August 5, 2008

 

MEETING MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 5, 2008

 

A Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held on August 5, 2008, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Samra presiding.

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 6:17 p.m.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag 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. It was scheduled, but cancelled.

 

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

City Manager Warne requested that Item #7 on the consent agenda be pulled for discussion.

Page 2 of 12

 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

 

1. Fire Department Presentation – Robert Bonilla, CALFIRE/Merced County FireDepartment and Jose Flores, Livingston Volunteer Fire Chief.

 

Robert Bonilla, Fire Apparatus Engineer, gave a report on the 1000 plus fire calls theLivingston firefighters have responded to and assisted with to date. He displayed the old gear the Department was using and the new turn-outs that were recently purchased. Engineer Bonilla thanked the City for funding the purchase of the new equipment. He also presented an update on the improvements that were being made to the Livingston Station.

 

Volunteer Fire Chief Jose Flores was also present and spoke briefly.

 

City Manager Warne noted that the City Council approved the funding for the new

equipment. The Council subsequently took pictures with the Fire Department staff.

 

2. Presentation and Approval of a Community Emergency Notification System.

 

Police Chief Eldridge gave a detailed presentation on a Livingston Community Emergency Notification System and requested the City Council approve a one year contract with Code Red Emergency Notifications System for implementation of the system.

 

Chief Eldridge explained that both the City Council and residents have asked about what the capabilities are to notify the community in the event of a disaster or City emergency. The Department has relied on the future installation of a Reverse 911 System for this capability. He commented that staff was recently contacted by Code Red Emergency Notifications Systems located in Ormond Beach, Florida regarding an enhanced emergency notification system which would not require the purchase of expensive hardware and software. The City would operate an emergency notification system using its own hardware and software.

 

Chief Eldridge commented that the system is user friendly and can be launched from the Department’s communications center or from a location outside of the Department in the event of a serious emergency. The Department would have the ability to limit notifications to a specific area within the City or the entire community depending on the emergency. The Department would have the ability to geographically target a specific area of where the incident community.

 

Chief Eldridge further commented that the system allows the Department to set up group contacts. The system would have the capability to group personnel by site such as school principals, public works personnel, City Council, City Administration and emergency personnel. During an emergency the Department would be able to immediately send out a communication to specific groups advising them of the situation and requesting a certain action on their part.

 

Page 3 of 12

 

Calls out for emergency personnel would be easy and quick for communications personnel who have limited time during a critical incident. Key personnel within the community could be updated on a situation routinely with minimal effort.

 

Gerri Martin. 16181 W. Vinewood Avenue, asked if the system is just for the City or would the County be included.

 

Chief Eldridge replied that the system would be for all telephone numbers with the 394 prefix, so it was possible to include the County as well.

 

City Manager Warne commented that he had seen a demonstration of this system at a conference and was very impressed. He added that the system is much better than the Reverse 911 System. Council Member Espinoza asked if the system will contact cell phones.

 

Chief Eldridge replied that the system will only pick-up 394 numbers, but he will check on the cell phones.

 

Council Member Vierra asked if there would be an extra charge if the City goes over the 19,000 allowable minutes.

 

Chief Eldridge explained that there would be a charge if the City exceeded 19,000 minutes. The company will give the City 3,000 minutes for system testing.

 

Council Member Soria also asked about cell phones pointing out that a lot of people now have cell phones instead of regular phones.

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram also asked about the inclusion of cell phone numbers in the system.

 

Chief Eldridge said he would check into the matter. He would like the ability to include cell phones, but he can’t guarantee that it would be possible.

 

Mayor Samra commented that he had talked to Chief Eldridge regarding the system and is in support. He also wants Chief Eldridge to check on the cell phones.

 

Motion: M/S Ingram/Vierra to approve a one year contract with Code Red Emergency Notifications Systems for the implementation of a Livingston Community Emergency Notification System. The motion carried 5-0.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

 

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

None.

 

Page 4 of 12

 

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

None.

 

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

None.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

3. Resolution to Report to the Public the City of Livingston’s Progress on all Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Activities, Discuss the City’s Fiscal Year 2008-2009 CDBG Programs and Solicit Citizen Input.

 

Jasmin Bains, Senior Accountant stated that the City of Livingston is required by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to conduct a public hearing to inform the public of the City’s proposed and actual use of CDBG funds, obtain citizens’ views, and respond to proposals and questions.

