Read more about the fate of fixing parts of Prospect: Funds for Prospect Avenue Redevelopment Hang in the Balance
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Q. I have been a resident of Santee for 45 years... If you have children or grandchildren you would know what I'm talking about when I say walking on Prospect Avenue west is embarrassment to Santee... Our street DOES NOT have side walks... Why is that a growing city like Santee has not taken the time to think about families safety. Please take this in consideration- walk a mile or two on Prospect to see what I'm talking about.
A. Santee has built many City improvements over the years using our Redevelopment Commission and tax increment money (Government talk for: our share of property taxes. NOTE: was 80 percent now 17). The highest priority for past redevelopment and improvements in the City has always been determined by business considerations. In other words, in order to prosper, we have had to pick the projects that would yield the most economic return for the City and our citizens.
Your section of Prospect Ave. has long been lower on the "economic" return list for City developments. We do have a project (the State of California is trying to steal that money from us as well) on the east side of Prospect Avenue, in the industrial area, that would upgrade the infrastructure greatly to improve business (jobs) and attract more investment into Santee.
Unfortunately for you and your neighborhood, that project will not upgrade your area, as once again the necessity of generating tax increment (taxes) outweigh neighborhood needs.
Also, the State of California has done away with Redevelopment Districts and stripped the City of Santee of five million plus dollars just as your neighborhood was moving up the priority lists. Redevelopment is essentially dead in local cities in California as the State stole that money (passed laws in the dark of night). If our City Council had not built all of the shopping centers, office parks, restaurants, low and higher income housing projects, etc., we would be in deep trouble today economically, instead of relatively well off.
I am sorry that due to State of California actions and past Santee priority decisions, we will not be able to upgrade your area in the foreseeable future.
Please, at least give me credit for being candid, as always, with everybody in town.
Mayor, City of Santee