Frequently Asked Questions for LMD 87-1
What does a Landscape Maintenance District assessment pay for?
The LMD assessment covers the cost for water, electricity, and contracted labor for tree trimming, gardening, litter control, weed abatement and other upkeep and general maintenance. Landscape improvements in LMD 87-1 are generally located along the streets and medians.
How will the proposed assessment rate be calculated?
The formula was developed that bases the assessment rate on the number of properties, the size of area that is maintained, the type of improvements currently in the LMD and the property's proximity/access to the improvements.
The proposed re-engineered LMD will separate the commercial properties from LMD 87-1 into a new re-engineered district 19-1 and add properties to the district. Currently, the commercial properties pay two different assessments. In the proposed re-engineered LMD, all properties will pay the same assessment, some improvements will remain in LMD 87-1, some improvements will share costs between the proposed LMD 19-1 and LMD 87-1 and some improvements will be maintained by the City's general fund.
Why is this going to ballot now?
The cost of maintaining landscape in LMD 87-1 continues to rise due to increased water costs and paying prevailing wages, and past drought conditions. There is a reserve fund that can cover the difference for now, but the City is trying to get ahead of the process and not wait to go out for ballot until levels of service have been scaled back to the point that the landscape is deteriorating. The capital reserve fund has been bridging the ever-widening gap between revenue and expenses. At the this rate, the capital reserve balance will only be able to sustain the current service levels for three years.
What areas of Poway are being asked to vote on a new assessment structure?
The City of Poway will send ballots to property owners in the re-engineered LMD 19-1. The ballot outcome will be measured by weighted votes in this LMD. Proposition 218 mandates the City to provide an independent engineering review to determine which parcels receive special benefit from the existing landscape improvements. By law, the City cannot simply raise the assessments of those currently assessed.
When will the ballot be mailed and when are they due?
Ballots will be mailed on April 5, 2019. Property owners have a 45-day window to return postage pre-paid ballots.
What will it take to pass the ballot?
The vote will be based on a simple majority of ballots received. All property owners receiving ballots have a voice and an opportunity to determine the future service level and improvements in their LMD.
What happens if the LMD ballot doesn't pass?
Property owners would continue to pay their current assessment rate and there will continue to be insufficient funding to pay for landscaping. This means future reduced service maintenance levels and no opportunity for reinvesting in landscaping improvements.
If passed, will the assessment stay the same or is there a provision to raise future rates?
The main objective of collecting an assessment is to provide maintenance service in an LMD area. The proposed ballot would include the opportunity for the City to adjust assessments based on the San Diego consumer price index. The CPI adjustment is optional (as needed) and maxes out at 3 percent.
Why is a CPI adjustment necessary?
At this time, revenue collected in LMD 87-1 remains flat, but costs associated with water, power and contracted maintenance continue to rise. The assessment collected in this district can only be used in this district and, conversely, money spent to maintain this districted is only collected from within the district. If a new rate was set with no mechanism to keep pace with inflation, then the cycle of declining services would inevitably begin again.
What is the current budget for LMD 87-1?
The current budget is $989,575. Each LMD has its own budget and information about the current fiscal year, along with the engineer's report, is public record. (View the City Council agenda report).
How often does the City rebid contracts for maintenance? How are the maintenance contracts monitored?
The City rebids the contracts every 3 to 5 years. The maintenance contracts are monitored on a daily basis.
Does the LMD cover tree trimming or street sweeping?
Street sweeping is provided through the general fund. Tree trimming and sweeping the sidewalks is a part of the LMD.