Fairfield Q & A

Fairfield Q & A: LLMDs 7, 11, 13

LLMDs No. 7, 11, and 13 have experienced an increase in expenses over the last few years while the yearly assessments have remained the same. As a result, the costs have considerably outweighed available funds, resulting in a budget gap for the LLMDs. Consequently, the annual landscape maintenance service contracts have been reduced. In this post, CivicMic addresses questions received in a Fairfield Q & A format for LLMDs No. 7, 11, and 13.

General Fairfield Q & A

On February 1, 2022, City Council selected the extended timeline for this project. To view the timeline please click here.  Please note that certain aspects of the timeline may be subject to change.

The process required to establish benefit assessment districts vary slightly based on the specific and applicable legislative Act and applicability of the Act is dependent on the specific public improvements and services being funded but in general, the process includes:

1. Formal initiation of the formation process by the legislative body (Board of Supervisors, City Council, Board of Directors) based on a petition from the property owners and/or local officials. 

We generally expect to see the following Resolutions enacted:

  • Resolution initiating proceedings to form the assessment district and ordering of the preparation of the assessment engineer's report.  The report separates and quantifies special and general benefits and provides a method of assessment with a proportional rate schedule.
  • Resolution of intent to form the assessment district, approving the report in draft form, ordering the mailing of notices and ballots to owners of property subject to the assessment, and setting the location, date, and time of the public hearing for the tabulation of ballots.
  • Resolution confirming the assessments, if results from the tabulation of ballots supports it, and the ordering of charges to be placed on the property tax bills.

2. Preparation of an assessment engineer's report. 

The most critical piece of information for a constituent participating in the process.  The report separates and quantifies special and general benefits and provides a method of assessment with a proportional rate schedule showing the assessment charge against each property.

3. Notices and ballots are mailed to owners of property within the boundaries of the assessment district subject to the assessment charge

Only properties receiving a special benefit will be charged the assessment.

4. A public hearing is held to allow all interested parties to speak to the legislative body about the proposed assessment district, the ballots are tabulated and results are announced. 

An assessment district is approved by the property owners if the total assessment amount represented by the ballots received against the assessment does not exceed the total assessment amount represented by the ballots received in favor of the assessment.  In other words, ballots are weighted by the assessment amount assigned to each property.  The greater the assigned amount of the assessment, the greater the say in the results of the tabulation (only returned completed ballots are considered).

5. Assuming successful approval, assessments are added to the secured property tax bills for the term prescribed in the assessment engineer's report and resolutions described above. 

Some assessments have a term and others can last in perpetuity.  Most assessments provide for an annual inflation factor to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of maintaining improvements and providing services.

More information on Benefits Assessment Districts is outlined in this article. 

There is no minimum number of ballots that need to be returned for a valid Proposition 218 balloting procedure.  However, the goal of the outreach and public engagement efforts by CivicMic, sponsored by the City, is to maximize participation and provide an opportunity for all voices to be heard.  Participating residents and stakeholders are encouraged to share information found at https://www.civicmic.com/city-of-fairfield/ about this process.  In addition, anyone can subscribe to receive updates via email when new information is posted.  Please click here to subscribe.  

a. How are the ballots tabulated?

Only completed ballots received before the end of the public testimony portion of the public hearing are considered for tabulation.  The tabulation is weighted by assessment amount (not the number of ballots received in favor or against).  Ballots contain the assessment amount applicable to each property within the boundaries of the proposed assessment district.

The City Council may adopt a resolution ordering the formation of an assessment district if the total assessment amount represented by the ballots in opposition does not exceed the total of the assessment amount represented by the ballots in favor.  Below are the three possible tabulation scenarios:

  • Pass – The total assessment amount in favor exceeds the total assessment amount in opposition.
  • Pass – The total assessment amount in favor is the same as the total assessment amount in opposition (a tie).
  • Fail – The total assessment amount in favor is less than the total assessment amount in opposition.

