10:00 PM PDT on Monday, August 15, 2011

By SANDRA STOKLEY
Staff Writer sstokley@pe.com

Stung by the loss of millions of dollars in state money, Riverside County’s newest city is asking the Board of Supervisors for a $1.7 million loan so it can gain its financial footing during its crucial first year.

Jurupa Valley Councilman Verne Lauritzen said the state’s decision to divert vehicle license-fee revenue from cities to a law-enforcement grant program as part of California’s 2011-12 general fund budget, has left the city scrambling to meet its financial obligations.

“In order to meet payroll, we’re going to need this loan to solve this cash-flow problem that the state has caused us,” Lauritzen said. “Come January, we’ll be able to pay this back.”

Jurupa Valley’s request will go to the Board of Supervisors this morning. Supervisors meet at 9 a.m. at the County Administrative Center, 4080 Lemon St.

Under terms of the agreement, the city will have to repay Riverside County with interest by June 30, 2012.

As a result of state legislators’ action, all cities will lose vehicle license-fee revenue. But the hardest hit will be California municipalities that incorporated after 2004 — all of them in Riverside County.

New cities get extra license-fee money to help them get established. Between them, the cities of Wildomar, Menifee, Eastvale and Jurupa Valley stand to lose more than $14 million.

Lauritzen said Jurupa Valley was expecting about $4.5 million from the state last week.

“That would have been our cash flow,” he said.

John Field, chief of staff for Supervisor John Tavaglione, said the loan request would be considered with “mixed emotions.”

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