APRIL 19, 2011 Draft Minutes

MEETING MINUTES

CLOSED SESSION/REGULAR MEETING

LIVINGSTON CITY COUNCIL

APRIL 19, 2011

A Closed Session/Regular Meeting of the Livingston City Council was held in the City Council Chambers on April 19, 2011, with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting at 6:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments. There were no public comments.

The Council subsequently adjourned to the City Hall Conference Room for Closed Session to discuss the following matters.

1. Public Employee Appointment

(Government Code Section 54957)

Title: City Manager

2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

(Government Code Section 54956.9)

Number of Cases: 1

OPEN SESSION

The Council came out of Closed Session and into Open Session and returned to the City Council Chambers for the Regular Meeting.

REGULAR MEETING

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Espinoza called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza

Mayor Pro-Tem Margarita Aguilar

Council Member Frank Vierra

Council Member Theresa Land

Council Member Gurpal Samra

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

Council Member Gurpal Samra requested that item #2 be pulled for a separate discussion.

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROCLAMATIONS

1. Presentation – Arakelian Park Facilities Upgrade Project – Jasmin Bains, Senior Accountant and Nanda Gottiparthy, City Engineer.

Jasmin Bains began the presentation, noting that the purpose of the presentation was to provide information on an upcoming grant opportunity available to the City of Livingston. Additionally, she shared information on previous grant funded projects. Ms. Bains noted that funding for these projects are through the Statewide Park Grant Program through Proposition 84.

Nanda Gottiparthy, City Engineer discussed the planning that went into preparing for the project and how the amenities were chosen. Mr. Gottiparthy reported that he, Jacquie Benoit and Jasmin Bains met to compile ideas to incorporate different elements to

include in the scope. One aspect looked into was the application itself, some things scored higher than others so they tried to balance to what would serve the population.

Mr. Gottiparthy reported that the group is proposing acquisition of two vacant lots that are owned by a developer, where the skate park is shown there are two vacant lots. More amenities include additional parking off of I Street, and provide a connection between the neighborhoods, replace the restrooms and new storage areas, replace the picnic shelter with additional capacity, modify existing play area, to the west end there are tennis courts being proposed and walkways that would connect, concession stand as well next to skate park area. The existing parking lot would be restriped, and resurfaced. The total proposal is approximately $3.6 million.

Ms. Bains noted that the public is encouraged to participate and provide input into the planning. Additionally Ms. Bains stated that the group took into consideration all age groups when planning.

Interim City Manager Vickie Lewis thanked Nanda, Jasmin, Kathryn and Jacquie, this is a great project. She stated the project is top rated and said the group did a great job.

Mayor Espinoza also thanked the group for all the work they have done and stated that Arakelian Park is the most used park in the City.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comment at 8:25 p.m. There was no comment, and the comment period was closed at 8:26 p.m.

Council Member Frank Vierra asked Ms. Bains for the area of the grant application where the major points are scored during the decision process.

Ms. Bains indicated that the acquisition of land and community based involvement were the two areas where major points are given. Ms. Bains indicated that the grant is based on amenities that encourage outdoor use, and physical activity.

Council Member Gurpal Samra asked if there would be any lights. Ms. Bains indicated there would be lights and they will be on timers like the ones at the basketball courts. The lights would not require staff to turn the lights on and off.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements and Reports.

Supervisor John Pedrozo reported there was a Board of Supervisor meeting earlier in the day. He noted the budget at the County level is not looking good and it is expected there will be 20% cuts in each department. Supervisor Pedrozo discussed redistricting and stated that he had pamphlets that he would leave with the City. Mr. Pedrozo reported that the State of Florida has declined money from the Government for the High Speed Rail and there are four states including California that are applying for the money. It is estimated that $2.3 billion will be allocated between four states, three back east and California. Supervisor Pedrozo reported that he will attend a function in San Francisco on Wednesday, April 20, as Sheriff Mark Pazin has been nominated by his peers to be the State Sheriff.

Council Member Samra asked Supervisor Pedrozo what was the opinion of Congressman Denham on the high speed rail project. Mr. Pedrozo stated that Congressman Denham has not made a public statement on this issue, however, Mr. Pedrozo is scheduled to meet with the Congressman and hopes to discuss this matter with him.

Council Member Theresa Land asked what other states were involved in this project. Mr. Pedrozo stated that he remembers only one of them being in the northeast part of the county.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Council Member Vierra asked about the status of the study that had been done on well 15.