The engineer who first formed these Districts did not outline in the original report the general vs special benefit area, however, the areas being assessed are receiving a special benefit. 

The City is not responsible for the enhanced landscape and lighting services that are funded by each LLMD. The increased frequency of services and certain improvements are a direct result of the revenue generated by the assessment. Without an LLMD many of the services would not be covered or significantly reduced. 

Rolling Hills LLMD No. 7 Q & A

Under the previous contract, the annual cost for contractor services was $330,000, not including utilities of approximately $130,000, for an estimated total amount of $460,000 (contractor services and utilities).

Under the new contract, the annual cost for contractor services is expected to be $81,312, not including utilities estimated to be under $120,000, for an estimated total amount of $201,312 (contractor services and utilities).

The new contract has resulted in estimated savings of $258,688.

The new scope of work, representing a reduction in maintenance services for LLMD No. 7, includes basic lawn mowing, annual shrub and ground cover pruning, high weed mowing, v­ditch and drain cleaning, and leaf, litter, and trash removal.

Service Changes by Area Type

Lawn: There will be no change to leaf, litter and trash removal services, hard fescue seed head removal, or hard fescue edging. All other services will be removed.

Shrubs and Trees: There will be no change to staking/removal/re-bracing services, shrub pruning will still occur 3 times a year, and tree pruning will continue on an as-needed basis. Leaf, litter and trash removal services will be reduced to bi-weekly.  All other services will be removed.

Ground Cover & Vines: Leaf, litter and trash removal services will be reduced to bi-weekly. Prune and edge ground cover services will remain unchanged. All other services will be removed.

Undeveloped Areas: Leaf, litter and trash removal services will be reduced to bi-weekly. High-weed mowing will be reduced to bi-biweekly. All other services will be removed.

Gravel Service Roads: Services will not change or be removed.

Paved Areas: Leaf, litter and trash removal services will be reduced to bi-weekly.  All other services will be removed.

Site Considerations: Site inspections with LMM and v-ditch and drain cleaning services will remain unchanged. All other services will be removed.

For a detailed schedule and list of services by area please click here.

Please refer to the table below to see the revenue, expenditures, and net amounts for LLMD No. 7 each year for FY 11-12 through FY 15-16.

annual surplus

Parcels that do not receive a special benefit from the services and improvements provided by the district are not charged an assessment. The City’s consultant will be conducting a benefit analysis of all the parcels within the district to determine if the parcels being used for cattle grazing should be charged an assessment.

Paradise Valley & North Cordelia Q & A

Under the previous contract, the annual cost for contractor services was $155,000, not including utilities of approximately $65,000, for an estimated total amount of $220,000 (contractor services and utilities).

Under the new contract, the annual cost for contractor services is expected to be $89,952, not including utilities estimated to be under $65,000 for an estimated total amount of $154,952 (contractor services and utilities).

The new contract has resulted in estimated savings of $65,048.

Services Changes by Area Type:

The new scope of work, representing a reduction in maintenance services for LLMD No. 11, includes basic lawn mowing and edging, annual shrub and ground cover pruning and mowing, basic irrigation sprinkler emitter repairs, high weed mowing, v-ditch, and drain cleaning, and leaf, litter, and trash removal.

Lawn: No changes will be made to leaf, litter, and trash removal services, mowing services, or edging services. Irrigations repairs will only encompass sprinkler/emitter repairs. Irrigation system checks will be reduced to monthly. All other services will be removed.

Shrub & Trees: No changes will be made to staking/removal/rebracing services. Shrub pruning services will occur 3X a year in Apr‐May, Jul‐Aug, and Oct‐Nov. Irrigations repairs will only encompass sprinkler/emitter repairs. Irrigation system checks will be reduced to monthly. Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. All other services will be removed.

