CITY HALL -- Further details emerged on how to incorporate an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) along the Los Angeles River, as the City Council heard testimony from staff regarding a possible plan of action, Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Bob Blumenfield announced today.
The full Los Angeles City Council heard a report during the regular Council meeting on Friday from the Economic Workforce and Development Department, which presented recommendations on how to proceed with incorporating a new state law with City policy. The new law allows local officials to direct a portion of future property taxes for community improvement projects along the River, such as affordable housing, habitat restoration, and improved infrastructure.
“The new state law provides a means for the City of Los Angeles to move forward on projects that will benefit all constituents in communities along the LA River,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, chair of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and the Los Angeles River Committee. “I am already working with my colleagues in the County and look forward to improving the look, feel, and economic investment of our neighborhoods that touch our urban waterway.”
During the report today, staff provided more details on what steps the City will take to start the EIFD process, including the establishment of City policy on the topic, directing funds of up to $75,000 to report on the financial analysis, and forming a working group to identify boundaries and specific projects within the community.
“There is widespread agreement on what the future of the Los Angeles River looks like,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, whose San Fernando Valley district includes the LA River's headwaters in Canoga Park. "The question is, how do we get there? The deployment of an EIFD along the LA River is a potential game changer in our work to unleash the River's potential as the environmental and recreational resource that it is."
Staff says the adoption of an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District along the River is at least a year away. The funds generated from the EIFD would not be enough to cover Alternative 20, a plan by the federal government to revitalize an 11-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River. Instead, an EIFD will be one of many resources for funding the ambitious proposal.
Here is the link to the report presented in Council today.