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Money from landfill affects to help pay for parking structure

4 years ago by in ( City Guide , Hotspots , News , Uncategorized , Welcome to Brea )
Once the City Council finally determined Brea needed to build a third parking structure in the downtown, the next step was to find some $10 million to build it. They didn’t search much farther than the landfill mitigation money for a big chunk of it.

    In 2009, the county of Orange, which owns and operates the Olinda Alpha Landfill, made a deal with Brea to pay the city $10.5 million in mitigation fees for the privilege of extending the life and breadth of the landfill until 2021, when the landfill is estimated to reach capacity.

      Those fees, according to Brea City Manager Bill Gallardo, include $1.50 per ton of refuse deposited in the landfill and paid quarterly to the city. The current balance is approximately $5.2 million.

        The mitigation fees are to compensate for the daily assault of truck traffic, noise, odors, air quality and other environmental impacts. Many of us were led to believe preservation of open space was included.

          Gallardo said the landfill agreement gives the city discretion in use of the funds. He pointed out that the document states…”capital mitigation funds can be used for implementation of measures designed to mitigate impacts…. including, but not limited to traffic, noise, aesthetics and open space preservation.”

            It is that “not limited to” that opened the door to scooping into the pot for projects such as solar bond payments of $1.4 million. Gallardo said that during the Great Recession the landfill money was tapped to pay the solar bond payments as a means of avoiding additional staff layoffs and cuts to city services.

              “The General Fund has resumed paying its share of the Solar Bond payments,” said Gallardo via email, adding that “at this time there is no reimbursement planned” for the landfill money used.

                In 2012, the state ended redevelopment agencies originally used to combat blight in cities, and eventually took Brea’s redevelopment bonds of about $5.6 million. Our city leaders scrambled to find more money for pending and future redevelopment projects, maybe like the goofy-looking sunshades on the corners at Birch Street and Brea Boulevard.

                  Come 2014, our city leaders got the big idea of separating that $1.50 tonnage fee from the rest of the mitigation fees and naming it the Community Benefit and Economic Development Fund. This was to help compensate for the loss of redevelopment funds and the continuation of so-called legacy community projects plus attracting and retaining business and economic development.

                    “It will have approximately $3.4 million in it by the end of this fiscal year, “ said David Crabtree, Brea’s community development deputy director. It is expected to increase by $1.3 million by next year.

                      The hefty balance and growth of the new fund seemed to give the council the push they needed to soon dip into it to the tune of $4.7 million to help pay for the new parking structure. And the balance? The state has released about $5.6 million in redevelopment bonds and they are also earmarked by council for the parking structure.

                        Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at
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"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

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