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Old home, museum likely won't be sold off in RDA abolishment
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The state of California will likely not force the sale of the Daniel Whitmore Home, the adjacent Ceres Museum nor the parking lot serving downtown and the Ceres Community Center. The three properties were owned by the Ceres Redevelopment Agency, which was dissolved by state actions earlier this year.

Facing record budget deficits, the governor and state lawmakers did away with redevelopment agencies in California in order to seize millions of dollars earmarked for investments to reduce blight in communities. The Legislature also threatened to take all properties owned by redevelopment agencies.

The state has made an allowance in AB 26, however, that allows cities (called successor agencies) to keep RDA properties which are use for governmental purposes, said Brian Briggs, the city of Ceres Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager. The city must file an asset transfer form, arguing that the three properties are important to Ceres and used for governmental purposes.

However, the city will likely lose to the state two vacant lots in downtown, and a home at 3012 Fifth Street. The state will allow the city to sell those assets and send the money back to Sacramento since they were paid for by redevelopment agency funds.

Legislation allowed the city to become a successor agency in order to help wind down the CRA and dispose of assets.

Cities fought unsuccessfully against the state grab but were overruled in court judges who determined that since the state created RDAs, it had the right to dismantle them.

The state is now facing a record $16 billion deficit for the 2012-13 fiscal year.