By MOLLY DAVIS Staff Writer
Posted: 03/11/2011 03:56:28 PM PST

In response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies, Yucaipa is making moves in an attempt to counteract the effects of such a measure.

In an effort to protect the massive downtown development project that is under way, the Yucaipa City Council voted at a special meeting this week to take the RDA’s advice and transfer ownership of several of the agency’s properties to the city itself.

“I think it’s very wise to follow the RDA’s suggestion,” said Mayor Dick Riddell before the council voted unanimously to transfer the properties.

Located on or off of Yucaipa Boulevard, in the area being redeveloped with roundabouts and other features, the properties will be used as interim parking, and likely permanent parking once the project is finished.

The properties include a lot on Yucaipa Boulevard, between California and Adams streets, a lot on California Street, between the Yucaipa Little Theater and Cowan’s Welding, and a lot on the corner of Avenue A and First Street.

The council also voted unanimously to get the ball rolling on the uptown streetscape project. Put out to bid March 3, three contractors competed to work on the multi-phase project.

Hillcrest Contracting in Corona was awarded the project after putting in the lowest bid of a little more than $2.8 million.

The council also wanted to clear up a few points about the project for residents. Councilwoman Denise Hoyt asked if the community’s opinions were considered.

“Absolutely; the final roundabout design weighed heavily on input from the historical society,” said City Manager Ray Casey.

He added that the project has been in the works for many years, and that the community was given several opportunities to voice their opinions.

“I found virtually no one against it,” Councilman Greg Bogh said. “(Some people) were against one specific issue, but not the whole project.”

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