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Council says ‘Think SCV’

Leaders sign off on 21-point, $5.2 million plan to promote business

Posted: April 28, 2009 10:40 p.m.
Updated: April 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously signed off Tuesday on a sweeping 21-point plan to stimulate the local economy.

The ambitious plan will spend some $5.2 million over the course of a year to do everything from streamlining the development process to urging people in the Santa Clarita Valley and the greater Los Angeles region to "Think Santa Clarita Valley" when shopping.

"If we help our businesses we're helping our families," City Councilman Bob Kellar said. "We're not losing anything, we're gaining."

The plan calls for $5,237,003 in city funds. Add that to the $13.5 million the city is receiving as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and about $18.7 million is set for investment in Santa Clarita.

The 1,400-member Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce stands behind the plan, said Bill Kennedy, chairman of the chamber board.

After receiving City Manager Ken Pulskamp's presentation on the plan, several council members said they would like to see more outside contribution to the "Think Santa Clarita Valley" component.

That campaign will spend $250,000 of general-fund money to encourage people to do their business and shopping here.

Councilwoman Laurie Ender proposed the idea of the county contributing an additional $250,000 to the campaign.

Councilwoman Marsha Mclean echoed that and said, "I just don't think our citizens should have to foot the entire bill for a valleywide campaign."

Pulskamp said he would like to see components of the plan be set in motion as soon as possible.

Mayor Frank Ferry said the plan is a sign to the community that the city is being proactive.

"We need to show that there's hope and (the economic pain) is going to end," he said.

City officials are hoping this plan helps stave off further drops in revenue.

In the fourth quarter of 2008 the city suffered a 15-percent drop in sales-tax revenue from the fourth quarter of 2007. City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said Pulskamp is expecting potentially the same drop for the first quarter of 2009.

Sales-tax revenue is one of the largest sources of money for the city's general fund.

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