Folsom City Council eyes affordable housing project

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Folsom City Council members breezed through a quick open meeting, but had already been locked behind closed doors in a private meeting for more than an hour. There was a first reading of a proposal to lower the insurance requirements on taxicabs. The city of Folsom is considering lowering it from $1 million to the industry standard of $350,000. The Sibley Street affordable housing project, started in 2002, with a deal that came out of a lawsuit settlement agreement, is moving forward. Council members discussed various options for what could happen, given the state?s moves regarding redevelopment agencies. One scenario includes the state claiming the funds if the property is sold if the project falls through. Councilman Jeff Starsky, an attorney by trade, said that could be very interesting and put the city in a difficult position to fulfill the settlement. ?If that were to happen, I believe our position would be the agreement to be null and void,? he said. The council members said they fully expect the project to move forward, but were considering all options. The budget, while approved at a previous meeting, was still a sore subject for one council member. Ernie Sheldon said he thought many in town don?t understand the process of the budget. ?I think it?s beginning to show the process of the budget is beginning to affect the city,? he said. ?We?re going to have to look at this.? He discussed the cutting of the Teen Council, which he only heard about because a mother sent him an e-mail. "She found out about it from her (child). Now, the Teen Council here does a lot of good things. ... That was a line item in a department budget, so we wouldn't have seen it." He said with next year's budget issues, the problem needs to be addressed. ?We are going to have a $2.5 million shortfall next year,? he said. ?We?ve got to look at this process and educate more people as to how we do things around here.? Folsom Mayor Kerri Howell gave her usual ?traffic report? at the end of the council meeting. ?To the person who nearly KO?d me driving the black Nissan SUV, be careful, that?s a bad way to meet the mayor,? she said. The council adjourned at 7:23 p.m.