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Chico City Council tackles homeless issues, again

Published On: Oct 21 2013 07:41:58 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

The Chico City Council is gearing up for what is expected to be a huge turnout Tuesday night as they tackle the homeless issue again.

City leaders will meet and brainstorm to figure out how to best deal with the homeless in the downtown area.

In August, the city council rejected an ordinance that would have cited the homeless for loitering or aggressive panhandling in the downtown area with one council member saying it hasn't worked in other cities.

The council has invited business and community leaders to a brainstorming session.      
They'll use huge sticky-note pads to collect ideas for an ordinance that they hope will help solve the problem.  The goal is to have an ordinance approved by next spring.
Councilman Randall Stone said police cannot solve the problem alone, because of cutbacks they have to focus on more serious crimes. 

"The enforcement even if you did have it, is not effective enforcement," said Stone.  "What we do know is in all of those other cities a PBID, a property business improvement district is essential to the success to address those issues, but we need to have the downtown property owners who want to fix their downtown area."

Businesses in that PBID could pay a special tax and then use that money to do any number of things to improve the area including: hiring private security, improving street lights, or any improvement they think would help the issue.

All of the council members will be involved in the brainstorm meeting-except for Ann Schwab, who owns a business in downtown.    
The meeting starts 6:00 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.