 

The public hearing must be properly noticed in advance, mention the availability of additional information, how to obtain it, and comment if interested parties are unable to attend the public hearing. Staff has complied with these requirements by advertising in  local area newspaper, the Merced Sun-Star, as well as posting the public notice at City Hall. The maximum award limit that the City of Livingston is eligible to compete for is a combined total of $500,000 each year under both General and Economic Development Components and $35,000 per year for the General and $35,000 per year for the Economic Development Planning and Technical Assistance components. The range of possible applications under the CDBG program is quite extensive and at least 51 percent of State CDBG funds must be used for housing. Projects funded with CDBG allocations must carry out at least one of three National Objectives, as follows: benefits to targeted income group (TIG) persons, elimination of slums and blight and meeting urgent community development.

 

Ms.Bains introduced Ruben Moreno and James Espinoza representing RM Associates who presented the first reports.

 

Mr. Moreno and Mr. Espinoza talked about the surveys that were conducted for these grants and gave further information on the different surveys.

 

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 6:59 p.m.

 

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston, asked about the Downtown Enhancement Plan. She talked about art deco architectural style and cultural diversity.

 

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, asked how the Exterior Housing Condition Survey was

conducted.

 

Page 5 of 12

 

Mr. Moreno explained that the survey had a checklist and it was completed from the outside of the house.

 

Mr. Torres asked further questions regarding this grant which were answered by the RM Associates representatives.

 

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 7:11 p.m. as there were no further questions from the public.

 

Council Member Soria commented that the grants were a benefit for the community.

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram and Council Member Espinoza had no comments.

 

Council Member Vierra commented that he was impressed with the surveys.

 

Motion: M/S Ingram/Soria to adopt Resolution No. 2008-44, accepting and authorizing the following reports prepared by RM Associates and submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in relation to the funded grants:

Grant 04-PTAA-03325 Community Facility Feasibility Study Downtown Enhancement Plan Grant 05 PTAA-1453

Income Survey

Exterior Housing Condition Survey

Economic Development Study

 

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

 

Ms. Bains stated staff anticipates applying for 2009 CDBG funds and would like to request ideas on needs and suitable projects from the City Council and the public. Not all concepts may qualify or be competitive, however, at this point we should seek to identify potential needs, and staff can then discuss these with HCD representatives to determine which projects may be more successful. Following is a very preliminary list of potential projects.

 

Again, it is not known if all of these projects would be eligible or competitive, nor is it known to what extent the community and City Council may or may not support these projects. They are offered only for discussion purposes.

 

The CDBG Economic Development Allocation, Over -the -Counter Component will announce availability of grant funds with a maximum award limit of $2,500,000 per jurisdictional applicant, to be awarded on a continuous basis for eligible projects. Funds under this program are available in the form of business or developer loans and

 

Page 6 of 12

infrastructure assistance in support of development or expansion for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs for income eligible households.

 

The CDBG Planning and Technical Assistance (PTA) Grants Component has announced the availability of up to $70,000 per year for eligible Economic Development activities and up to $70,000 per year for eligible general planning activities in its July 2008-2009 NOFA. These grants are awarded on a first come first serve basis.

 

The CDBG General Allocations Component will announce availability of grant funds with a maximum award limit of $500,000 per year to be awarded for eligible projects, in its 2008/2009 NOFA. Funds under this program are available to fund housing activities, public works, community facilities, and public service projects serving lower-income people.

 

Ms. Bains subsequently introduced Susan Atkins representing Self-Help Enterprises who also prepared some of the City grants.

 

Mayor Samra asked if the Council had any questions.

 

All Council members concurred that this was a good survey and thanked Ms. Atkins for

preparing the survey.

 

Mayor Samra opened the item for public comments at 7:20 p.m..

 

Katherine Schell Rodriguez asked if grant monies could be used to make housing modifications for the physically disabled.

 

Ms. Atkins commented that there is funding for modifications to be made for the

physically disabled.

The public comment period was closed by Mayor Samra at 7:22 p.m.

 

here was no further City Council action needed.

 

4. Administrative Appeal 2008-01, Concerning the Approved Conditional Use Permit 2008-

03 for the Electric Needle Room. Community Development Director Kenney presented the agenda item.

 

Mayor Samra opened and subsequently closed the Public Hearing at 7:44 p.m. as there were no comments from the public.

 

Council Member Vierra clarified that he was not against this project. He asked if the business owners were present. The business owners were present. Council Member Vierra wanted the owners to know what the conditions of approval are. He wants it clearly stated that the owners are aware that body art work (tattoos) must not be applied on any person under the age of 18.

 

Page 7 of 12

 

Director Kenney explained that the business owners are aware of Council Member Vierra’s concern.

 

Council Member Espinoza asked if there is a law against minors loitering in this type of establishment as he was concerned about this.

 

Council Member Soria had the same concerns as Council Member Espinoza.

 

Chief Eldridge understood Council Member Vierra’s concerns, but feels there will not be a problem because of the location of the establishment. His only concern is that the employees that will be doing the work are certified.

