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  Time Set   # 21.       
  
Meeting Date: 11/23/2021  
Brief Title:    Prop 218 Public Hearing for Clarksburg Lighting Assessment
From: Taro Echiburu, Director, Department of Community Services
Staff Contact: Kimberly Villa, Community Services Analyst, Department of Community Services, x8431

Subject
Hold a Proposition 218 public hearing, tabulate ballots and adopt a resolution declaring the results of the ballot proceeding, and, if no majority protest exists, adopt a resolution ordering the levy of increases in the assessments for street lighting services of $35 per parcel for FY 2022-23, subject to a maximum 5% inflationary adjustment in future years, for the Clarksburg Lighting Assessment District. (No general fund impact) (Echiburu/Villa)
Recommended Action
  1. Hold a Proposition 218 public hearing for the Clarksburg Lighting Assessment District to levy an increase in the annual assessment rate of $13 per parcel for a total of $35 per parcel per year for FY 2022-23 with establishment of an annual CPI adjustment up to 5% per year, direct staff to tabulate protests;
     
  2. Direct the Clerk to tabulate the ballots received prior to the close of the public hearing and adopt a resolution declaring the results of the protest ballot proceedings; and
     
  3. If no majority protest exists, adopt a resolution approving the Engineer's Report, confirming the diagram and assessment, and ordering the levy of the increased assessment for street lighting services for FY 2022-23 for the Clarksburg Lighting Assessment District.
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
County Mandated Service
Reason for Recommended Action/Background

The Clarksburg Lighting Assessment District levies an annual street lighting assessment to provide street lighting services in Clarksburg pursuant to the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972 (Streets & Highways Code sections 22500 et seq.).  A diagram of the properties subject to the assessment is included in the attached Engineer's Report (Attachment C).

The current Clarksburg street lighting annual assessment of $22 per parcel was set in 1994 and has not been increased since. The 1994 rates are no longer sufficient to support the program and maintain service levels.  The financial summary through fiscal year 2021-22 (Attachment B) shows that expenditures and costs to provide the street lighting services are in excess of revenues. The attached Engineer's Report for fiscal year 2022-23 provides updated information on anticipated expenses and shows that an increase of $13 per parcel to the annual assessment is necessary to meet the estimated costs to operate and maintain the street lights within the District  (Attachment C).  As such, the County will need to increase the total annual assessment to $35 per parcel for fiscal year 2022-23, reduce the street lighting services, or consider dissolving the District due to insufficient funds to maintain the service at its present level. To meet ongoing operating and maintenance expenses, the Engineer's Report recommends the implementation of an annual inflationary adjustment of up to 5% per year.  An informational letter was sent to all property owners notifying them of this recommended action and next steps (Attachment A).

To increase the annual assessment and establish the inflationary adjustment, the County must comply with Proposition 218's notice, protest, and hearing requirements set forth in article XIII D, section 4, of the California Constitution and Government Code section 53753. A notice and ballot must be mailed to property owners of record at least 45 days prior to the public hearing.  On September 28, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution (Attachment D) initiating the Proposition 218 proceedings by preliminarily approving the Engineer's Report and setting the public hearing for November 23, 2021.  A Notice and ballot information guide (Attachment E) was mailed with ballots (Attachment F) to each property owner of record within the District on October 1, 2021, more than 45 days before the public hearing, inviting property owners to attend the public hearing to voice their opinion about the proposed assessment.  The Notice outlined the new assessment and provided the process and timeline for property owners to submit ballots to support or oppose the new assessment, along with a stamped return envelope for the ballots.  Further outreach to the community included participation in the Clarksburg General Plan Advisory Committee Meeting and two community informational meetings held via Zoom.  After the close of the public input portion of the public hearing, the Board will be asked to direct the Clerk to tabulate the ballots. The results of the tabulation are expected to be announced during the Board of Supervisors meeting. The proposed increase of $13 per parcel to the annual assessment may not be imposed if the ballots submitted in opposition to the assessment exceed the ballots submitted in favor of the assessment.

If the Proposition 218 proceedings are successful (i.e. less than a majority of returned ballots protest the assessment) the increased annual assessment of $35 per parcel will be collected on the property tax bill beginning in the 2022-2023 tax year.  The annual assessment will continue in future years until terminated by the Board. After FY 2022-23, the assessment may be increased for inflation by an amount equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA area for the most recent February to February as compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or five percent (5%), whichever is lower. Such an annual increase must be reviewed and approved each year at a public hearing held by the Board of Supervisors. Because costs are anticipated to increase, the inflationary adjustment will help keep the assessment revenues in line with the cost of operating and maintaining the District’s streetlights in future years.
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
County Counsel, Department of Community Services: Public Works Division, District 1's office, Clarksburg General Plan Citizen's Advisory Committee
Competitive Bid Process
Not Applicable.

Fiscal Impact
No Fiscal Impact
Fiscal Impact (Expenditure)
Total cost of recommended action:    $   0
Amount budgeted for expenditure:    $  
Additional expenditure authority needed:    $  
One-time commitment     Yes
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
$0
Attachments
Att. A. Pre-Prop 218 Letter to Residents
Att. B. Financial Summary
Att. C. Engineers Report
Att. D. Approved Resolution of Intent
Att. E. Public Notice
Att. F. Ballot
Att. G. Resolution of Assessment Ballot Tabulation
Att. H. Resolution Adopting Assessment

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Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Taro Echiburu Taro Echiburu 11/09/2021 10:00 AM
Financial Services Shelby Milliren 11/10/2021 07:54 AM
County Counsel Hope Welton 11/16/2021 09:35 AM
Clint Pyeatt Clint Pyeatt 11/16/2021 03:47 PM
Elisa Sabatini Elisa Sabatini 11/16/2021 03:58 PM
Form Started By: Kimberly Villa Started On: 09/21/2021 08:55 AM
Final Approval Date: 11/16/2021

    

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