Burbank City Council Hears Report on Civic Center Project

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On Tuesday, September 13th, Burbank City Council held a regular meeting.

During the meeting, the council received two notable reports. The first of these reports was on the Burbank Civic Center project and the second one was about the police commission.

The Civic Center project has been worked on for decades, yet it is not ever been completed. According to Elizabeth Goldman, Burbank’s Library Services Director, “no other municipal project Burbank has done in recent memory has had the potential to have the kind of impact on the community, shaping not just Downtown Burbank, but all of the city.”

The project, which will located near Burbank City Hall and the Central Library between Olive Ave and Orange Grove Ave, will be funded through a public-private partnership. This will allow funds to come from both the city and from outside sources.

The project is estimated to cost around $116 million. This will be payed for through existing revenue sources as well as matching grant funds. The staff’s recommendation for the council was to review the conceptual plans and direct staff to establish a reserve account valued at $10 million.

In discussing the project, Councilmember Bob Frutos brought up the fact that some of the money being put into the reserve account is money that was allocated by the passage of Measure P.

“We promised that Measure P money would have oversight by an independent advisory board,” said Frutos. “That’s why we have the Infrastructure Oversight Board.”

However, it was pointed out by staff that the money is simply being reserved as a way to show the state that the city has matching funds for whatever grant they deliver.

Following some more discussion, the council decided to reserve the $10 million and move on with the project. A motion put forward by Sharon Springer was approved 5-0.

Following this presentation, the council discussed the roles and duties of the police commission. This discussion was brought about due to a myBurbank.com article detailing the short-comings and flaws of the Burbank police commission.

The council discussed some of the issues with the police commission that they have come across.

“We received a CC email from the [police] chief that some of the commissioners going to captains and giving them direction,” said Councilmember Frutos. “They’re not acting as one body.”

The council decided to note and file the discussion. City council will hold a joint meeting with the police commission in the next coming weeks.

A copy of this meetings agenda and a video recording can be found here.