 

Tessa McIntire, business owner, commented that they will not tattoo minors. She also commented that they don’t want any loitering. In regards to the gates, they will have a security camera where they will be able to see if anyone goes out toward the car lot.

 

Council Member Soria referred to the sketches of the business and asked what will be located in the extra room.

 

Ms. McIntire indicated it will be for equipment storage.

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram congratulated the owners for selecting Livingston as the location to open their business.

 

Motion: M/S Ingram/Espinoza to uphold the decision of the Livingston Planning Commission to approve Conditional Use Permit 2008-03 for the Electric Needle Room.

 

The motion carried 5-0.

 

5. Resolution Setting the City of Livingston’s Gann Appropriations Limit for the Fiscal Year 2008-2009.

 

The agenda item was presented by Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lewis.

 

Mayor Samra opened and subsequently closed the Public Hearing at 7:48 p.m. as there were no comments from the public.

 

Motion: M/S Ingram/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2008-45 setting the City of

 

Livingston’s Gann Appropriations Limit for Fiscal Year 2008/2009 at $3,485,387.

 

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

 

6. Review and Discussion of City Fiscal Year 2008-2009 Budget.

 

City Manager Warne presented and reviewed the City’s Fiscal Year 2008-2009 Budget highlights. He pointed out that the agenda item was not to adopt the budget, but to take public comments and receive City Council guidance.

 

Page 8 of 12

 

Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 7:52 p.m.

 

Gerri Martin commented the City had collected no fees for the Court Theater last year.

 

City Manager Warne asked Ms. Martin to turn to page 335 of the budget. Not every single family unit pays amenities fees. Amenities fees were not collected for any development approved prior to 2005. He referred to page 343 of the budget to show that the City had not collected any money from the amenities fees last year.

 

Mayor Samra left the Council Chambers at 8:00 p.m. for a personal matter. Mayor Pro- Tem Ingram announced that the Mayor had to leave, so he was in charge of conducting the meeting.

 

Mayor Samra returned to the Council Chambers at 8:03 p.m.

 

Judy Blevins, P.O. Box 842, Livingston had a question about population counts in the

 

General Plan Update and was told this comment period was for budget issues only.

 

Mike Torres, 1616 Eighth Street, had a problem with the General Plan maps that were in the water bills. He felt they should be in color.

 

Community Development Director Kenney stated the purpose of the map was to show citizens whether or not their properties were in the General Plan Update planning area and that was all. Colored maps are available at City Hall and on the City website.

 

Katherine Schell Rodriguez had numerous budget questions and Assistant City

 

Manager/Finance Director Lewis offered to meet with her and provide her with answers.

 

Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255, Livingston, submitted a letter which was read by City Manager Warne raising various questions about the budget.

 

City Manager Warne answered the questions raised in the letter.

 

Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 8:34 p.m. there being no further public comments.

 

Council Members Espinoza, Soria and Vierra didn’t have any comments.

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram went into a lengthy comment on his view of the budget and that it included more than the future expansion of the Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plant.

 

Mayor Samra asked Chief Eldridge about the significant increase on computer expenses.

 

City Manger Warne and Chief Eldridge explained that most of the expenses are for service agreements for Police Department hardware and software. City Manager Warne stated that the County was charging the City $39,464 per year to maintain Police Department hardware and software. The City will spend $44,696 in a State COPS Grant to replace this equipment and reduce this cost.

 

Page 9 of 12

 

Mayor Samra asked Chief Eldridge if his Department could survive on their budget.

 

Chief Eldridge commented that the Department will make it through the fiscal year.

 

Mayor Samra posed the same question to Recreation Superintendent Benoit.

 

Recreation Superintendent Benoit said her Department could manage on their budget.

 

Mayor Samra asked City Manager Warne about the Public Works Department and if their budget was sufficient for the fiscal year. He raised questions regarding other City

departments.

 

City Manager Warne stated that the budget was tight, but was sufficient for all City Departments.

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram feels the City Council needs to hold a budget workshop.

 

No action was taken by the Council.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

 

Gerri Martin is glad that the City is planning ahead, but continues to worry about her land that the City may use for its domestic wastewater treatment plant expansion. She has attended Council meetings for the past year, and continues to ask the Council what plans they have for the Horta property and they keep saying they don’t know. She wants the City to figure it out.

 

Katherine Schell Rodriguez thanked Vickie Lewis for her hard work on the budget. She also thanked Filomena Arredondo for making the extra effort to mail out her request for information. She has a concern regarding abandoned vehicles. The new ordinance basically says we can’t have a partially restored vehicle even if it’s clean and we are working on it. Her concern is that someone will be knocking on her door and tell her she needs to get rid of the vehicle.

 

City Manager Warne stated that this was not the intent of the ordinance. He said the ordinance cannot be changed because it needed to meet State law for City to get the future Vehicle Abatement Funds.

