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Resolution for the Prosperity and Sustainability of Escalon

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“The Plan” 

 

Created by Councilman Peter Krumeich

Presented at the Escalon City Council Meeting on April 1st, 2019.

Quick Facts:

 

1. The city of Escalon is out of land. We have reached the limits of our borders.
2. We have approximately 20 lots left in town to build on.
3. We have an aging population and very limited senior housing options or amenities.
4. We have no entry level housing options for young families that are looking to enter our community.
5. We have a moratorium on annexing.
6. We have a failed sewer system that is all of the following:
a. Held together by “bailing wire and duct tape”
b. Utilizing 1970’s technology
c. “The worst I have ever seen” (From PACE engineer who has seen over 400 waste water treatment plants)
d. Currently under a cease and desist order
e. Maxed out of capacity
7. Many longtime established businesses have exited (or nearly) the community because of a lack of a customer base able to keep up with rising costs of doing business. (Escalon Golf Course, Boat Country, Big Boy etc.)
8. Notable businesses that have regrettably entered our community: Massage Parlor (Sex trafficking), Gas station/convenience store (makes a total 5), Dollar store (we have 3 now)
9. The cost of living continues to go up up up!!!
10. We have no new development impact fees which are an essential revenue stream for maintaining/upgrading parks and growing our reserve fund.
11. We have no increase in property tax revenue and sales tax revenue, which is essential for funding the daily operations of local government and our police department.
12. The school district is hemorrhaging as student enrollment plummets.

 

All of this adds up to only one thing:

A town that is in DISTRESS.

It is time we started looking at our community through a lens of reality and not nostalgia. IT IS ABOUT THE FUTURE NOT THE PAST.

“The Plan” is a threefold strategic proposal that will ensure the continued prosperity and sustainability of Escalon.

 

Here it is:

Step One:

We NEED to get a General Obligation Limited Tax Bond on the 2020 Ballot with the specific and defined purpose of upgrading our Waste Water Treatment Plant to increase capacity and efficiency.

Basic Numbers:

-$5 Million Bond – Estimated $110 increase in property taxes (or $9.17 a month)

-$10 Million Bond – Estimated $220 increase in property taxes (or $18.33 a month)

-$15 Million Bond – Estimated $324 increase in property taxes (or $27 a month)

 

These numbers are not excessive and a small price to pay to ensure the health of our town which we have been elected to look after.

 

*These estimations are based on a total property parcel affected of 2500 residential/commercial units. For every $10 Million there is approximately $1 Million in interest.

 

Here is some more info on the type of General Obligation Bond above:

 

A general obligation bond is a common type of municipal bond in the United States that is secured by a state or local government’s pledge to use legally available resources, including tax revenues, to repay bond holders.

 

Most general obligation pledges at the local government level include a pledge to levy a property tax to meet debt service requirements, in which case holders of general obligation bonds have a right to compel the borrowing government to levy that tax to satisfy the local government’s obligation. Because property owners are usually reluctant to risk losing their holding due to unpaid property tax bills, credit rating agencies often consider a general obligation pledge to have very strong credit quality and frequently assign them investment grade ratings. If local property owners do not pay their property taxes on time in any given year, a government entity is required to increase its property tax rate by as much as is legally allowable in a following year to make up for any delinquencies. In the interim between the taxpayer delinquency and the higher property tax rate in the following year, the general obligation pledge requires the local government to pay debt service coming due with its available resources.

 

Types of General Obligation pledges

State law generally sets the conditions under which a local government can issue general obligation debt, including the type of security available.

 

A limited-tax general obligation pledge requires a local government to levy a property tax sufficient to meet its debt service obligations but only up to a statutory limit. Generally, local governments already levy a property tax and can choose to use a portion of the property tax it already levies, use some other revenue stream, or increase its property tax by an amount equal to its debt service payments.

 

The deadline to get a bond on the ballot for 2020 is December 6th 2019. We have 8 months to get the study back from PACE, determine our need and scope of work we can afford, get our bond committee assembled, get the bond written up and submitted to the San Joaquin Registrar’s office. LET’S START NOW!