Ground Cover & Vines: Mowing services will not change. Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. Irrigations repairs will only encompass sprinkler/emitter repairs. Irrigation system checks will be reduced to monthly. Prune & edge groundcover services will occur 4X a year in Feb, May, Sep, Nov. All other services will be removed.

Undeveloped Areas: Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. High-weed mowing services will remain the same. All other services will be removed.

Paved Areas: Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. All other services will be removed.

Site Considerations: Site inspections with LMM, v-ditch and drain cleaning, and irrigation pump filter cleaning will remain the same. All other services will be removed.

For a detailed schedule and list of services by area please click here.

Under the previous contract, the annual cost for contractor services was $340,000, not including utilities of approximately $144,000, for an estimated total amount of $484,000 (contractor services and utilities).

Under the new contract, the annual cost for contractor services is expected to be $313,804, not including utilities estimated to be under $144,000 for an estimated total amount of $457,804 (contractor services and utilities).

The new contract has resulted in estimated savings of $26,196.

Services Changes by Area Type:

The new scope of work, representing a reduction in maintenance services for LLMD No. 13, includes lawn mowing, edging, and weed control, annual shrub and ground cover pruning, mowing, and pest/disease control, basic irrigation sprinkler emitter repairs, high weed mowing, v¬ditch and drain cleaning, leaf, litter, and trash removal, and pond maintenance.

Lawn: Irrigations repairs will only encompass sprinkler/emitter repairs. Irrigation system checks will be reduced to monthly. Aeration & renovation services and fertilization services will be removed. No other services will be changed.

Shrub & Trees: Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. Irrigations repairs will only encompass sprinkler/emitter repairs. Irrigation system checks will be reduced to monthly. Plant, tree, and bark replacement services will be removed. Shrub fertilizer services will be removed. All other services will remain the same.

Ground Cover & Vines: Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. Irrigations repairs will only encompass sprinkler/emitter repairs. Irrigation system checks will be reduced to monthly. Prune & edge groundcover services will occur 3X a year in Feb, May, Sep. Fertilizer services will be removed. All other services will remain the same.

Annual Flowers: Flower-changing services will be removed.

Undeveloped Areas: Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly.  Weed control and high-weed mowing services will remain the same. All other services will be removed.

Paved Areas: Leaf, litter, and trash removal will be reduced to bi-weekly. All other services will remain the same.

Site Considerations: Site inspections with LMM, v-ditch and drain cleaning, and light sanding and repainting of backflow cages and controller cabinets will remain the same. All other services will be removed.

Pond Maintenance: Water level inspection and adjustment will be removed. All other services with remain the same.

For a detailed schedule and list of services by area please click here.

There are 1,034 residential parcels currently being assessed and no commercial parcels.

No, the LLMD is charged based on actual costs for personnel and overhead allocation.

No environmental study was completed. 

  1. The FY 21-22 budgeted admin costs were approved at $68k for LLMD No. 11 and $86k for LLMD No. 13.
  2. As of January 31, 2022, $578 has been spent on the NBS consultant in each district ($1,156 total).

  3. There are other costs including utilities and Solano County fees.

Approximately 690 personnel hours were allocated to LLMD No. 11 and approximately 790 personnel hours were allocated for LLMD No. 13 during the FY 21-22 annual budget and assessment approval proceedings.

Staff identified the deficit during the annual FY 21-22 budget and assessment approval proceedings and immediate action was taken to ensure a positive fund balance.

They are not. Below is the revenue percentage change by fiscal year:

LLMD No. 11

LLMD No.13

FY17-18: 21%

FY17-18: -1%

FY18-19: 6%

FY18-19: 12%

FY19-20: -4%

FY19-20: 10%

FY20-21: 9%

FY20-21: 2%

Yes, it does.

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1 thought on “Fairfield Q & A: LLMDs 7, 11, 13”

  1. Paradise Valley LLMD should not be responsible for
    Manual Campos , the BERM by highway 80 also
    Any City owned property. Remove those and add an inflator so we don’t have to go through this again in a couple of years
    Thank you

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