The following is a transcription of documents on file My apologies for any errors or “typos”.
CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING
LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL
FEBRUARY 19, 2008
A Regular Meeting of the Livingston city Council was held on February 19, 2008, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Samra presiding.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Samra called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.
Mayor Gurpal Samra
Mayor Pro-Tem William Ingram
Council Member Frank Vierra (Excused Absence)
Council Member Rodrigo Espinoza
Council Member Roy Soria (Excused Absence)
CLOSSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Scheduled Closed Session was canceled.
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
At the request of Council member Vierra, items 5, 14, and 16 were continued to the next meeting.
AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS
1. Dedication and Blessing of the new City Council Chambers
Mayor Samra commented that tonight was the first time the Council was using the new chambers and representatives from two local churches were present to dedicate and bless the facility.
Father Harvey Fonseca from Saint Jude Thaddeus Roman Catholic Church and a Granthi from the Livingston Sick Temple both said a prayer and blessed the new Council Chambers.
Mayor Samra read a plaque dedication the new Council Chambers to the citizens of Livingston
City Manager Warne thanked everyone who worked together on this project.
Deviation from Agenda
Armando Rios, Battalion Chief of the Merced County fire Department, introduced fire Captain Danny Suarez and Engineer Robert Bonilla, California Department of Forestry personnel, who will be permanently stationed at the Livingston fire Department. Chief Rios commented that the community will be pleased with the wealth of experience both will bring with them.
Council Member Espinoza thanked and commended fore personnel for their service and
recent assistance at a fire in a home belonging to his brother-in-law.
2. Presentation of Proclamation for Portuguese Immigrant Week.
Mayor Samra presented a Proclamation for Portuguese Immigrant Week to Debbie Parrott who accepted the Proclamation on behalf of her father, Robert Nolte and the Portuguese Immigrant Week Steering committee.
3. Presentation of Merced Union High School District Five Year Facility Plan.
Dr. Diane Hockersmith and Michael Belluomini, Director of Facilities Planning, gave a slide presentation of the five Year Facility Plan for the Merced Union High School District.
Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 225, Livingston, thanked Mr. Belluomini for answering her questions from a previous presentation on the facility plan.
Mrs. Alvernaz asked about the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and how the State funds will be budget. She also asked what chances are for the bond to pass.
Mr. Belluomini replied that 70% support was the result of a survey.
Mrs. Alvernaz further asked if there would be agriculture classes on the land south of Peach Avenue.
Mr. Belluomini replied there could be a small scaling farming sometime.
Mr. Belluomini stated the bond will be placed on the ballot in either June or November 2008.
Denis Wells, 1159 Second Street, asked if the School District is required to present the plan to the Panning Commission for review. He also asked about parking.
Mr. Belluomini commented that there is a parking shortage at Livingston High School and the School District will address it with additional parking lots south of Peach. The plan was presented to the Planning commission on February 12, 2008.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram asked if the School District is planning to renovate the restrooms as he understands there is a problem with the restrooms at the high school.
Mr. Belluomini said he was not aware of a problem, but will check on it.
Council Member Espinoza asked if the school bond doesn’t pass how the project will be funded.
Mr. Belluomini responded that the passage of the bond was contingent upon the project (expansion of high school fields and parking lots across Peach) being started.
The presentation was for information purposes and no Council action was required.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.
· Commented that the new Council Chambers is very nice.
· Since he is of Portuguese descent, is happy that the Council approved a Proclamation for Portuguese Immigrant Week.
· Thanked Father Harvey Fonseca for the 70 year anniversary celebration of Saint Jude Roman Catholic Church.
· He will be attending a meeting in Sacramento on will talk to State Senators on Intra City Rail Day.
· His assistant, Juan corona, will have City Hall office hours on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
· He will be in Washington and will not attend the March 4th council meeting, but his assistant will be present.
Supervisor Pedrozo was asked what kind of meeting he will be attending in Washington. He was also asked when the Sultana Interchange ribbon cutting will take place.
Supervisor Pedrozo replied the 58 California Counties annual meeting.
