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FY 2017-18 Council Goal: Core Neighborhoods
At its Council Goals Workshop for the FY2017-18 budget, the City Council added Core Neighborhoods to its list of council goals and confirmed that the enhancement of core neighborhoods would require the identification of a revenue source outside of the General Fund.
Funding - To this end, staff will explore if core neighborhoods are willing to assess themselves for new improvements and ongoing maintenance costs consistent with those required of newer neighborhoods. The newer neighborhoods have assessments for either landscape and lighting districts or community facilities districts on their property tax bills, which pay for a significant amount of common-area landscaping throughout the city. Property owners can determine and tailor the level of service and aesthetics they desire for their neighborhoods and vote to assess themselves accordingly. Neighborhood standards vary throughout the city, and all areas have the opportunity to vote to adjust assessments. When the core neighborhoods were built, these costs came from the General Fund, which continues at some level to this day. With the challenges that exist in maintaining the City’s core services (police, fire, public works, parks, recreation, libraries, and development services), continued funding has become unsustainable with current revenue streams.
Community-Based Grants - This goal also brings a focus on grant-funding opportunities that will enhance the environment in core neighborhoods. The Health Education Council, with participation from the City, was selected in 2016 as one of 50 cities from throughout the U.S. by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for an Invest Health grant aimed at improving health in low-income neighborhoods. Recognizing that the majority of health outcomes are driven by where people live, work, play, shop and learn, the Invest Health initiative seeks to improve health through cross-sector community collaborations that can foster and develop more healthful environments. The team is performing assessments within core neighborhoods, meeting with businesses and residents, and identifying potential partners in the healthcare industry and Roseville Electric. One of its early efforts is working with Roseville Electric to improve street lighting in certain areas to enhance the safety of the environment.
Council Discretionary Funds - The Council has previously used its discretionary funding to underwrite a neighborhood large-item disposal event in a core neighborhood. This event brought neighbors together helping each other with beautifying their individual homes and common areas by removing oversized items and debris.
Neighborhood Investment - City Housing and Economic Development Department staff have been concentrating federal Community Development Block Grant Funds into the following programs and projects that benefit core neighborhoods:
- New lighting in the Historic Old Town,
- Curb cuts and ramps on Church Street and in Roseville Heights,
- Demolition of the Roseville Hotel on Main Street,
- Low-income homeowner paint program providing $700 per household to repaint home exteriors,
- Owner-occupied rehabilitation program to address health and safety items and needed rehabilitation in homes,
- Handyperson program that assists with minor safety and ADA modifications,
- GRID Alternatives Solar Installation for low-income homeowners, and
- Rehabilitation work for the Johnson Pool.
Recent outreach efforts have focused on core area neighborhoods for the exterior paint program. The City also utilizes additional funding for local first-time homebuyer loans to low-income buyers, which have assisted buyers in the purchase of a core neighborhood home. And for renters, the City’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, administered through the Roseville Housing Authority, also reinvests into the core of the city through the infusion of rental housing payments.