The Merced City Council is set to discuss tax sharing, funding for the youth council, and a proposed homeless facility during the regular meeting on Monday.
The meeting starts earlier than usual at 5:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 678 W. 18th St. The early part of the meeting is a budget study session meant to wrap up the council’s questions and reorganize several city departments, according to city records.
The proposed $200 million 2016-17 city budget is about 1 percent smaller than the previous year, while the general fund has grown by about 0.9 percent to $39.6 million. The budget makes room to add four police officers and upgrade police equipment.
But, the budget talks set the city up for a potential tug-of-war, one that comes every year from youth advocates who call for more activities and job training programs for young people and not necessarily more officers. The arguments typically hang on whether crime is best fought by rounding up gang members or keeping young people out of gangs.
$200 millionThe proposed Merced city budget
The latest push comes from Building Healthy Communities of Merced County, which asked to boost funding for the Merced Youth Council from $13,000 to $75,000.
The City Council also is set to hear the latest tax sharing terms, which city and county leaders tentatively agreed upon last week. City leaders have said they have reached a tentative agreement with the county on a potentially historic deal that would pave the way for $420 million in future construction projects near UC Merced.
Reaching agreement on how the two bodies will divvy up tax revenue is crucial for the city of Merced to jump-start development in the Bellevue corridor near UC Merced. Much of the land around the campus is outside of city boundaries, and the city cannot provide services such as police, fire and recreation until it annexes the area, a step that cannot win state approval without the revenue-sharing agreement in place.
A proposed homeless services project, which was recommended for denial by the city’s Planning Commission, will also cross the City Council’s desk on Monday.
A proposed homeless services project, which was recommended for denial by the city’s Planning Commission, also will cross the City Council’s desk on Monday.
The year-old Merced Community Development Corp. applied in March for approval of the $6.5 million, 41-unit project called Esperanza, the Spanish word for “hope.” The project would provide housing to the most fragile of Merced’s homeless, as well as access to supportive services, according to its plans.
The council could decide to squash the project or let it move forward.
City Council meetings are streamed live on the internet; a link to the meeting and past videos is at www.cityofmerced.org. The meeting is also shown live on Comcast’s Government Channel 96.