Kathryn Reyes stated that the report has been received and Council was provided copies. The City is currently in the review process. She also noted that the information will be tied into the rate studies

Council Member Vierra asked how long the review process is expected to take.

Interim City Manager Lewis reported the study will be worked on and discussed by the stakeholders committee. S he noted that the budget process, and information on capital is also information that will be required.

Council Member Samra also noted that he is aware that there is additional information required from Merced Irrigation District.

Ms. Reyes reported that the City is collecting as much information as possible to provide the most accurate data before the stakeholders committee. She noted this will require fact gathering and to ensure accuracy. All of this data will tie together when the rate study is being done and the goal is to provide thorough information.

Interim City Manager Lewis reported that the last recruitment for stakeholders representing commercial, is set to close on April 30. It is expected that the Council will appoint on them on May 3.

Council Member Theresa Land reported that she attended the Planning Commission meeting on April 12. She also noted that Commissioner Alex Gonzalez turned in a letter of resignation. The Commission held a discussion on alcohol by the glass ordinance and recommended removal of the footnote. Also the Commission looked at the City sign ordinance, and will be inquiring with other cities before bringing it back for review. Ms. Land also thanked the community for the success of the “Fill the Cap” recently held for Sober Grad. She thanked Officer Kang for his help with the safety equipment for this event. Ms. Land noted that she has observed that curbs in front of fire hydrants are no longer being painted red, and although it is not a requirement to paint the curbs, she wanted to remind motorists that it is illegal to park in front of the fire hydrants. Ms. Land reported that the Relay for Life, raised approximately $70,000 for the American Cancer Society. Ms. Land also wished her husband a happy birthday.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar reported that she participated in the Relay for Life. She noted there was a lot of involvement, and everyone did a great job! Ms. Aguilar noted that she was part of the team from Campus Park and they took third place for the most money raised. The group raised $4600. Ms. Aguilar noted that the 4th of July Committee is moving along well and they continue to need volunteers, and entertainment. She noted that information can be pulled from the website at www.Livingston4ofjuly.com She thanked everyone for the support. The next meeting is April 25, at 7:00 p.m. at Geneo’s.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza thanked the community for their generosity at the 4th of July “Fill the Hat” fundraiser at Main Street and B Street. He reported that the Committee raised approximately $830 in 3 hours. Mayor Espinoza asked about the status of the sinkhole at Olds Avenue and Grapevine. Mr. Espinoza reported the opening ceremonies for baseball went well. He also noted that the proceeds from anyone wishing to purchase a baseball signed by the Council s will go to the July 4th Committee. The baseballs are $25 each. The Mayor reported that his home had been broken into on Sunday and thanks to the timely response of the Livingston Police Department, the teenage suspects were apprehended.

Interim City Manager Announcements and Reports.

None.

City Staff Announcements and Reports.

Kathryn Reyes, Public Works Superintendent thanked the Council for adding the staff report section to the agenda as a regular item. Ms. Reyes reported that work has been started on the sinkhole at Olds Avenue and Grapevine Street. She stated the repairs are expected to be completed this week. Ms. Reyes reported there are portable restrooms at Joseph Gallo park temporarily until the City can fund permanent buildings. Ms. Reyes also reported that she has been asked about the distance around the park and 2.8 times around the park equals one mile. She noted there is a Grand Opening being planned for the park. Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar asked if the restrooms are locked at anytime. Ms. Reyes indicated they are currently open all the time, but she would look into alternatives to secure them.

Community Development Director Donna Kenney reported that Planning Commissioner Alex Gonzalez has resigned and she asked for direction from Council for recruitment. Mayor Espinoza directed staff to run recruitment for thirty days. Ms. Kenney reported that residents have received the application form for the Citywide yard sale. Friday, April 22 is the deadline date for the first sale. She noted that there will be two more after this one and residents can still submit applications for the future yard sales.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

None.

CITIZEN COMMENTS

Katherine Schell Rodriquez , P.O. Box 163. Livingston – started off her statement with the quote “Those of who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Ms. Schell Rodriquez cautioned Council about the idea of conditional use permits and allowing another establishment that sells alcohol by the glass within the downtown area. She asked the Council and Planning Commission to look carefully at what did not work in the past with regard to establishments that sold alcohol by the glass and how to avoid the same issues. Also, Ms. Schell Rodriquez questioned the message that is being sent to youth and the sober grad party when the City would consider allowing more bars downtown.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Mayor Espinoza presented the following consent calendar items for the Council’s consideration and approval:

2. Approve Resolution of Intent Concerning Agriculture Within City Limits, Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-2-3 (1), Commercial Use Classifications, Agriculture.

