By Wendy Leung Staff Writer
Created: 02/17/2011 04:56:01 PM PST

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Facing a possible elimination of its redevelopment agency, the city has begun a campaign to get residents and businesses to oppose such a plan. City officials have created a page on the redevelopment agency website, www.rcrda.us/ProtectRancho, that lists information on past projects and includes letters that residents can send to the governor and the Legislature calling for the protection of redevelopment agencies.

“We all would encourage you to download those letters and get it up to the governor’s office or your local legislators. We would really, really appreciate it,” Mayor Dennis Michael told the audience at a City Council meeting on Wednesday. “They expect us to go up and fight for redevelopment agencies but what they don’t expect is the general public to respond to them.”

To help balance the state’s massive budget deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed to do away with California’s redevelopment agencies, which are formed by municipalities to leverage bonds to build housing, retail centers and a number of other community projects.

Rancho Cucamonga formed its agency in 1981, largely to build storm drains and other infrastructure improvements to curb flooding issues and spur development.

“The vast majority of the city could not be developed in a comprehensive and feasible manner without the infrastructure that was so vital in the city in its early years,” said Linda Daniels, deputy city manager.

Daniels has been leading a series of presentations at City Council meetings to inform the public about redevelopment agencies and why local officials think it’s so important to keep them.

A number of projects currently in the works are owed to the redevelopment agency.

The Foothill Boulevard widening project, which includes the construction of a new bridge at Baker Avenue and a trailhead park west of Vineyard Avenue, is funded by redevelopment. The bridge is scheduled to be finished at the end of the summer with the entire project completed by the end of the year.

To read entire story, click here.