RIVERSIDE — Nearly a month after its self-imposed deadline for submitting petitions and other materials to county officials, a committee studying incorporation of a handful of northwestern Riverside County communities seems close to completing its task.
Although members of the Jurupa Study Committee are pessimistic about prospects for putting the cityhood question to the area's voters in November, they say they can soon submit the feasibility study, fees and petitions required to begin the process leading to a vote, said Karen Shuerger, committee co-chairwoman.
At a benefit dance tonight, the group will announce that it has settled its debt with consultant Don King, Shuerger said, clearing the way for the committee to submit King's cityhood feasibility study to county officials.
Until last week, King had refused to release the Jurupa study for distribution, reproduction or submittal until the committee paid his $15,000 fee, plus about $600 in accrued interest. Despite promises of payment from various committee members over the past two months, the Rancho Cucamonga-based planner had received only $5,000.
But last Tuesday, King collected another $6,000, and accepted a promissory note for the remaining $4,600 from committee member Bud Kibbie, prompting him to allow the group to distribute and reproduce the feasibility report. The committee cannot submit the study to the county until the note is paid off, King said.
Committee members hope that news of the financial accord with King will boost their credibility with local residents, helping them overcome negative publicity that has accompanied their continuing financial difficulties and the clashing personalities that led to the resignation of their chairman a month ago.
More Chores Lie Ahead
But the group still must raise the money to pay $1,550 in application and environmental assessment fees, to reimburse its members who have put up the cash and signed the notes for King, and to mount an election campaign if its proposal makes it to a vote.
Committee members must also turn their attention to circulating their petitions, which must be submitted to the county with more than 7,000 signatures, with King's study and the $1,550 in fees.
Once those requirements are met, a lengthy process of environmental and administrative reviews and public hearings will begin.
To make the November ballot, that process--which includes public hearings before the county's Local Agency Formation Commission and the Board of Supervisors--would have to be completed by Aug. 8, said Frank Johnson, registrar of voters.
300 Signatures a Day
"It is already March . . . and it is not likely that they could make the November ballot," said Mischelle Zimmerman, executive officer of the Local Agency Formation Commission, which handles incorporation and annexation requests.
The next possible election dates, all in 1987, would be March 3, June 2, and Nov. 3, Johnson said.
The Jurupa Study Committee already has collected signatures requesting a cityhood vote from more than 4,000 residents of Mira Loma, Glen Avon, Pedley, Rubidoux, Sunnyslope, Indian Hills, Jurupa Hills and Agua Manza, Shuerger claimed. Using a combination of volunteers and paid workers, the committee is collecting an average of 300 signatures daily, she estimated.
"We want to get it in the process, so we are going to submit (it to the county) the minute we have 7,500 signatures," Shuerger said. The group will continue collecting signatures until it reaches its original goal of 10,000 names, she added.
Although the group has not yet settled on a name, maps and brochures outlining the proposal generally refer to the proposed city as Jurupa. The semi-rural communities pay Riverside County $6 million more in taxes each year than they receive in public services, cityhood supporters are telling residents.
By incorporating, they say, the area could retain a greater share of its tax dollars, gain local control of land-use planning, and prevent annexation by neighboring Norco or Riverside.
By incorporating, proponents say, the area could retain a greater share of its tax dollars, gain local control of land-use planning, and prevent annexation by neighboring Norco or Riverside.