The City of Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), whose mission is to reduce conditions of physical blight within the agency’s two redevelopment districts: the Greater Frenchtown/Southside Community Redevelopment Area and the Downtown District Community Redevelopment Area, will become a stand alone department in 2014.
The CRA has been involved with a number of projects in the news lately. These include College Town, several projects on Gaines Street, the Brew Pub in Cascades Park and two Gateway projects.
Until recently, the CRA had three positions fully funded by the CRA and two positions jointly funded by the CRA and the City of Tallahassee. The three positions funded by the CRA were the Program Director, the Community Redevelopment Coordinator and the Administrative Specialist II. The CRA also partially funded two positions that also provided services directly to the City. These were the CRA Executive Director (25 percent funded by the CRA), who also served as the Director of the City’s Department of Economic and Community Development; and the Senior Community Redevelopment Planner (80 percent funded by the CRA), who helped manage several City incentive programs, such as the Historic Property Grant and Loan Program.
With the establishment of the CRA as a stand-alone City department starting in FY 2014, the CRA will now fully fund four positions. The Community Redevelopment Coordinator position has been eliminated for FY 2014.
With the structural change also comes an increase in CRA expenditures for personnel and administrative activities. These expenses will increase from $352,000 in 2012 to just over $734,000 in 2014. Personnel expenses alone will increase from $311,000 in 2012 to $558,000 in 2014.
The total proposed 2014 budget for the CRA is just over $2.2 million. Funding for the CRA comes from City of Tallahassee and Leon County property taxes for those properties located in the CRA districts. The funds generated within each redevelopment district can only be spent within the district in which they are collected.
Of the $2.2 million budget, approximately $1.35 million comes from Leon County property tax and approximately $800,000 comes from City property tax.
The CRA is scheduled to vote on this proposal on Monday, September 23rd.