The Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 to approve more than $18 million in neighborhood improvement projects, including:
- $9,300,000 for residential street rehabilitation projects
- $550,000 for sidewalk maintenance.
- $8,200,000 to add one fire station and relocate another.
- $500,000 for renovations for the Euclid and Sunkist branch libraries.
$200,000 in savings from streamlining the City Manager’s Office and a one-time dividend of $350,000 from the city’s General insurance risk pool. Funding for the other neighborhood improvements comes from the $20 million in Anaheim Convention Center bond sales proceeds set aside for that purpose.
The staff report provides details on the neighborhood improvement plan.
During public comments, a couple of folks from the Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills asked to have this item pulled from the consent calendar (which May Tait did) and requested the council consider using some of the $18 million be used to provide financial support for the art in Anaheim, including for the Chance Theater.
There was little interest among the council members in doing so, since the neighborhood improvements are all (properly so) capital expenditures, rather than funding for ongoing programs.
Mayor Tait wanted to explore other uses for the $18 million, including non-capital expenditures like at-risk youth programs, and made a motion to table or continue the matter to a date certain for additional discussion and pitches from other parties interested in funding. However, Finance Director Debbie Moreno pointed out twice that the council had no legal authority to use those funds for anything other than capital expenditures.
Tait’s motion was seconded by Councilman James Vanderbilt, but failed 4-1. The council then voted 4-1 to adopt the recommended neighborhood improvement plan, with Mayor Tait dissenting.
Councilwoman Kris Murray suggested incorporating funding for at-risk youth programs and the arts into the budget discussions and workshops that will begin in March.