Council Member Samra asked to abstain from this item.

Blaine Yagi, the applicant for farming within the City of Livingston gave a brief history of his situation. He noted that he had removed approximately fifteen acres of peaches, and now would like to plant sweet potatoes and is seeking approval from the Council

Katherine Schell Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163, Livingston – noted that it only seemed common sense that the City Council allow the farmer to plant sweet potatoes. She noted that if people are complaining about dust they are going to have dust anyway. She pointed out that it would be awhile before this land is developed. She suggested that Council at least come up with a reasonable solution for the people who own and make money through farming. She stated that these farmers have to pay taxes on that land and should be allowed to farm it.

City Attorney Jose Sanchez recapped the item before the Council. He noted this was a resolution of intent to amend the zoning code. If approved by Council, this will get referred back to the Planning Commission and then be returned to the Council.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Aguilar to adopt Resolution No. 20114-26, Concerning Agriculture Within City Limits, Livingston Municipal Code (LMC) 5-2-3 (1), Commercial Use Classifications, Agriculture. The motion carried 4-0 and one abstention by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ABSTAIN: Council Members: Samra

3. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on March 15, 2011.

4. Approval of Warrant Register Dated April 13, 2011.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Samra to approve items 3 and 4. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

5. Resolution in Support of Merced Irrigation District’s New Exchequer Dam Spillway Modification and Increased Water Storage Project.

Will Hunter, President of the Board of Directors for Merced Irrigation District gave a presentation and went over a proposal for the modification to the Exchequer Dam spillway. He stated that funding will come 100% from Merced Irrigation District. Mr. Hunter noted that the presentation was to ask for letters of support to our Congressmen and State Senators. In order to make these modifications the project must go through both houses of Congress. Mr. Hunter showed a video on the project.

Council Member Samra stated that this proposal makes good sense because water is going to be the new gold, and capturing the water for drought days is a good idea and the Council should support this.

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza stated that this was a great thing.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated she was very much in support of the proposal and it’s a great idea to find ways to conserve water and save water.

Motion: M/S Samra/Vierra to adopt Resolution No. 2011-27, in Support of Merced Irrigation District’s New Exchequer Dam Spillway Modification and Increased Water Storage Project. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

6. Resolution Approving a Reimbursement Agreement with the Merced Union High School District for Removal and Replacement of the Transite Water Pipeline on Peach Avenue and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute the Reimbursement Agreement.

Nanda Gottiparthy gave an overview of the agreement and history. During the widening of Peach Avenue, it was discovered there was a transite water pipeline. State standards require replacement during new construction. This resulted in a change order to the agreement with the School District. The cost is approximately $170,000. The reimbursement agreement calls for a split in cost, in which each party will pay half and the City’s reimbursement will be made in three installments.

Motion: M/S Vierra/Land to adopt Resolution No. 20114-28, Approving a Reimbursement Agreement with the Merced Union High School District for Removal and Replacement of the Transite Water Pipeline on Peach Avenue and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute the Reimbursement Agreement. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

7. Resolution Accepting the Proposal Submitted by Self-Help Enterprises to Provide Grant Services Related to the Housing Components of the Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME), the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and CalHOME Housing Rehabilitation Program, Awarding a Professional Services Contract to Self-Help Enterprises and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute an Agreement for Professional Services.

Jasmin Bains presented this item. Ms. Bains noted that the current Self-Help agreement is due to expire on May 6, 2011. She stated that staff would make a recommendation to accept the proposal from Self-Help.

Patrick Isherwood from Self -Help spoke and noted that the organization has been helping low income families since 1965. He noted it was wonderful working with the City for the last few years, this helps families and they are honored to work with the community and wish to continue.

Ms. Bains noted that the City of Livingston and Self-Help will host a workshop April 20 at 6:00 p.m. She stated the workshop will be one-on-one and assistance in three languages will be available. Ms. Bains reported that notices were also sent out with utility bills. The workshop will be held in the City Hall conference room.

City Attorney Sanchez translated the information for the Spanish speaking viewers.

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza translated the information on the program for the Spanish speaking viewers

Ms. Bains provided additional information on how the loan works. She noted the loan does need to be paid back, although it is a deferred loan.