This is our ONLY OPTION and the key to SAVING ESCLAON

This is a RESCUE MISSION, our TOWN IS DYING.

 

Step 2

We NEED to Lift the Moratorium on Annexation.

We have multiple parties that want to annex in land for the specific purpose of building high quality affordable housing that will HELP our town out significantly.

 

Example One : The Murphy Brothers want to annex in their property that is surrounded on three sides by city property. They have had an $87,000 deposit with the city for this specific purpose. They are currently talking to a very reputably builder that is interested in building around 72 homes (That is underneath our current ordinance of 75). When I talked to them they said it was a “breath of fresh air” having someone on the council that is on their side. Why are we against these people? Why are we not helping them succeed in their investment in our community? We are missing valuable opportunities to work with smart people on smart projects.

 

Example Two: The new owner of Escalon Golf Course (Mr. Malik)has come to the council with the specific request that the city annex in his property so that he can build some great senior living quarters within the bounders of the golf course. Why are we not working with him? He has saved Escalon Golf Course from closing. He has already invested over a million dollars in the community with the lofty goals of providing our town with wonderful new amenities. Why aren’t we partnering with him to get this done? We must and we will.

 

*I have attached a proposed annexation map, LAFCO WILL WORK WITH US.

 

Step 3

 

The City of Escalon NEEDS to get out of the business of farming.

Why do we own a total of approximately 25 acres of almonds when it makes the city a total of around $30,000 in revenue? This is nothing. We are stepping over dollars chasing dimes. We need to sell the 7 acre parcel NOW! We need to rezone the 18 acres parcel. I propose that the city retain 4 acres next to Hogan park for expansion. The other 14 acres will be zoned residential and we will sell it to a builder with the specific purpose of putting in a wonderful senior housing subdivision AND helping us develop the remaining 4 acres of park space. Think about it, a nice senior living community next to Escalon Golf Course and Hogan Park. It’s perfect.

 

Many people on this council have promised to address the senior housing problem we have in town and the lack of amenities for our elderly. Let’s make good on those promises.

THIS WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM. LET’S TAKE ACTION NOW!

Additional Components to THE PLAN”

Water Issue

a. I have had many conversations with SSJID managers, leaders, consultants and SSJID wants us to connect. They will work with us. They will help us. WE NEED TO REACH OUT and GET CREATIVE. “THE PLAN” I have outlined will bolster our reserve fund and we will be able to finance the costs to connect. LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN!
b. I have been in contact with Congressman Josh Harder’s office to help us find the funds to bring in the pipeline. They will look for Federal Grants, help us write grants, and find us the right people to help us. He campaigned hard on the issue of water for the Central Valley. WE NEED TO GET HIM TO FOCUS ON ESCALON. This is a win, win scenario for everyone involved.

 

Proposed School Bond 2020

a. We need to STOP the School Board from putting a bond on the 2020 ballot. I have sent a letter to every board member and the superintendent asking them specifically to NOT pursue a bond on the 2020 ballot.
b. The school district is a part of the town, the town is not a part of the school district. We take priority. The health of the town will ensure the health of the school district, not the other way around. Please contact every school board member and the superintendent and urge them to NOT pursue a bond on the 2020 ballot.  

 

 

Final Thoughts:

Escalon is hurting. It is our job to take action to see it healed and thrive. This is a team sport, we need to unite around this plan. We need to thoroughly educate the community on where we are at and what the cost to them will be. We need more community meetings, we need info booths (I will work them), we need to get staff on this NOW. This is our house. The community members are tenants, we are the managers, and our house needs fixing. A general obligation bond is an agreement between the community members and city leadership to take care of our house. There is a story about Ben Franklin wanting to get a street paved, so he went to every house and asked if the people who lived on the street would be willing to chip in to get the street paved. They did and a nice street was made and everyone benefited. I love this story because it the way every project or government expenditure should be funded. This plan is not the easiest, but it is the right one. My goal while I am on this council is to see Escalon restored and to see it thrive for generations to come.  I will present this plan to every person in Escalon. This is my plan to achieve that goal and I will work every day, every week, every month, and every year in my termof office to see that this plan becomes a reality.

 

 

Councilman Peter Krumeich

April 1st 2019

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