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In last night’s story about Golden Hill’s changing business climate, I briefly mentioned the infighting that has marked the relationship between the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corp. and the organization’s oversight committee.

The community’s designation as a maintenance assessment district allows the city to collect funds from residents and business owners for local use on a range of services.

The corporation manages those funds, but must spend them within guidelines established by a city engineer who develops the assessment rates and determines what percentage of those funds can be used for specific services.

The CDC wants to spend about $330,000 of those funds for physical sidewalk repair, but members of the group’s oversight committee have argued that city and state policy places the responsibility of sidewalk repair on the owners of the property abutting the damaged sidewalk. The city offers matching funds to property owners who want to pay for repairs themselves; otherwise, the city will get around to repairs when funds become available.

The Golden Hill engineer’s report allocates a moderate percentage of the funds to be used for infrastructure improvements like sidewalk repair, and requires that property owners vote to significantly increase the infrastructure outlay.

John Kroll, a member of the oversight committee, has argued that spending MAD funds for sidewalk repair would use community funds for something that individual property owners should be responsible for.

The oversight committee has voted not to allow the CDC to spend the money on sidewalk repairs, but its vote is non-binding.

Kroll argues that the city has an interest in allowing the CDC to spend its money on sidewalk repair because it means the city won’t have to eventually incur the expense itself.

The issue is being reviewed by the city attorney’s office, Kroll said.

—ADRIAN FLORIDO

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