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Roseville mayor: City’s structural deficit not a long-term solution

Discusses local economy, redevelopment, quality of life in state of the city address
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci gave her State of the City address before the city council meeting Wednesday, remarking on the importance of having a financially and physically healthy city.

"This is my priority as your mayor," she said.

Roccucci, whose term ends this year, said while the last four years have been difficult, Roseville is healthier today than 12 months ago.

"Our strengths as a city and as a community did not just happen," she said. "They came from generations of good planning. ... We must carry on that same planning for our children and grandchildren."

City finances

Roccucci said Roseville has a long tradition of conservative fiscal values, which helped the city weather the economic downturn. She said the city isn't burdened by debt, as the general fund debt is less than 1 percent of the budget. But the budget has a structural deficit, and the city has delayed contributing money to retiree health funds and Capital Improvement Projects.

"But this isn't the long-term solution," Roccucci said.

The city has a plan to close that gap in about three years through keeping costs down and exploring new revenue streams.

Most of Roseville's general fund revenue comes from sales and property tax. Roccucci said sales tax revenue is up by almost 10 percent over last year and with property tax "the worst is over."

Homebuilders are starting to build, with about 40 percent of the greater Sacramento region's new home permits happening in Roseville, Roccucci said. Businesses want to locate here because of Roseville's low-cost, reliable municipal utilities, fee deferrals, a streamlined permitting process, educated workforce, and good schools and hospitals.

Roccucci praised Advantage Roseville, a public-private partnership in which 21 local businesses and the city are funding a marketing campaign to attract new businesses to town.

Downtown redevelopment

When the California Legislature eliminated redevelopment agencies, the city was prepared with its Roseville Community Development Corporation to fill the void. They focus on revitalization efforts, particularly in downtown. Roccucci said the group works with developers to renovate and fill empty buildings, like the old JC Penney store that's now Sammy's Rockin' Island Bar and Grill.

"I can't remember when I've seen as much excitement and energy on Vernon Street than the night of the opening of (that restaurant)," Roccucci said adding that more than 1,200 people were downtown that day.

"As Sammy (Hagar) says, 'Downtown has soul,'" she said. "Yeah, I agree. But not only soul, downtown will soon have a Town Square."

Additionally, SureWest recently announced that 300 of its employees will move back to its downtown office.

Quality of life

Roseville provides residents with a high quality of life, Roccucci said, because of its low crime rate, more than 65 parks, great restaurants and shopping, and a growing arts and cultural scene - but there's room for improvement.

She said the city is working to be more transparent and accessible: "You have a right to know how your money is being spent and the direction of your city."

Here's a look at some other items approved during the Oct. 3 council meeting:

Industrial Avenue overlay project contract award: The city will resurface Industrial Avenue from Washington Boulevard to the planned Pleasant Grove Creek Bridge, about 1,000 feet south of Justice Center Drive, using rubberized hot mix asphalt. Teichert Construction will begin work in mid-October and should be done by June 2013 for a cost of $1.7 million. No general funds allocated.

Park service agreement: Quadriga Landscape Architecture and Planning Inc. was selected to complete the master plan and construction document for NC-55B, a 2.8-acre neighborhood park in the North Central Roseville Specific Plan, located off Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Marketplace Drive. The cost is $46,590 with construction to begin in spring 2013.

Fiber optic project change order increase: The project involves installing about 20 miles of fiber optic cable in existing underground conduits to expand the city's Intelligent Transportation System capabilities. The council awarded the $543,127 construction contract to Arrow Construction, allowing for a 10 percent contingency. The cable is 75 percent installed and most of the contingency funds have been extended, so Roseville is increasing the contingency by another 10 percent for a total amount of $108,625.

Foothills Business Park bike trail agreement: The project includes construction of a Class I bike path along the south side of Pleasant Grove Creek though the western portion of Foothills Business Park, which will connect to the existing bike path in adjacent Diamond Woods to the west and will help complete an open space bike trail segment along three miles of Pleasant Grove Creek. Construction is planned next summer to not exceed $186,151, funded by State Habitat Conservation Funds, developer fees and Local Transportation Funds.

Polymer service agreement renewal: The city will renew an agreement with Hercules Inc. for polymer to deal with the waste byproduct sludge at the Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for an annual cost of $300,000.

Purchase of turnout coats and pants: Roseville Fire Department will purchase 30 sets of turnouts for new hires and about 10 replacement sets for current staff at an estimated cost of $127,000.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT