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Countywide : Group Seeks Compromise Recovery Plan

August 17, 1995|SHELBY GRAD

Hoping to craft a compromise bankruptcy recovery plan before the state Legislature reconvenes next week, the Orange County Business Council is holding a series of meetings with representatives of the county, cities and special districts.

Todd Nicholson, president of the business group, said negotiations have been "candid and forthright" but that no agreement has been reached.

"It's too early for that, but I think we are making some headway," Nicholson said.

"I'm personally hopeful that we can see some things resolved."

The county wants to have a recovery strategy in place by next week so the Legislature can pass the special provisions needed to implement the plan.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved six scenarios that would involve taking tax revenue from cities, special districts and the Orange County Transportation Authority.

The tax diversion would provide the county with $74 million to $160 million annually for 15 to 20 years.

The money would help offset the loss of $1.7 billion last year from the county investment pool, which led to the bankruptcy filing on Dec. 6.

Cities and special districts strongly oppose the county plan, saying it would trigger cuts in transportation and municipal services and increase water rates and user fees.

The business council has sponsored five meetings with the various parties in the past week and a half, including one on Wednesday.

More meetings are planned in the next few days, Nicholson said.

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