Mayor Samra noted the ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for February 22nd at 1:00 p.m.
City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.
Council Member Espinoza
· Thanked the Fire Department again for their assistance.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram
· Reported on his meeting with Henry Escobar regarding grants. He said Mr. Escobar informed him that the LUSD missed the grant cut-off, but will reapply the next funding cycle.
Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.
· No announcements or reports.
4. Public Hearing to Discuss a Possible application for Funding Under the Fiscal year 2008/2009 State community Development block grant (CDBG) Program.
Janell York, grant writer, presented the agenda item and commented that the Livingston Medical Group is interested in applying for fund for their new facility.
Mayor Samra opened the Public Hearing at 7:42 p.m.
Pamela Tamez, 1440 Main street, asked what other projects have grants been used for.
Jasmin Bains, Senior Account, commented on the different projects this grant has helped pay for. She noted there are currently tow projects in progress.
Colette Alvernaz asked how much money can be applied for. In reference to the Livingston Medical Group, she asked if they would be eligible for the $2 million for their proposed project.
Ms York replied no.
Mrs. Alvernaz asked how much in grant funds will go towards water and sewer.
Ms. York explained that the grant is for job creation, not infrastructure.
Mayor Samra closed the Public Hearing at 7:47 p.m. as there were no further comments from the public.
Council Member Espinoza asked if the grant application has to be specific for what these monies will be used for.
Ms. Bains replied yes.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram commented that co-mixing of grants is quite useful and the City needs to continue to apply for grants. He thanked Ms. Bains for her assistance in obtaining the grants.
Mayor Samra asked if this grant can be split to be used on different projects. Lengthy decision followed regarding the grants.
As this item was for discussion purposes, no action from the council was required.
5. Introduce and Waive the First Reading of an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Livingston Amending the Title of Section 5-5-3, Mobile Homes, Trailer or Boats, Section 5-5-3(2), and Section 5-3-16-1(A) 3 b, Setback Exceptions, and Adding Sections 5-3-16-1(B) Amortization, (C) enforcement, (D) Disposal, and (E) Penalty to the Livingston Municipal code.
This item was continued to the next regular meeting.
Colette Alvernaz read her letter and said that a lot of comments made at the lat meeting were not included in the minutes. She repeated her concerns about the 42” sewer line.
Mrs. Alvernaz is very concerned about the City’s water situation. She read her concerns that the City won’t participate in MAGPI and gave written copies to the /city Clerk. She asked where the water is going to come from in the future.
Gerri Martin, 16181 W. Vinewood Avenue read her concerns regarding the Wastewater Master Plan and submitted a written copy of her concerns to the City Clerk.
Pamela Tamez commented on the newspaper article regarding the Code Enforcement Officer that included remarks allegedly made by Mayor Pro-Tem that she feels eluded to a race issue. She stated that she took offense to his comments that implied that because someone was of a certain ethnic background they are not intelligent enough to follow the law.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram replied that his comments were not intended to insult anyone.
Kaye Greeley, 1571 Monte Cristo Way, referred to a newspaper article regarding the Code Enforcement Officer that alluded to the fact that the City has no money to hire for this position. Ms. Greeley said the statement is not true: the City does have money budgeted, but has repeatedly shied away from publicly discussing this matter.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram commented that he met with the City Manager and confirmed that there is no money to hire for this position at this time.
The following items were presented for Council consideration under the Consent Agenda
6. Livingston Community Network’s Use of Memorial Park for Second Annual Multi-cultural Festival.
7. Resolution Accepting the Arakelian Park Storm Drain Lift Station Improvements, Authorizing the City Clerk to File a Notice of completion n with Merced County, and Authorizing the City Manager to Make a Reimbursement Payment for the cost of Improvements to McRoy-Wilbur communities, Inc.
8. Resolution Approving an Application for Land and Water Conservation Fund Assistance for the Livingston Sports Complex Picnic area Project and Appointing the City Manager to Act as Agent for the Land and Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF) Grant application with the Office of Grants and Local Services of the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation.