Mayor Espinoza asked for information on homes in the community that have benefited from the program. Ms. Bains noted that the names and amounts are confidential, but she would be able to provide a list of addresses to the Council.

Motion: M/S Land/Vierra to adopt Resolution No. 2011-29, Accepting the Proposal Submitted by Self-Help Enterprises to Provide Grant Services Related to the Housing Components of the Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME), the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and CalHOME Housing Rehabilitation Program, Awarding a Professional Services Contract to Self-Help Enterprises and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Execute an Agreement for Professional Services. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

8. Resolution Approving Contract Amendment No. 4 for PMC to Complete the Environmental Analysis of the Domestic Waste Water Treatment Plant and Authorizing the Interim City Manager to Sign the Amendment.

City Attorney Sanchez requested the Council consider continuing this item to the next meeting. He stated that more detail needs to be provided.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to continue this item to the next meeting. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra,Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

9. Resolution Providing Staff Direction: Authorize the Interim City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with WC³ for Contract Support Services or Direct Staff to Distribute Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for Contract Staff Support Services.

Donna Kenney provided an overview of the contracted building services. Currently the City is in a contract with Bureau Veritas. At that time of contract fees were split 68% to Bureau Veritas and 32% to the City. Because of the downturn in the economy, they asked if the City would renegotiate their contract. The proposal is a month to month contract and hourly wages for an inspector and permit technician. The City has been approached by another company, WC3 with yet another proposal. The savings would be $14 an hour under this proposal.

There was discussion on the amount of hours the staff are required and if there was flexibility, etc. Ms. Kenney pointed out that the hourly rate was not what the employees are being paid, but an inclusive cost of salary plus benefits.

City Attorney Sanchez recapped the item for Council. Additionally, he noted that if the Council wanted to modify the agreement to include flexible hours, it could be brought back for approval with the modification.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar noted that the reason she is recommending that this go out to bid is to allow for other proposals and show transparency.

Council Member Vierra noted that in the past there were issues when there was not full time staff available at City Hall. Mr. Vierra noted that the community was unhappy with limited days of service.

Mayor Pro-Tem Aguilar stated that she agreed with the amount of time staff that would be available, but suggests that the Council look for lower rates.

Council Member Vierra noted that the Permit Technician has been here for a long time and this is something the Council needs to take into consideration when looking at this issue.

Motion: M/S Aguilar/Land to Direct Staff to Distribute Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for Contract Staff Support Services. The motion carried 4-1 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra,

NOES: Council Members: Vierra

ABSENT: Council Members: None

10. City Council to Provide Staff Direction for the Livingston Senior Citizens Center Lease Renewal.

Jasmin Bains provided background on lease and the program as it exists in the City.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting to public comment at 8:55 p.m.

Sue Briggs, Deputy Director of Merced County Community Action Agency noted that the program was moved to the current location approximately five years ago. At that time she indicates that they were not aware they would be the sole user of that facility. She noted that there are approximately 20-25 persons served daily. Ms. Briggs asked that the Council think hard about putting the seniors out.

Council Member Land asked about the 20 -25 persons served and how many are on meals-on-wheels and then how many are at the center daily. Ms. Briggs stated that approximately ten are meals-on-wheels and then the remainder are at the facility.

Katherine Schell Rodriquez asked if it is decided not to renew the lease what would be the alternative location for the program, and then the future fate of a senior center, where would they go.

Interim City Manager Lewis noted that the options are minimal.

Council Member Vierra stated that he recalls Supervisor Pedrozo making a promise to make a $1,000 monthly contribution to the program to help with the cost. Mr. Vierra noted that the City has not seen any money toward this.

A lengthy discussion ensued and the consensus of the Council is that they do not want to put the senior program out. The Council discussed ideas about how to avoid that including negotiating with the landlord, Sapien Family Trust, on the lease renewal, contact with Supervisor Pedrozo as well as notifying the seniors of the next City Council meeting so that they have a voice as well

Warren Urnberg, 1331 Eighth Street – noted that the seniors used to have meals in the community center. He suggested that the City attempt to negotiate with the Sapien Family Trust. Mr. Urnberg asked about using the building next to the Council Chambers. Interim Vickie Lewis stated the building would not be a good option as it is not safe to occupy.

Motion: M/S Espinoza/Land to bring this item back to the Council with additional options. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Aguilar, Espinoza, Land, Samra, Vierra

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 9:20 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: May 3, 2011

_____________________________

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.

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