SALIDA — Stanislaus County and Modesto leaders are expecting to see the much-awaited Salida annexation fiscal study before Christmas.
"We are hoping for next week," County Supervisor Terry Withrow said Tuesday. He said city and county staff were furnishing a final batch of information for Goodwin Consulting Group, the firm hired to prepare the $60,000 study on the potential fiscal impacts if Modesto annexed the county's largest unincorporated community.
The Goodwin report will analyze the costs of providing municipal services to Salida and estimate the tax revenue that would be generated from developing commercial and industrial areas in the Salida community plan.
The Sacramento consulting firm was supposed to deliver the report by the middle part of this month.
Withrow said the study will be crucial in showing whether Modesto and the county can come to agreement over tax sharing.
The annexation talk is certain to fizzle if there is no room for a city-county agreement. If the two agencies want to proceed, a committee will present the information at town hall meetings in Salida next year, so residents can decide whether they support annexation.
In August, Modesto and the county agreed to split the cost of hiring Goodwin.
Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh has talked about the potential to create jobs in the approved business parks in Salida and also has ideas for a regional sports complex.
Withrow has suggested that Salida residents would benefit from police, recreation and other city services. He said information in the Goodwin report should also help residents decide whether they want to incorporate as a city or stay within the county jurisdiction.
The talk of annexation has stirred opposition among some of Salida's 13,700 residents.
"I don't want to live by Modesto's rules," said Jim Bonetti, who inquired about the Goodwin report at Tuesday's county board meeting. "Their rules are far more stringent than they are in the county."
Bonetti said that Modesto has its eyes on commercial and industrial areas that are needed for a tax base if Salida becomes a city.
Thomas Reeves, chairman of the Salida Municipal Advisory Council, said he hopes the Goodwin study will have information showing the pros and cons for Salidans. He heads a committee of Modesto, Salida and county representatives, which was formed to present the results at community meetings.
"I have heard conflicting reports about what it is actually going to say. We need to be able to compare this is what happens if we are in Modesto and this is what happens if we stay with what we have," Reeves said.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.
STANISLAUS COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WATCH
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors took the following action at their meeting Tuesday:
Approved a $3.1 million contract for a technical firm to manage environmental cleanups at the former Geer Road landfill near Hughson. The cost of the contract with Tetra Tech, BAS Inc. could increase by $500,000 after the county submits an updated cleanup plan to the state later this month. An April 2011 cease-and-desist order calls for more aggressive action to treat groundwater contamination that has slowly spread from the former dump.
OK'd an agreement between the county and Modesto for construction of the $470,408 Sutter Avenue "safe-route-to-schools" project to include pedestrian-friendly improvements on Sutter and Rouse avenues, and Elsie Street. The upgrades: sidewalks, curb, flashing beacons, an in-ground lighted crosswalk and streetlights on Sutter. A grant will cover 90 percent of the cost, with the remaining $47,000 split between the county and city.
Approved a three-year agricultural lease to JKB Development Inc. for county-owned property next to the Fink Road landfill, west of Crows Landing.