The Silicon Valley Voice

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City Desk: May 21, 2014

Stadium Parking Issue to “Be Successfully Resolved in Near Future,” Says Montana

A resolution is imminent for the 789 Levi’s Stadium parking spots that will be displaced by Joe Montana’s Centennial Gateway development on Tasman Dr., according to a May 15 statement from Montana himself.

“We have been actively engaged in constructive, ongoing discussions with the San Francisco 49ers on the issue of parking at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara,” Montana said. “We understand the 49ers entered into a Parking Rights Agreement allowing them certain rights to the Tasman Lots. We have every reason to believe that this issue will be successfully resolved in the very near future.”

Also on Wednesday, Mission College announced that it has inked a parking deal with Levi’s Stadium to provide an additional 2,250 parking spaces in return for a portion of the parking proceeds. These will be used to improve the college’s roadways and parking areas.

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With over 25,000 spaces secured there’s ample parking available for the stadium’s opening season. And it looks like a replacement for the Tasman spaces will be found well in advance of the 2016 Super Bowl.

2014-15 Budget Forecast Brighter Now and Over Five Year Horizon

Santa Clara’s budget picture is better than it has been for years, with the city projecting a surplus for 2014-15, and upping its emergency operating reserve by at least $3 million to $23 million, Santa Clara Finance Director Gary Ameling reported at last week’s City Council meeting.

However, the city’s five-year financial plan still forecasts declining surpluses and a $1 million deficit returning in 2018-19, principally driven by growing CalPERS pension contributions to cover unfunded liabilities. Even here there is good news, though. Last year that future deficit was projected to be $10 million – so that’s a 90 percent improvement.

There’s other good news in the budget as well. The three main sources of city revenue – sales, property, and hotel tax – are all up. Plus, the city budget is in balance without counting additional revenue from new development, notably Santa Clara Town Centre opening in the fall. Nor does it include any of lease revenue from the former RDA assets currently in dispute.

Santa Clara is in the process of negotiating a settlement with the state Department of Finance over these properties. “If we are successful in any one of our negotiations, that would only be a better picture,” said Ameling.

However, fees and utility prices will also be going up. Fees are gradually being brought up to fully recovering service costs, and many will be increasing four to five percent. Electric and water rates will also increase in the coming year, 5 percent and 7.6 percent respectively, and recycled water rates will also increase about 13 percent. The drought is driving up costs for both these utilities. With less hydropower available because of the drought, more electricity will have to come from higher cost generation.

The total budget for 2014-15 is $660.3 million, overall up three percent from 2013-14:

  • $167.1 million in general operating funds
  • $420.8 million for enterprise operations (utilities)
  • $1.7 million for special funds earmarked for specific uses, e.g. HUD funds
  • $7.9 for internal service funds – services that are charged back to specific departments, such as city cars
  • $62.8 for capital improvement projects (except sports and open space, housing, and stadium authorities)
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