UPDATE: Just spoke to Elisa Tierney, who runs Fremont’s redevelopment agency. She’s understandably unhappy with the ruling. But she said the $13 million his won’t affect any Fremont projects, although it will wipe out the agency’s contingency fund.
Click here for our story on a judge upholding the state’s raid redevelopment agencies including Fremont’s and Union City’s.
Fremont stands to lose $13.1 million in redevelopment funds over the next two years
Union City, which was a plaintiff in the lawsuit, stands to lose $9.3 million.
In Fremont, the Redevelopment Agency, which is really just the City Council, has used the money to help build the new plaza in Niles, freeway interchanges and grade separations at Paseo Padre and Washington Boulevard.
It has also used public money to help developers build projects that eliminate blight. The best example in Fremont the vacant lot at Fremont Boulevard and Thornton Avenue, where Fremont’s Redevelopment Agency is committing more than $25 million in public funds to help developer Blake Hunt build 188 apartments.
But the judge’s ruling allows the state to waste such precious funds on school children, most of whom will never do anything useful with their lives, like become developers.
Jokes aside, there is a rationale to the takeaway. Redevelopment Agencies make less property tax available for school districts. Historically, the state has back-filled the districts, but with the state not exactly flush with cash, it chose to take back some of the money that the redevelopment agencies have been getting.