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Burbank asks state for another $13M

March 05, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Burbank is requesting $13 million from state finance officials to cover remaining redevelopment obligations, marking the fourth such request by city officials following the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies across California last year.

Since that time, Burbank has been receiving money every six months to pay off outstanding redevelopment-related obligations and debts, which currently total roughly $284 million.

The most recent request, approved last week by the Successor Agency oversight board created to handle the wind-down of local redevelopment, covers obligations for the first half of this coming fiscal year.

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A large chunk of the requested money would be used to pay back bonds issued to fund redevelopment projects.

City officials don't foresee a problem getting the requests approved by the state Department of Finance, as the specific line-items noted have all previously been approved in earlier similar requests, said Ruth Davidson-Guerra, assistant community development director.

“It shouldn't be too tough to get this through,” Davidson-Guerra said. “I'm not expecting any big controversy out of what we have on this particular [request].”

Last period, state finance officials refused to pay back roughly $3 million in loans from the city to the redevelopment agency, contending they are “not enforceable obligations,” records show.

The $3 million was just a portion of the total outstanding debt of $27 million owed to the city by the now-defunct redevelopment agency.

City officials, however, are confident they can eventually retrieve the loans.

“We don't believe it's lost,” Davidson-Guerra said. “The law provides a way for city's debt to be paid back. Part of that is having to move through the unwind process, do everything the state says each step of the way.”

The six-month payments through the oversight board will continue until 2016, after which Los Angeles County will take over the functions of the successor agency, Davidson-Guerra said.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter @atchek.

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