10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

By JAN SEARS
The Press-Enterprise

Redevelopment money intended for a five-year economic development agreement between Grand Terrace and Stater Bros. was safeguarded by the City Council on Tuesday.

The council voted unanimously to appropriate about $1.2 million of the Community Development Agency’s non-housing funds to pay for incentive programs the city and Stater Bros. agreed to last September.

“We’re doing what many agencies are doing because we don’t know where the state will end up,” Grand Terrace Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz said Wednesday.

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed eliminating redevelopment agencies throughout the state and spending their money — possibly as much as $3 billion — on courts, health care for the poor and schools.

“There is so much uncertainty about redevelopment, and this incentive package spans five years,” Stanckiewitz said. “We said. ‘Let’s just set it aside now.’ ”

The city reached the incentive agreement with Stater Bros. about five months ago, before Brown was elected.

The grocery chain has begun construction of a store on Barton Road and eventually plans to create a shopping center at the site called Town Square.

The project will create about 140 construction jobs and 77 permanent full-time jobs. The city has agreed to pay Stater Bros. $2,500 per job, or up to $192,500 per year over five years, a staff report states.

The city also plans to use as many as 45 parking spaces at the site for a park-and-ride site, for which it will pay Stater Bros. $49,000 per year, the report states.

“We’ve noticed that Barton Road has become increasingly heavy with traffic,” said Joyce Powers, the city’s community and economic development director.

The park-and-ride lot would offer commuters a safe place to leave a vehicle and carpool to work. The city hasn’t yet worked out whether commuters would park for free or pay a fee, Powers said.

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