Council OK’s landscaping report, will move to public hearing on district fee increases | News

Hanford City Council approved the annual district landscaping engineers report, which allowed the city to promote potential fee increases for these residents.

The council convened a special session on Wednesday to receive a staff report and approved the report on landscaping assessment districts, which are districts where the city is responsible for landscaping in public areas such as medianas.

Parks and Facilities Director Brad Albert said most of the counties are mainly on the north and south-west edges of Hanford in newer housing developments. Residents of these counties pay an annual fee of between $ 18 and $ 998.

However, in most counties the maintenance costs more than what is raised by the residents, and the surplus is taken from the city’s general fund. Of the 43 LADs at Hanford, 16 are currently or will soon be in indebtedness to the general fund.

“In a perfect world, it all pays off, the properties are maintained and things are going well,” said Albert. “These 16, they’re underwater at different levels, some were in for a few hundred (dollars), some for over ten (a thousand dollars).”

Albert said the main difference between LADs that are indebted and not is the existence of an escalator or a 2.2% annual increase to keep up with inflation. The 16 indebted boroughs do not have escalators as they are older neighborhoods that were the grandfathers of the LAD program.

In approving the report, the Council also launched a public hearing for the 2.2% increase in 18 counties that already have escalators, without changing for the other counties.

For the districts that are indebted to the general fund, the city is working with a finance company to return to the black. While the city can reduce the level of service, some districts are already at the lowest level of service.

Institutions are looking for creative solutions for these districts, such as B. Implementing low-maintenance zero-scaping, but Albert said they want to encourage the implementation of escalators as well. For this, the residents of the district would have to vote for the increase by ballot.

Recently, Albert said the city was trying to add escalators in a handful of districts and was actually going door-to-door to let residents know what that would mean, in terms of both expensive and upgraded services. None of the districts went through escalators.

With the help of the finance firm, the city is trying to put escalators back on the ballot within the next year, in some cases by lowering the overall fee but adding an escalator.

“If the public areas are to look nice and clean, there is a cost involved,” said Albert. “This is the price for LADs, this price so that you can keep the public areas in order and keep them in order.”

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