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AUSD Finally Going After Redevelopment Money

We have learned that the Alameda Unified School District is pressing the City of Alameda to hand over just over $1 million of redevelopment pass-through funds that the City holds but is intended to benefit Alameda schools.

Earlier this year we wrote how AUSD Superintendent Ardella Dailey resisted acknowledging, let alone keeping track of, monies set aside from the Alameda Community Improvement Commission (CIC) to mitigate the impacts of redevelopment on the school district.

State redevelopment law provides that local redevelopment agencies (the CIC in this case) must “pass-through” a percentage of the property tax-increment funds they appropriate in their redevelopment project areas. The CIC passes through money for an AUSD District Capital Outlay Fund and an AUSD District Housing Fund, both of which are kept on the City of Alameda’s books – not AUSD’s books – and the funds for both are kept in City of Alameda accounts. It seems now that the AUSD board is preparing to ask the City to transfer the roughly $1 million balance of the District Capital Outlay Fund to the school district.

A directive was sent to City of Alameda Development Services Director Leslie Little, who also sits on the board of the California Redevelopment Association, a lobby group of builders that benefit from the redevelopment mechanism, which included a list of proposed capital projects for the balance of the Capital Outlay Fund to be applied to. The ostensible purpose of transmitting the list of capital projects to Ms. Little was to ensure that the Capital Outlay Funds are spent on AUSD capital projects in accordance with state redevelopment law. We have made oral and two written public records requests to the Alameda Unified School District for a copy of this list, but they have not yet responded. Sadly, AUSD has a habit of not responding to public records requests – we have an outstanding request for budget details that is several months old and in the spring of this year, it took a public hearing and the threat of reporting them to the State Department of Education to get the district to respond to a different public records request relating to these redevelopment funds.

Fortunately, we were able to obtain the current list of proposed capital projects from another source. Here is the list of candidate projects for the $1 million of redevelopment pass-through monies in the District Capital Outlay Fund. (Note the spelling mistakes are in the original.)

  • Replace Comercial Drive in Freezer/Refer at Wharehouse
  • Replace Scotch Boiler with Cast Iron Sectional at District Office
  • Emergency Generator and ATS at DO suporting Network Operating Center
  • Paving at Lum
  • Paving at Otis
  • Sport Field Restoration
  • Alameda Swim Center Interior Modernization
  • Encinal Swim Center Interior Modernization
  • Replace poured in place @ Fall Material Paden Play Structure
  • Repave Brush Street
  • Security System Conversion

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