Valley residents last month when the California Department of Finance (DOF) rejected a proposal to continue the project as a last act of redevelopment funding.
But the county's Oversight Board, the agency tasked with winding down redevelopment projects, approved a motion to send the project back to the DOF, the Index-Tribune is reporting.
The DOF rejected the Hwy 12 project – along with a shopping center project in Roseland and the Guerneville River Park – arguing that the projects weren't enforceable since the agreements were voided as of Feb. 1.
Last year construction began on Phase II of the Hwy 12 project, which would add sidewalks, streetlights, gutters, curbs and left-hand turn lanes to the area between Boyes Boulevard and Auga Caliente Road.
The county redevelopment agency had $10.5 million set aside for the project, spending an additional $2.2 million on start-up costs.
Deputy County Counsel Steven Shupe argues that the law allows room for a county agency to reenter into an agreement with a successor agency, pointing to statute (ABx 1 26).
To further their case, the Oversight Board is including a letter from Shupe and Supervisor Valerie Brown along with the proposal.
“So now we wait to see if the State of California respects the laws it enacted or if it unlawfully usurps the power of local government to determine where local tax money is spent,” Steve Cox, chair of the Springs Community Alliance told the Index-Tribune.
Springs residents are taking a stand, signing on to a petition to urge the DOF to support the project and taking to the twitter handle @Hwy12Project to advocate for the cause.
Though county officials decided to hold off sending the petition until the DOF issues a response, the document is still available online at thepetitionsite.com/962/942/584/petition-for-the-support-of-hwy-12-project/.
Many businesses are distributing hard copies of the petition, including , , , (Hwy 12 location), La Luz, Hot Box Grill, and .
The will discuss ongoing developments in the Hwy. 12 project during their meeting tonight, Thursday, May 10 at the Sonoma Valley Grange, 18627 Sonoma Highway. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.