California City mall

California City Councilmember Karen Macedonio (bottom left) encourages city residents to participate in the May 11 public hearing in regard to Aspen Mall during Tuesday’s Council meeting.

CALIFORNIA CITY — The City Council recently approved three resolutions to allow the City to initiate its annual levy and to collect assessments for the Aspen Mall Landscaping and Lighting District.

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, the council passed resolutions calling for a public hearing, engineer’s report and preliminarily approving the budget for the district before making its final approval at the public hearing on May 11.

City Attorney Baron Bettenhausen said this is the “statutory requirement for an assessment district.” This annual requirement pays for the parking lot lighting and landscape maintenance at the mall, which is assessed at $31,568.90 annually.

Public Works Director Joe Barragan said the money additionally covers the costs of utilities but also said the amount is not nearly enough per year.

Councilmember Karen Macedonio said that since she moved to California City, there has been a need to clean and spruce up Aspen Mall and has tried to get a copy of the documentation that describes the District and its obligations.

“None of my efforts has yielded clear and concise documentation,” she said. “I feel that this Council is not being given the full information needed to make our best decision.”

The Council approved the same assessment amount for the district on June 9, as they have for previous years.

“I would offer the opinion that what has been done between 1995 and today has yielded what we have now,” Macedonio said. “We need to generate an enthusiastic public conversation at the May 11 public hearing so that we can all understand.”

The Aspen Mall Landscaping and Lighting District was formed in 1995 according to the Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972, Part 2 of Division 15 of the Streets and Highways Code.

The District provides funding for services required to maintain landscaping and lighting improvements and associated appurtenances located within the district boundaries.

The resolutions passed in a 4-0 vote, with Councilmember Kelly Kulikoff recusing himself. A public hearing for the Aspen Mall Lighting District will be held during the Council’s May 11 meeting.

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