LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL
AUGUST 16, 2016
A Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 16, 2016, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.
Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza
Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra (Late Attendance)
Council Member Arturo Sicairos
Council Member Alex McCabe
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS
1. Presentation: Keenan Associates (Munimet), Prefunding Other Post Employment
Benefits (OPEB) City Liability.
Representatives from Kennan Associates gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding the Prefunding Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB). They discussed their investment strategies, performance records, and their return on investments compared to CalPERS. After presenting, they made themselves available for questions. No questions were asked by the City Council or the public.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.
City Staff Announcements and Reports.
Contract City Planner Hatch reported on recent Planning Department-related matters. He provided an update on the Motel 6 development. The City received Motel 6’s consolidated plan revisions, addressing comments from various departments (building, engineering, planning, refuse, etc.). Gallo is working with the Motel 6 developer to finalize easements. Environmental review may be required to analyze the project’s traffic impacts. In other matters, the Livingston Community Network is in the process of relocating to a different site. They are considering moving near the Winton Parkway Exit, south of Rancho San Miguel.
Mayor Espinoza asked if the Livingston Community Network (LCN) Project requires City Council approval.
Contract City Planner Hatch replied yes. The LCN relocation requires new construction and site plan approval from City Council.
City Engineer Gouveia reported on Engineering Department-related matters. The City approved Civil Plans for Motel 6 and they are ready to start construction soon. Downtown Improvement plans were recently postponed temporally due to delays in material deliveries. The City is considering repaving the City Hall parking lot. City Engineer Gouveia showed different renderings for monument signs recognizing the Downtown Improvement project.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, asked how much this monument would cost.
City Engineer Gouveia replied that the monument could cost around $5,000.00.
City Manager Announcements and Reports.
Interim City Manager Ortiz reported that the City is reviewing various grant applications for Parks and Recreation-related funding.
City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.
Council Member Soria reminded parents to be careful dropping-off their kids at school now that school is back in session.
Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.
Mayor Espinoza asked Interim City Manager Ortiz for updates on redesigning the City seal.
Interim City Manager Ortiz replied that staff was directed to contact the local art departments for submissions.
Mayor Espinoza opened Citizen Comments at 7:28 p.m.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, asked if the City is recruiting for either a Public Works Director or City Manager.
Interim City Manager Ortiz replied that the City received various applications for the position of Public Works Director. Some applicants were not qualified. The City is looking to fill these positions and other positions within the Parks and Recreation Department and Police Department.
Mayor Espinoza closed Citizen Comments at 7:35 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.
2. Resolution No. 2016-48 Authorizing the Interim City Manager to File a Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) Estimate Exchange Fund Claim Form for Fiscal Year 2015/2016.
3. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 12, 2016.
Motion: M/S Soria/Sicairos to approve the consent calendar. The motion carried 4-0-1 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Sicairos, Soria, Espinoza
NOES: Council Members: None
ABSENT: Council Members: Samra
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
4. Resolution Directing City Staff to Proceed with Planning for the Issuance of Refunding Sewer Obligations and Appointing a Financing Team in Connection Therewith.
Interim City Manager Ortiz introduced this item.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra entered the Council Chambers at 7: 37 p.m.
Mayor Espinoza opened and closed Public Comments at 7:38 p.m., as there were no comments from the public.
Motion: M/S Soria/McCabe to adopt Resolution No. 2016-49 Directing City Staff to Proceed with Planning for the Issuance of Refunding Sewer Obligations and Appointing a Financing Team in Connection Therewith. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: McCabe, Sicairos, Soria, Samra, Espinoza
NOES: Council Members: None
ABSENT: Council Members: None
5. Resolution Approving an Amendment to an Agreement with Gouveia Engineering, Inc. to Extend the Agreement for an Additional Three (3) Years, and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute Amendment
Interim City Manager Ortiz introduced this item. Gouveia Engineering’s contract with the City expires in September. Since working with the City, Gouveia Engineering has assisted with various technical plans and public improvement projects.
