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Senate Bill 438 could be great news for Atascadero 

atascadero city logo–The City of Atascadero recently received news from Senator John Laird’s office. Senate Bill (SB) 438, sponsored by Senator Laird and co-sponsored by Assembly Member Jordan Cunningham, was introduced, and if passed, will enable the city to receive repayment of loans previously made in good faith to the former Redevelopment Agency.

Until now, the city has been denied the authority to obtain repayment of three loans totaling $1,375,175. These loans were made to the city’s redevelopment agency and were invested productively for the intended purpose of reducing blight, improving infrastructure, and expanding the city’s tax base. The city’s potential loss of these funds would be a tremendous financial burden that the city cannot absorb.

SB438 would require that loans entered into between a redevelopment agency and the City of Atascadero between Jan. 1, 1999, and Jan. 1, 2003, will be enforceable.

“Our goal is to continue working towards a vibrant economy and the news of potentially being able to receive repayment of these loans is a tremendous step in the right direction for our local community,” said Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno.

“It is of upmost importance to our city to be able to receive reimbursement from these loans that were made in good faith,” said Council Member Susan Funk, “Atascadero gets less tax revenue per resident than any other city in the county and these funds are needed for important city objectives like replacing our 15-year-old fire truck. I want to thank Senator Laird for his perceptive and persistent advocacy for our city.”

“Atascadero rightfully deserves to get every dollar its owed paid back in order to keep providing important services to residents,” said State Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz). “SB 438 will make sure the state keeps a decade-plus old commitment to pay back nearly $1.4 million, helping Atascadero recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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