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Ripon Unified wants cut of RDA money for school related work
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RIPON – If Ripon wants to increase the borrowing power of the redevelopment agency they may have to fork over money to finance projects for the Ripon Unified School District.

During a discussion that the school board had with City of Ripon Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart and City Attorney Tom Terpstra about the proposed amendment to the redevelopment project – which is set to continue through 2023 – former Ripon Planning Director and current board trustee Ernie Tyhurst distributed a list he had compiled of the projects that had been completed since the project’s inception. The list also included how much money was spent on each project.

According to Tyhurst’s numbers, more than $35.5 million had been spent since 1988 with only the joint-venture to renovate the Ripon High School pool facility landing on the list of completed projects.

Zuidervaart confirmed that there wasn’t anything in the pipeline for allocation at the current time either with Terpstra noting that it’s more of a “shopping list” that puts the projects that elected officials determine to be beneficial to the community into an informal pool.
But even with that noted, Trustee Donna Parks made her opinions known.

“I’d like to see a Performing Arts Center included on the list,” she told Zuidervaart as the conversation tapered down.
Tyhurst had an idea of his own that he’d like to see considered.

“In light of the Turlock Redevelopment Agency just allocating $2 million to renovate their football field, I think that a project like that in this community would be worthwhile,” he said. “I’d like to see that on future lists.”

For more than two years the Ripon Community Athletic Fund has been working to raise the money necessary to renovate the aging Stouffer Field complex that gets more than enough use from both high schools during the fall sports season.

The added use by youth football programs like the Ripon Chiefs and the Ripon Knights only add the wear-and-tear of the turf that slowly starts to disappear as the season wears on.

Terpstra noted to the board that while nearly all of the projects completed have been done on a city or regional level, the offset in that funding is made up to the district in whole by the State of California – stretching the benefit over to both the City of Ripon and the Ripon Unified School District.

On Wednesday, July 15, the Ripon City Council – acting as the Ripon Redevelopment Agency – will host a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the redevelopment plan. The meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., will he held in the Council Chambers at City Hall – located at 259 N. Wilma Ave.

To contact Jason Campbell e-mail, or call (209) 249-3544.