Council: Tuesday meeting to address troublesome pest, CDBG funding
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula City Council
Published: February 15, 2013
A troublesome pest that could mean the end of the county’s lucrative citrus industry and funding recommendations from a ever-shrinking federal grant program are the only two items of business on Tuesday’s City Council agenda.
Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, the meeting will be held February 19 at City Hall Council Chambers starting at 6 p.m. when the council will go into closed session. The council will be behind closed doors to address the ongoing and at times controversial negotiation to sell the city’s former wastewater treatment plant to Crown Disposal Co.
The open session will start at 6:30 p.m. and be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable Channel 10 and replayed per schedule. The meeting will also be live-streamed on the city’s website and archived for viewing on demand; visit http://www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us/events_archives.htm.
There are no presentations scheduled for the meeting.
Mark Olsen, a government relations and public affairs specialist, will present the council with information on the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the devastating disease it can carry, Huanglongbing (HLB) that destroys citrus trees.
The ACP has been found in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Santa Paula and Fillmore, in the latter city finds of increasingly large numbers that show breeding activity has become established. Most activity has been discovered on private property and not in commercial orchards, where the disease can spread and destroy the trees.
Olsen will address ACP prevention and detection issues and offer other information on the effort to prevent HLB from potentially ruining the citrus industry.
The annual Community Development Block Grant program of federal funding for brick and mortar projects and social services continues to shrink. This year funding for use in Santa Paula is only $250,700, representing a 37 percent decrease over the past three years. The report by Elisabeth Amador, assistant to the city manager, notes this year’s program allotment might also be cut by another 10 percent.
Due to government guidelines only about $32,700 of the funding can be used for social services. Although a local Advisory Committee met to recommend funding to the council, the Board of Supervisors will make the ultimate decision following HUD guidelines.