MARCH 20, 2007

MEETING MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

MARCH 20, 2007

A Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on March 20, 2007, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Samra presiding.

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance was recited.

ROLL CALL

    Mayor Gurpal Samra

    Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram

    Council Member Frank Vierra

    Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza

    Council Member Roy Soria.

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

No Closed Session was held.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA.

Council Member Vierra asked that Item #10 on the Consent Agenda be pulled for discussion.

PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1.      Appointment of Citizens’ Advisory Committee Members.

Motion:  M/S Samra/Espinoza to appoint Manuel Mercado and Warren Urnberg.
The motion carried 5-0.

      2.   Appointment of Recreation Commission Members.

Motion:  M/S Soria/Ingram to appoint Ricardo Soria, Jon Rodacy, Lupe Garcia, Rick Amerson and Rosa Gomez.  The motion carried 5-0.                                                                                        

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

      Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Nick Dawidczick, Administrative Assistant, reported that Supervisor Pedrozo will be in Sacramento for a legislative conference from Tuesday through Friday of next week.    

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Soria reported he had received a citizen concern regarding the grass dying at Arakelian Park.  It was determined that the sprinklers were broken and the problem was rectified.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram commented on concerns from citizens on letting go of the revenue for City park fees.  He noted that comments were made that the fees may have been lowered too much and may need to be revisited.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports

Mayor Samra addressed video surveillance of City Council meetings and encourage audience participation during agenda items.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram suggested a town hall meeting be held to address the issue.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Beatrice Flores, 329 East Avenue, commented she had received a notice from Gilton regarding moving the garbage cans from the alley to the street.  Ms. Flores noted that she opposes the change because the garbage gets spilled in the street and the smell in the neighborhood is offensive.  She added that the street is very dark and requested more lighting.

City Manager Warne noted that the City is currently conducting a study of the entire City and making recommendations for additional lighting to specific areas.

Pamela Tamez, 440 Main Street, expressed concern about the garbage on Main Street and the vacated building.  Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram noted that there is a potential buyer for the vacant building for office space.  Ms. Tamez also thanked the City maintenance crew for taking care of the graffiti problem in a timely manner.  She asked about the potential truck stop, and how the City will address the issue of drugs and prostitution.

Mayor Samra noted that the item will be on the next City Council agenda for discussion. 

Peggy Gibson, 2265 Johannisburg Drive, addressed tree roots that have raised sidewalks and caused hazards.  City Manager Warne reported on the preparation of a Downtown Master Plan to address the aesthetic and the economic component in the downtown and anticipates the Plan will address these issues.

Edward Baptista expressed concern regarding moving the garbage cans from the alley to the street.

Manjit Nagi, 922 J Street, voiced concern regarding retaining quality staff for the City of Livingston, specifically the Police Chief.

Mike Torres 1616 Eighth Street, commented that on Park and Eighth Street there is a house being remodeled and rock where the sidewalk goes.  Mayor Pro Tem Ingram noted the citizen who lives there is currently working with the City to put the sidewalk in correctly around the telephone pole.  Mr. Torres expressed concern about moving the garbage cans to the street.  City Manager Warne noted that the City will be working with Gilton to view each area of the City to determine the best solution (i.e. garbage pick-up in the front or back).

Dennis Wells, 1159 Second Street, asked about sidewalks being put in around the City and how this work was being funded.  Mayor Samra noted that some of the money was received through a grant and some of the funds have been earmarked by the City through the budgetary process.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street, noted that a house on Second Street was moved into the City limits and nothing has been done with the property.  City Manager Warne noted that the City has noticed the owners and is preparing to take the next step.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

3.      Proceedings Under the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972, Division 15, Part 2, of the California Streets and Highways Code for the Approval to Annex Territory and Levy Assessments for the City of Livingston Consolidated Landscape and Streetlight Maintenance Assessment District No. 1, Annexation No. 14 (Gallo Commercial), Public Hearing Confirming Assessments for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing to approve the final Engineer’s Report for Consolidated Landscape and Streetlight Maintenance Assessment District No. 1, Annexation No. 14.

Mayor Samra called upon Bryan Miller from MuniFinancial for a summary.

Mayor Samra asked Executive Assistant Barnes, in the absence of City Clerk Nateras, whether any written objections or protests have been received.

Executive Assistant Barnes noted that no protests or objections were received.

Mayor Samra called for comments from the public.  There were no public comments.

Mayor Samra called for any discussion by the Council.  There was no Council discussion.

