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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • City trying to protect redevelopment assets

  • Fear of loss of funds, property to state prompts flurry of activity

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  • The City of Taft is still scrambling to protect the assets formerly held by the Taft Community Development Agency.
    In the confusion coming in the wake of the unraveling of the state's agencies, city officials fear some money and property – in particular the downtown railroad property purchased several years ago – could be seized by the state.
    They're not certain that could happen, but they don't want to take any chances.
    “The bottom line is no one in the state of California knows what's happening,” City Attorney David Prentice told the City Council Tuesday night.
    The council agreed to establish a committee to help plan for future sales of the old railroad property and set up a new bank account.
    It also established another bank account to keep housing money separate from other city money.
    The planning committee, which will be made up primarily of elected and appointed city officials,
    hopes to speed the disposition of the property to ensure that it can't be taken by the state since it was formerly owned by the Taft Community Development Agency.
    The council also approved an oversight committee for the successor agency to the TCDA.
    The TCDA, like all redevelopment agencies in the state, was dissolved by the legislature last year.?It was in limbo for several months until the California Supreme Court upheld the legislature's  action January.
    That court decision set off a flurry of activity by Taft and other cities to protect redevelopment agencies from possible state seizure.

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