since I came here in 1989 , I’ve noticed that Crescent City is pretty much a field of dreams. If we build it they will come. Most of it has been oriented toward the development of tourism and I’m still waiting. They’re not coming. I think we may be basically the same thing with this sewer plant expansion. I have a lot of figures that the money that’s going into the plant right now is just to serve the people here. No it isn’t. The plant reconstruction cost includes a plant that will facilitate the treatment of future growth. Our eyes are a little bigger than our bellies in this case. We’re loading up our plate with something that we can’t even consume.
What if the growth doesn’t come? What if it’s 20, 30 years down the line? We’re burdening people that don’t have a huge amount of money to begin with. All I have are old figures, but over 30% live below the poverty level or did live below the poverty level in 2000. 16.7% lived 50% below the poverty level and they’re the ones that are going to be carrying this burden. Perhaps looking at a plant or reconfiguring the plant where it can be expanded later on. I mean the actual plant reconstruction may be an option. But we need to look at other options as it sits right now because I don’t think we can afford it.