Mayor Samra called for additional ballots.  Executive Assistant Barnes commented no additional ballots were received.

Mayor Samra closed the public hearing.

Mayor Samra asked Executive Assistant Barnes to open the ballots received and report on the results.

Executive Assistant Barnes noted there were ten ballots received; the majority voted “no, the District fails to carry.”

4.      Proceedings Under the Benefit Assessment Act of 1982, Government Code Section 54717, Et. Seq., for the Approval to Levy Assessments for the City of Livingston Benefit Assessment District No. 16 (Gallo Commercial), Public Hearing Confirming Assessments for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing to approve the final Engineer’s Report for Benefit Assessment District No. 16.

Mayor Samra called upon Bryan Miller from MuniFinancial for a summary.

Mayor Samra asked Executive Assistant Barnes, in the absence of City Clerk Nateras, whether any written objections or protests were received.

Executive Assistant Barnes noted no protests or objections were received.

Mayor Samra called for any comments from the public.  There were no public comments.

Mayor Samra called for any discussion by the Council.  There was no Council discussion.

Mayor Samra called for any additional ballots.

Executive Assistant Barns noted no additional ballots were received.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing.

Mayor Samra asked Executive Assistant Barnes to open the ballots received and report on the results.

Executive Assistant Barnes commented that ten ballots were received; the majority voted “no, the District failed to carry.”

5.      City of Livingston 2005 Urban Water Management Plan.

Tom Gracey, Carollo Engineering, was available to answer any questions regarding the Plan. 

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 8:33 p.m.

Brian Kelly, Merced Irrigation District, disputed claims in the report  that groundwater quality and quantity is adequate through 2030.  He added that the reference of water plans noted within the master plan are actually only studies at this point.  Mr. Kelley requested that the City become more involved in the Regional water interest, specifically MAGPI, encouraging cities to use the surface water for landscaping and parks.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 8:41 p.m.

Motion:  M/S Ingram/Espinoza to adopt Resolution 2007-11, approving the City of Livingston 2005 Urban Water Management Plan.  The motion carried 5-0 by the following vote:

AYES:         Council Members:    Espinoza, Ingram, Samra, Soria, Vierra

NOES:         Council Members:    None

ABSENT:    Council Members  :  None

RECESS

The Council took a short break at 8:44 p.m.  The meeting resumed at 8:49 p.m.

6.      City of Livingston Circulation/Traffic Draft Master Plan.

        Ken Anderson, KD Anderson Associates, Inc. presented an in-depth overview of the plan.

        Council Member Soria, an advocate of the plan, stated the plan was well prepared in planning for the future.

Council Member Vierra discussed the concern of those homes that fall on the east side of Hammatt where the lane widening is proposed.  He noted that there are solutions to achieve the lane widening with less impact on residents (i.e., purchase the homes as they go on the market and rent them out for affordable housing).


Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram  recommended the City look for grant monies for some of the current traffic issues to alleviate the truck traffic utilizing F Street to Dwight to Highway 140 and Washington out across the Merced River and maintain the greenbelt around the City.

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 9:13 p.m.

        Jim Marnatti, Foster Farms, voiced concern and submitted written comments regarding the proposed extension of Winton Parkway to Olive Avenue which he noted will cut across Foster’s reclamation area.  He commented that Foster Farms is under mandate to increase its reclamation areas.  

Carter Luxon, Foster Farms, addressed the Robin Avenue commercial truck route and expressed concern about the amount of commercial traffic and the alternative plan.

        Debra Phillips, 1421 Hammatt, asked about the cost per home quoted in the plan.  Mayor Samra explained the cost was that which the developers would pay for each new house. Ms. Phillips also asked how the plan would lay out if Hammatt Avenuewere to be widened and how would the purchase of property be handled.  Mayor Samra stated it was too early in the process to determine that and the rest of the Council noted that it is the goal of the Council to minimize the impact.

Lee Moren, 6140 Hunter Road, commented that Sultana is going to be widened to Highway 140 and possibly I-5 and noted that traffic can be routed through Sultana and up the Frontage Road.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, was concerned about traffic at Peach and Eighth Street and how the proposed addition to Livingston High School will impact the project.

Luis Naranjo, 1515 Main Street, was supportive of alternative measures to widen Hammatt Avenue, but was not supportive of eminent domain.

Darryl Jantz, Robin Avenue, recommended the truck route go to Washington Blvd. or through Robin Avenue and out to Highway 140.  He noted that Winton Parkway to B Street needs to be fixed.   Mayor Samra noted the City currently has a plan to upgrade that area.

