The City of Garden Grove can expect a benefit to the general fund of approximately $2 million annually thanks to the city council’s approval of two resolutions, Tuesday night.
The new-found money comes at the expense of employees of Orange County and homeowners in Garden Grove.
$1 million will come from the approved agreement with the Orange County Employees’ Association and the Orange County Employees’ League who have agreed to not receive their planned 2 percent increases.
These employees will also receive less in pension plan benefits and have agreed to furloughs that would amount to a loss of nearly 10 percent in annual wages.
There is a chance for these employees to regain a portion of these lost wages, however.
Two percent will be recaptured if and only if one of two hotel projects – the “Waterpark Hotel” or the “Site C Hotel” – breaks ground before June 30, 2014 and not before Jan. 1, 2014.
The other $1 million dollars will come from a one cent increase in property taxes to provide for the paramedic tax which ensures paramedic services to the city.
Fire Chief Dave Bertka said that over half of the calls received by the Garden Grove Fire Department in the last five years have been for paramedics.
“The cost for providing this service is $7 million,” Chief Bertka said.
The one cent per $100 of property value will just barely cover the $7 million needed for paramedic service and will cost the average homeowner approximately an additional $30.
“This barely covers it,” Council Member Bruce Broadwater said. “We’re still about a thousand short… I hope we don’t have to raise it anymore.”
Tuesday night’s city council meeting was also met with members from the community who attempted to persuade the city council to save their marijuana dispensaries from the attack of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Many spoke about their need of medicinal marijuana and the symptoms they suffer from. Medicinal marijuana, they explained, helped to alleviate their ailments and live life as pain-free as possible.
“The DEA has the authority to enforce federal law, we can’t stop them,” Mayor William Dalton said answering the pleas to “stop the DEA from shutting down our marijuana dispensaries.”
“I think it’s a disaster to have 90 marijuana dispensaries in Garden Grove,” Councilman Broadwater added. “You don’t ever see people on crutches in there or see ambulances taking patients in there to buy marijuana. It’s a farce.”