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Wildomar council looks at broad agenda during January meeting


Last updated 1/20/2018 at Noon

The Wildomar City Council during a meeting last week went over a number of items, including joining a task force on traffic, raising the city manager’s salary and listening to a presentation on issuing bonds to developers for capital improvement projects.

The council voted unanimously to support “Move I-15 through Temecula and Elsinore Valleys,” a regional traffic task force dedicated to improving traffic on a significantly congested portion of the freeway running through Southwest Riverside County.

Assistant City Manager Dan York said that as part of joining the task force, the council would need to pick one RCTC member and one alternate to serve as members.

“The idea here was that as RCTC is a much bigger body, the Southwest Riverside (members) would be able to speak as a voice, consistently understanding what their problems are for Southwest Riverside County and speak appropriately to RCTC,” York said.

Mayor Ben Benoit said that it made sense for him as an RCTC member and councilmember Tim Walker, his alternate, to continue attending the traffic meetings as they initially did in Temecula.

Benoit said it would be good to communicate the interest in projects to ease traffic to RCTC, which does not currently have any plans in place for the Temecula area.

“RCTC’s scoping plan for all the work for all of western Riverside County currently do not include that portion in Temecula, or let alone Temecula up to the border patrol,” Mayor Ben Benoit said. “It had a lot of other improvements on the 91, 91-15, going south on the 15 but for some reason that piece wasn’t in there, so that was raised at that meeting.”

The council also unanimously approved a 5.24 percent salary increase, to $201,000 from $191,000, for City Manager Gary Nordquist following a satisfactory performance review.

The salary increase is one of about three. If approved by the council, Nordquist will see his salary increase to $210,000 in 2019 and $219,000 in 2020.

“I know that we’ve been waiting for this for a while for Gary,” said Councilmember Tim Walker. “He waited patiently while we were waiting for all of our money to come back in, so it’s appropriate ... And he’s done an amazing job.”

Assistant City Manager Dan York did a presentation on the possibility of setting up a Community Facilities District for the purpose of providing bonds for capital facilities improvements and infrastructure projects with developers.

As it stands now, the city does not have such a district.

“We’ve basically said we’re not interested and I think that had been the tenor of the community during the last decade,” he said. “What we found has happened is where we thought we might be protecting our residents from having to pay a community facilities district special tax for these things, if we didn’t lead the administration then they would go to Lake Elsinore Unified School District or Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.”

York said that one of the benefits of creating such a CFD is that the city will gain certain revenues and administrative fees that it might otherwise lose out on if the school district or water district create a CFD for bonds instead.

Council members were cautious, but expressed an interest in looking into creating a CFD in future meetings. No action was taken on the item.


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