(Apple Valley)–Like hundreds of cities across California, the Town of Apple Valley lost millions of dollars in revenue when Governor Jerry Brown eliminated redevelopment agencies effective February 1, 2012. The move pulled the plug on a program that has eliminated blight and brought jobs and tax revenue to many areas across California, including Apple Valley. Since 2004, Apple Valley has invested $55 million into redevelopment areas, with an ultimate economic impact of $739 million in the local economy.
“Our community is reeling from this latest salvo delivered by Sacramento,” said Apple Valley Mayor Barb Stanton. “While jobs and tax revenue have been stripped away from our town we are in the process of reorganizing and looking to the future.”
After months of legal wrangling, redevelopment agencies have exhausted their options and the Town will essentially lose $5.8 million in annual tax increment in 2012 alone. The unfortunate result is the elimination of three staff positions that were funded primarily by redevelopment tax increment.
Among those being laid off is Kenneth Henderson, Assistant Town Manager of Economic and Community Development, whose last day will be February 29. Henderson has been with the Town since 1996 and is considered a leading expert in the field of economic development, with 30 years combined experience.
“Mr. Henderson has been directly responsible for much of the shopping and services we enjoy today,” said Town Manager Frank Robinson. “More than three million square feet of retail, the 1.2 million square foot Walmart Distribution Center and our reputation as a community with high development standards are just a few of the legacies Ken leaves behind.”
Funding for low income housing programs such as Downpayment Assistance and Residential Rehabilitation Loans remain intact, along with staff to implement them.
“We don’t know what, if anything, will arise from the ashes of redevelopment,” said Mayor Stanton. “However, the Town is committed to continuing our efforts to bring jobs to Apple Valley with the resources we have.”
Excellent. Once Apple Valley or any other city for that matter stands on its’ own two feet instead of relying on money and influence from outside government sources, they can begin to make their own path set their own rules and do what the residents and business leaders want. Through innovation and the pursuit of success Apple Valley will become their own city and answer to no one except themselves.