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Special meeting on redevelopment funding called

January 20, 2011

Glendale officials have scheduled a special meeting for Friday to discuss options for protecting local redevelopment money from falling into the hands of Sacramento under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget.

The special 9 a.m. meeting at City Hall comes as other cities throughout the Southland have already held similar meetings this week, voting to effectively hand over future redevelopment income to city agencies for future multimillion-dollar projects, some of which are so nascent, they lack any actual concrete plans.

The moves should keep the money out of reach from the governor's proposal, which would essentially dissolve redevelopment agencies and redirect their revenue to Sacramento as Brown attempts to close a projected $28-billion budget gap.

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Last year alone, Glendale's two redevelopment zones generated about $39 million, officials said. The income is a vital tool for revitalizing downtrodden areas that could generate more jobs — and tax income — once their full potential is realized through new projects, they contend. Stripping cities of that redevelopment power, then, would be counterproductive, officials have argued.

But state officials say the mad dash for development is misplaced, with Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, telling The Times that the system "takes billions of dollars from schools, law enforcement and other vital services" to subsidize developers.

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