 

Mike Torres raised a concern about a detail shop because he noticed they are changing oil on the premises. He will provide City staff with the business address. He also raised a concern about the park on Peach Avenue and what is going to be done with that lawn that is ruined.

 

City Manager Warne said the developer will replace the grass once the drainage problems are solved.

 

Carol Walters, 656 “F” Street, commented on a foreclosure home at 1628 Eighth Street that is a potential fire hazard. She has spoken to some Council Members and City Hall staff, but nothing has been done about the situation. She thanked the Council for their support of the Fire Department.

 

City Manager Warne said he will look into it.

 

Page 10 of 12

 

Chief Eldridge invited the Council to the Neighborhood Visit barbecue on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. He also noted that a new officer will be sworn in on Thursday, August 7.

 

City Manager Warne read a second letter from Colette Alvernaz. Her comments related to the following: Extending the comment period on the General Plan, Environmental Impact Report and Technical Appendix from 45 days to 90 days as allowed by CEQA, to follow the example of Merced County and make the City’s proposed 2025 General Plan, Environmental Impact Report and Master Plans available in Spanish and eight other languages on the City website to encourage public comment and input. The City should also hold a public meeting during the 45 day comment period so the public can make comments and be a part of the permanent record.

Council Member Espinoza asked that Item #10 on the consent agenda be pulled for discussion.

 

CONSENT CALENDAR

The following consent calendar items were presented for the City Council’s consideration;

 

7. Resolution No. 2008-46 Awarding a Construction Contract for the Rehabilitation of Various City Streets 2008 (Project A) and Proposition 1-B Roadway Rehabilitation Project (Project B) to Top Grade Construction, Inc.

 

Pulled by City Manager Warne.

 

8. Resolution No. 2008-47 Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with J.B. Anderson Land Use Planning for the Housing Element Update.

 

9. Resolution No. 2008-48 Approving Submittal of a Grant Application to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for HOME Investment Partnerships Program Funds.

 

10. Waive the Second Reading and Adopt Ordinance No. 575, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending Chapter 8 of Title 1 of the Livingston Municipal Code Relating to Nuisances and Property Maintenance Relating to Abandoned Vehicles. Pulled by Council Member Espinoza.

 

11. Approval of Warrant Register Dated July 8, 2008.

 

12. Approval of Warrant Register Dated August 1, 2008.

 

13. Approval of Minutes of City Council Meeting Held on July 15, 2008. Motion: M/S Ingram/Espinoza to approve Items 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13. The motion carried 5-0.

 

Page 11 of 12

 

Item #7

City Manager Warne explained that the streets for these projects were selected by the City Engineer and the Public Works Department and there was no political pressure from any Council Member. Three of the Council Members have a conflict of interest because they live within 500 feet of the selected streets.

 

City Attorney Subramanian explained the procedures on who of the three would be permitted to vote per State law. Names were drawn and Mayor Samra was selected. Council Members with conflicts are required to place their names in a container, and one would be chosen by lot to vote.

 

Motion: M/S Soria/Ingram to adopt Resolution No. 2008-46 awarding the construction contract for the aforementioned street projects to Top Grade Construction, Inc. The motion carried 3-0-2 by the following vote:

 

AYES: Council Members: Ingram, Samra, Soria

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ABSTAIN: Council Members: Espinoza, Vierra

 

Item #10

Motion: M/S Soria/Vierra to waive the second reading of Ordinance No. 575, as noted above.

 

The motion carried 3-0-1-1 by the following vote:

 

AYES: Council Members: Samra, Soria, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: Ingram

ABSTAIN: Council Members: Espinoza

 

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

 

14. Approval of Warrant No. 65780 to Direct Towing.

 

Motion: Soria/Vierra to approve Warrant No. 65780 to Direct Towing. The motion carried 3-0-1-1 with Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram absent and Council Member Espinoza abstaining due to a conflict of interest.

 

15. City Manager Announcements and Reports.

 

Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lewis attended a meeting of MAGPIE.

 

Page 12 of 12

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:27 p.m.

_______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: August 19, 2008

____________________________

Mayor or Mayor ProTempore

 

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the City Council. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available, upon request, and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.

 

2 thoughts on “August 5, 2008

  1. Pingback: A Brief History of Time (Spent on “Fixing” Water, Waste Water, and Garbage Rates-and other related issues) Part 4— January 2008 through October 2008 « Thegardeningsnail’s Weblog

  2. Pingback: A Brief History of Time (Spent on “Fixing” Water, Waste Water, and Garbage Rates-and other related issues) Part 6— Some Background Information and a Brief Recap of What Happened Between 1995 and June 2009 « Thegardeningsnail's

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s