Antioch’s Mello-Roos dilemma


I was amused reading Wednesday’s Contra Costa Times story regarding Antioch’s quandary of how to spend $1.7 million remaining in their Mello-Roos fund. Have they considered projects for Oakley? A third of Oakley has been an unrepresented contributor to the Mello-Roos district since its creation and I don’t think a single penny has been spent in Oakley.

Everyone in Oakley living west of Empire is in the Antioch School District and within the Mello-Roos boundaries. If your home was built before 1988 or if the builder paid off the bonds and included it in the price of your new home you will not see a Mello-Roos line item on your property tax bill.

The Antioch School District has had a long presence in Western Oakley. In 1883 the Live Oak School District was established to accommodate the population of what was known as the “sand country”. Two years later, on a lot about a mile and a half from the village of Oakley, a former house (now the Live Oak Community Church at the corner of Live Oak and Highway 4,) was remodeled and transformed into a school which was named Live Oak. In 1921 a special election was held to consolidate the Live Oak and Antioch School Districts later morphing into the Antioch Unified School District.

Continuing their presence in Oakley the Antioch School District and the City of Antioch created the Antioch Area Public Facilities Financing Agency’s Community Facilities District 1989-1 (“CFD”), in 1989, commonly known as the Antioch Mello Roos District. The CFD was formed to finance five elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and a 100 acre community park. The Orchard Park School, on Live Oak in Oakley, was not built using Mello-Roos funds.

This tax can only be used to finance streets, sewer system and other basic infrastructure, police, fire, school, ambulance, and other cultural facilities. The CFD-89 rate is approximately $0.61 per square foot for homes in Antioch and $0.48 for Oakley homes within the District.

So, if Antioch wants some ideas on how to spend this money here are a few: the sidewalk or path to Orchard Park School on Live Oak comes to mind; further improvements to Holly Creek Park – such as parking (possibly acquiring some adjacent land for that parking); some rehab of the Sierra Crete roads; and widening of Live Oak.

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About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Data Center Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit and Transplan
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3 Responses to Antioch’s Mello-Roos dilemma

  1. Arne Simonsen says:

    No problem, Kevin. CFD 89-1 was for a specific amount of money and a 20/80 split between the City of Antioch (for Prewett Park) and the AUSD to build 8 specific schools.

    Reimbursements from the State was used to pay down the bonds which shortened the term of CFD 89-1 and this newly discovered “extra money” should likewise be used to pay off outstanding bonds and give those Mello-Roos taxpayers a much needed break.

    But I have to agree with you about the somewhat crazy school boundaries which do not follow any city boundaries.

  2. Kevin says:

    Arne, thanks for reading the blog and providing clarification. I stated in the post that Orchard Park was not built with Mello-Roos. It was built with hardship money that AUSD applied to the state for. Reinforcing the issue that none of the tax dollars paid out were used in Oakley.

    Mello-Roos money can generally be used for “used to finance streets, sewer system and other basic infrastructure, police, fire, school, ambulance, and other cultural facilities.” I will cede to you that in this case it is limited to the projects that you listed. However, when a government agency goes on record lamenting that they are unsure how to spend unused dollars I feel obliged to offer my suggestions.

  3. Arne Simonsen says:

    Kevin, you have a few facts wrong regarding CFD 89-1.

    Orchard Park Elementary was never included as one of the schools to be built with CFD 89-1 funds.

    None of that money can be “used to finance streets, sewer system and other basic infrastructure, police, fire, school, ambulance, and other cultural facilities.”

    By law it can only be used for what was originally stated. 20% towards Prewett Family Park (controlled by the City of Antioch) and 80% to build one high school, two middle schools and five elementary schools (controlled by the AUSD) – and nothing more!

    In fact, if there are “surplus funds”, they must be refunded to the CFD 89-1 taxpayers or have their assessments reduced for the remaining years.

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