Mayor Espinoza commended the Engineering Department for their excellent work.
Council Member McCabe asked why an RFP was required for the Planning Department, but not the Engineering Department.
City Manager Ortiz noted that Gouveia Engineering is in the middle of various projects that could be jeopardized if there is a change in consultants.
Mayor Pro-Tem Samra announced that he has been pleased with Gouveia Engineering and their ability to address water quality issues and public improvements.
Mayor Espinoza closed Public Comments at 7:43 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.
Motion: M/S Soria/Samra to adopt Resolution No. 2016-50 Approving an Amendment to an Agreement with Gouveia Engineering, Inc. to Extend the Agreement for an Additional Three (3) Years, and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute Amendment. The motion carried
4-1-0 by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, Soria, Samra, Espinoza
NOES: Council Members: McCabe
ABSENT: Council Members: None
6. Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget Presentation: Workshop #1 – General Fund.
Interim City Manager Ortiz introduced this item. He gave an overview of the General Fund, projected sales tax revenue, project building fees, etc. He also discussed various revenue streams and expenditures by departments.
City Departments provided presentations on their Department’s needs.
Police Chief Chavez gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding staffing levels. There are currently some vacant positions, including a school resource officer and a dispatcher. Part 1 crimes totaled 527 last year. In 2005, the City passed a resolution to have 1.5 officers for every 1,000 residents. This ratio may need to be increased. Per Capita, Merced County has the highest rate of gang-related homicides in the State. Staffing level challenges are associated with training new staff, increased work load associated with body worn cameras (labor intensive to document), live scan requests, and the management of evidence/coordinating with District Attorney’s Office.
Council Member Soria asked how many reserve officers are on staff.
Police Chief Chavez replied that two reserve officers are on staff.
Council Member Soria recommends having seven reserve officers.
Danna McCarroll, Fire Engineer, gave a presentation regarding Fire Department budget considerations. Budget considerations included obtaining new equipment, providing new facilities, and increasing staffing levels. Fire equipment is currently in good condition, but may need to be replaced soon. Staffing levels average to one person at the Fire Station. Staffing levels have remained the same since 1990, but the City’s population has doubled since then and calls to the Fire Department have quadrupled. The Fire Department’s facility was constructed in 1950 and may be too small.
Council Member Samra asked if additional fire fighters would be paid by the City or Merced County.
Interim City Manager Ortiz noted that he can review the Fire Department’s contract to see who is responsible for payment of additional staff.
Mayor Espinoza asked how much the new fire engine cost.
Engineer McCarroll replied that it cost around ½ million dollars.
Council Member McCabe asked if the current budget includes maintenance.
Interim City Manager Ortiz noted that the City has collected several hundred thousand dollars from impact fees for facility maintenance.
Contract City Planner Hatch noted that the Planning Department is reducing its expected expenditures, because they do not have any technical documents due to the State at this time.
The City Council did not have any questions for the Planning Department.
Recreation Superintendent Benoit gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding her department’s programs for youth, adults, and senior citizens. Their department’s special events include the Easter Egg Hunt, movie nights in the park, the Sweet Potato Festival, the Court of Trees, and the Christmas Parade. Co-sponsored events include the Kite Festival, the 4th of July Festival, and the Downtown Open Market. Challenges for their department include increasing staff with a growth in recreation programs, lack of facilities, maintaining quality equipment, recruiting volunteers, and running the department as minimum wage increases.
Mayor Espinoza opened Public Comments at 8:45 p.m.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, asked if the City budgets for large and small community events like the Sweet Potato Festival, the 4th of July Festival, parades, etc.
Interim City Manager Ortiz replied that the City started monitoring some of these expenditures last year and they are now being included in the City’s budget.
Mayor Espinoza closed Public Comments at 8:48 p.m., as there were no further comments from the public.