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Meddlers Report For June 13th

Your Meddlers report for this Tuesday, June 13th is filled with interesting information and stories that will most likely impact a majority of those who are listening or reading it. As always, the meeting at Auburn City Hall began with the Mayor of Auburn giving a lengthy briefing on everything happening this week with his city.

Some key notes from the briefing include the city’s budget report which was headlined by another year of significant shortages for roadway repair funds. The mayor announced that in order to get back on track with what has been deemed a level of acceptable roadway conditions in Auburn, the city would need to dedicate $1.3 million towards the roads for the next three years and $900,000 for the following 17 years to complete the 20-year-plan.

However, due to shortfalls in the city’s budget, the council was only able to compile $400,000 of the needed $1.3 million, forcing them to reach into the volatile and important reserve fund for $500,000 to give Auburn a current total of $900,000.

The mayor announced an upcoming public meeting where he, the council and the economic development team will be discussing plans on how they can come up with the $400,000 needed to meet the goal for this year’s roadway funds of $1.3 million.

Also, the mayor briefly mentioned his involvement with Thursday’s Lincoln Potters baseball game against Auburn, where he will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. He claims to have been practicing throwing a ball to avoid embarrassment.

Next, was Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery gave a briefing on all recent happenings within Placer County. One interesting topic she covered was county libraries and the dire situation surrounding them.

First, she announced that unlike recent years, Placer will not be closing any libraries this year and will look for ways to hire permanents employees at Placers libraries, instead of the current part time staffs that make up a majority the libraries’ workforce. But she said projections in how the county will achieve this show a steep uphill battle, and that it will be very difficult to achieve this without future closures, which was not what on-lookers wanted to hear.

The guest speaker for this morning’s Meddlers meeting was Auburn City Manager, Bob Richardson. He delivered the cities economic report in conjunction with the city and county budget reports looming right around the corner.

Richardson’s overall theme of his presentation, which included seven large poster boards that were plastered onto the rooms walls, was that the local economy is changing and it’s his job to make sure that Auburn’s policies and procedures change with them to allow for future financial growth. One change was the cities way of receiving property tax revenue, which Richardson noted was the city’s lifeline and one of his highest priorities.

Due to the recent hit the economy took in 2008, many shopping malls and commercial real estate buildings are now empty. A major issue with these vacancies is they are not providing the city with much needed income in the form of property tax. So Richardson and his team are getting creative to fill local malls with things such as tech companies and even with schools. Another important factor to this issue is getting these new businesses to come to Placer which is relatively expensive compared to places like the Central Valley with regards to property value. Richardson noted that quality of life was a big reason businesses are filling Auburn’s vacant building which business owners have told Richardson was being driven by their wives.

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