SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose’s once mighty redevelopment agency is officially no longer as of February 1, the state’s deadline for dissolving the agencies as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to divert their funding to pay for schools and local government services.
The city’s redevelopment agency was the second-largest in the state and was credited with revitalizing the downtown area and attracting a number of tech firms to the northern part of the city.
On the 14th floor of San Jose City Hall there is a room that is still marked “Redevelopment,” but it doesn’t hold a candle to its former glory.
”We were over 120 employees and now the successor entity is ten employees,” said Richard Keat, head of the successor agency, which is now charged with paying off bills, completing projects under contract, and other housekeeping items. He laments the fact that they won’t be able to tackle any more large projects.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
”The tech museum, or an arena, community centers, libraries, fire stations, things like that which we have paid for in the past,” said Keat.
Mayor Chuck Reed said that the legislature needs to replace those vital funds with something that will help cities create private sector jobs.
”Redevelopment was our number one tool and it has now been taken away by the State of California and we have to live with that,” said Reed.
Meanwhile, counties are expected to be the beneficiaries of the demise of redevelopment as funds are shifted from cities to schools and other local services.
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