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Live Oak City Council backs new economic blueprint
An economic plan for Live Oak won City Council support Wednesday — and one member's request to change what he said has "almost become a dirty word:" redevelopment.
Councilman Gary Baland said an engineering analysis of the historic downtown core as a first step toward a redevelopment plan shouldn't use that word. Four hundred redevelopment agencies were eliminated by a state law last year that took away their revenues.
Jim Goodwin, city manager for Live Oak, agreed with Baland's request.
"We'll pick a different word," Goodwin said.
The city manager said redevelopment in California refers to a special legal term that no longer applies, and the Live Oak downtown plan wouldn't involve redevelopment as was commonly understood.
The draft economic plan — which follows a half-day council discussion in December — went before the council Wednesday for review and will return next month for formal action. The plan and its progress will be put on the city's website, Goodwin said.
"It becomes very transparent for the public," he said.
Improving the Highway 99 corridor is seen as a key to boosting the city economy. The city will apply again for state Safe Routes to Schools funding to pay for improvements to Kola Street off Highway 99. Several grant applications have been submitted, but not approved.
Improving the highway to create a pos tive impression of the community is among the plan's high priorities. Other such efforts include preserving a small-town feel to Live Oak as the community grows.
Councilman Ray Rogers praised the economic plan.
"It was worth the time we spent putting this together," he said.
Mayor Steve Alvarado said the draft measure has won wide support.
"We want to see Live Oak go in the same direction," he said.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at email@example.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.