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Glendale merchants struggle with redevelopment funds freeze

September 28, 2011 |  7:21 am

Kenneth Village festival
Merchants in Glendale are reeling from a freeze on community redevelopment funds that help them pay for projects and events throughout the year.

A legal case involving redevelopment agencies is stuck in the state Supreme Court, and until a decision is made, cities cannot spend any redevelopment funds.

The City Council on Tuesday agreed to cover a $2,000 gap for the Kenneth Village Merchants Assn. that could have forced organizers to cancel its Fall Festival. The money it usually receives for reimbursement is not available, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Merchants in Kenneth Village have been seeking donations to help cover costs associated with the Oct. 29 festival, said Arsina Hartenian, treasurer of the association and co-owner of ALM Accounting Services.

Each merchant association usually receives about $15,000 from the city annually, said Philip Lanzafame, chief assistant director of community development for the city.

Last spring, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed eliminating more than 400 community redevelopment agencies and funneling their funds back into the state treasury.

In July, the League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Assn. filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court challenging Brown’s move.

The court accepted the case, but froze all spending of redevelopment money until it reaches a decision.

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-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Photo: A banner across Kenneth Road in Glendale's Kenneth Village. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News.

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