Pirus Abraham, 11466 Peach Avenue, addressed the Hunter Road overpass and was concerned with the number of crossings shown in the plan.  He noted that his property will be split vertically and horizontally.

Alex Alveraz, 902 Main Street, noted the plan is a draft proposal at this point.  He added that if cities do not plan for the future with infrastructure there will be loss of revenues to the city.

          Jean Okuye, 10029 W. Olive Avenue, expressed concern about growth and the protection of agricultural land.

Manjit Nagi, 922 J Street, suggested that engineers go to the sites to perform studies in order to make more accurate recommendations.

Ramon Martinez, 1435 Hammatt, asked about the plans to build another truck stop.  He was concerned with the amount of traffic that will be generated with a truck stop.

        Gabriel Salazar, 1024 Sunset Court, asked if the proposed truck stop will be voted on at the next Council meeting.  Mayor Samra replied yes.

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street, questioned if the Police Chief had reviewed the plan.  It was noted that all City Department Heads received a copy of the plan.

          There were many other people that addressed the plan and expressed concern on how the plan would affect their properties and various other issues.

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 10:04 p.m.

Council Member Soria recalled that twenty years ago the City was working on the realignment of Highway 99 and relayed how the process took place.  He noted that this plan is a draft proposal and he recommended that the City practice smart growth.

Council Member Vierra noted the plan is a draft and that is was important to think to the future.  He added the City needs a plan to begin working on and the draft plan is flexible and can be changed as needed.

Council Member Espinoza recommended taking Hunter Road out of the plan and making the Sultana Interchange eight lanes.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram’s desire was to protect agricultural land and control growth smartly.  He noted the plan was an alternative if the community grows at the estimated rate.  Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram also noted that a truck exit could be added behind Travel Centers of America going out Robin Avenue


Mayor Samra commented the plan is a draft that can be updated and changed as the City sees fit.  He also recommended that the portion of the plan that includes the Hunter Road overpass be removed, a frontage road be added to the south side of 99 from Hammatt to Peach and the width of Sultana be increased to eight lanes.

            The Council took no action on this item. 

CONSENT CALENDAR


    Motion:  M/S Espinoza/Ingram to approve the following consent calendar items:

  1. Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on March 6, 2007.

8.      Approval of Warrant Register Dated March 13, 2007.

9.      Approval of Merced County Association of Governments Work Program and Budget for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

            The motion carried 5-0.  

      10. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 557, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-6-5 (D) 2 Nonconforming Structures.


Community Development Director Kenney presented the agenda item.

Council Member Vierra asked for clarification on the municipal code and the impact of changing the code to revitalize the downtown.

Joseph Enos, 1439 E Street, recommended designating a portion of the downtown area for professional use.

Dennis Wells, 1159 Second Street, stated the City should allow rebuild for historical purposes.

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, commented there is still a lot of property zoned commercial, but is currently residential and recommended re-zoning some areas.

Motion:  M/S Espinoza/Ingram to waive the second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 557, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston amending Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) Section 5-6-5 (D) 2 Nonconforming Structures.  The motion carried 4-1-0 by the following vote:

AYES:         Council Members:    Espinoza, Ingram, Samra, Soria

NOES:         Council Members:    Vierra

ABSENT:    Council Members  :  None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS     .

      11. Authorize the Joint Purchase with the Livingston Union School District of a 36X60 Portable Building for the Expansion of the After-School Program and City Recreation Programs.

Wayne Koehn, representing the school district, noted there was an error in the size of the portable building and the correct size should be 36X40 to allow an increase in the size of the program.

          Mike Torres asked how much the City’s share of the portable building was.  Staff noted the City’s cost would be $168,000.

Dennis Wells asked if there was anything in the agreement similar to the agreement entered into for the community center.

Motion:  M/S Ingram/Soria to authorize the joint purchase with the Livingston Union School District of a 36X40 portable building for the expansion of the After-School Program and City recreation programs.  The motion carried 5-0.

12.  Approval of Warrant No. 62898 – Gurpal Samra.

It was noted that the correct Warrant No. was 62198           .

 

         Motion:  M/S Soria/Espinoza to pay Warrant No. 62198 in the sum of $200.00.

            The motion carried 4-0-1, with Mayor Samra abstaining. 

13.  City Manager Announcements and Reports.

No announcements or reports.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 11:19 p.m.

 

                                                                                 _____________________________

 City Clerk of the City of Livingston 

APPROVED:  April 3, 2007

________________________

 Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

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