9. Resolution Accepting the HES Project No. STPLH-5256 (005) Intersection Improvements and New Traffic Signal at the “B” Street and Winton Parkway Intersection, Authorizing the City Clerk to File A Notice of Completion with Merced County, and Authorizing the City Manager to Release Performance and Materials Bonds and to Make Final Payment of Retention Monies to Teichert construction, Inc.
10. Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with condor Earth Technologies, Inc. for the Environmental Assessment of the Foster Farms’ Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plant.
11. Approval of Warrant Register Dated February 13, 2008.
12. Approval of Minutes of City council Meeting Held on February 5, 2008.
Item #10 was pulled by city Attorney Subramanian to explain there were some minor changes to the attached contract.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram asked how long the warranty is for the signal light on “B” Street.
City Engineer Gottiparthy explained that it is for one year.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram abstained from discussion and voting on item #7 due to a conflict of interest (he currently leases a home from Mcroy-Wlbur communities). The item was subsequently removed from the agenda and continued because there were tow council Members absent and there would be no majority votes.
Motion: M/S Ingram/Espinoza to approve the consent agenda with the exception of item #7 and including the amendments to item #10. The motion carried 3-0-2
DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS
13. Approval of the construction of Temporary Soccer Fields by Citizens at the Livingston Sports complex.
City manager Warne Explained that a vote by the Council was not requested as presentation of the item was only to inform the Council of the status of the project. He noted this was also presented to the parks and Recreation commission.
Mayor Pro-Term Ingram feels the project is a good idea. He noted the soccer fields willl be located in a safe area and the property will be used for what it was intended for.
Council Member Espinoza was in favor of the project and said there is a need for more soccer fields. Denis Wells also favored the project and reminded the Council of the need for Port-a-potties.
Council Member Espinoza agreed that portable restrooms were needed especially when tournaments are held.
Colette Alvernaz asked for clarification of the term temporary soccer fields.
City Manger Warne explained that temporary soccer fields could be built where the baseball fields are to be located.
City Manager Warne noted that the CEQUA document for the sports complex is in progress with a draft expected within the next few weeks.
Mrs. Alvernaz agrees with Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram regarding a safe location for the fields.
Katherine Schell-Rodriguez said she is glad the Council is coming together on this project and that they have a common sense solution.
Mayor Samra commented that this is just a temporary fix and there is a need for permanent soccer fields.
14. City Council Guidance on City Code Enforcement Officer.
Continued to the next regular meeting.
15. Resolution Amending the Parks ad Recreation Fee Policy to Reflect memorial Park Kitchen Rental Fees and Authorize Staff to approve park Rentals of More than 200 People.
City Manager Warne presented the item and gave a summary of the changes to the Parks and Recreation Fee Policy. The changes include charging a fee for use of the kitchen facility at Memorial Park and the authorization for staff to approve requests for uses of the parks for groups of over 200 people.
Dennis Wells asked about security for such large events.
City manager explained what the proper procedures would be.
Mr. Wells commented that he read the description of this ordinance and there is no mention of security.
Mike Torres asked what the capacity of Memorial Park is.
Staff replied the capacity of the pavilion is about 100. Many more can be accommodated at the bandstand and the rest of the park.
Council Member Espinoza commented that this item was presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission and people who want to use the facility need to reserve it in advance.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ingram favored the fee changes. His concerns were that fees need to be affordable to citizens. He noted that a citizen, Ramon Avila, had to go to Turlock to use their facility because Livingston’s fees were too high.
Motion: M/S Ingram/Espinoza to adopt resolution No. 2008-09 amending the Parks and Recreation Fee Policy to reflect memorial Park kitchen rental fees and authorize staff to approve parks rentals of more than 200 people. The motion carried 3-0-3 by the following vote:
AYES: Council Members: Espinoza, Ingram, Samra
NOES: Council Members: None
ABSENT: Council Members: Soria, Vierra
16. Approval of Warrant No. 64722 to Direct Towing.
Due to the abstention of council Member Espinoza, this item was continued to the next regular meeting.
17. City Manager Announcements and Reports.
No announcements or reports.
The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:59 p.m.