Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on November 19, 2013.

LIVINGSTON CALIFORNIA / DECEMBER 14, 2013

Meeting Date: December 17, 2013

Agenda Item #7. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on November 19, 2013.

(In which The City Indicates Plans to Ramp Up For Future Growth, The Future of TCP Maximum Contaminant Levels is discussed, and the City Auditor discussed deficits in WasteWater Enterprise funds

Mayor Espinoza states that Development Agreements could take awhile to complete because the City needs to expand its infrastructure to accommodate for growth.

The City Manager states the strategy is to allow developers to create model homes while the City prepares to expand its infrastructure.

City Auditor Bryant Jolley reported that the City of Livingston is currently in an $87,000 deficit…the State declining to pay back the $500,000 that the RDA borrowed. …City…is struggling with other accounts like the Industrial Wastewater account which has incurred over a million dollar deficit. Funds in this account should actually be positive because sewer lines will eventually need to be repaired and/or replaced. One measure that could help address this deficit is increasing water rates.)

{Note from TheGdeningSnail: This page may have been produced by using a program that converts Image to Text. My apologies for any textual gremlins that may have crept in. I have taken the liberty of breaking up some of the longer paragraphs – for ease of reading.}

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MEETING MINUTES

CONCURRENT MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL

AND SUCCESSOR AGENCY TO THE REDEVELOPMENT

AGENCY OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTON

NOVEMBER, 19, 2013

A Concurrent Meeting of the City Council and the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Livingston was held on November 19, 2013, in the City Council Chambers with Mayor Espinoza presiding.

CLOSED SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

Council Member Soria called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. due to the late arrival by Mayor Espinoza and Mayor Pro-Tem Samra.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza (Late Arrival)

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra (Late Arrival)

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza

Council Member Soria opened the meeting for public comments at 6:11 p.m. There were no comments from the public. The Council adjourned to Closed Session immediately thereafter to discuss the following matters:

1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Litigation

[(Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2)]

Number of Cases: 3

2. Conference with Labor Negotiator

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Labor Negotiator: City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez

Employee Organizations: All Represented City Employees

REGULAR MEETING

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.

ROLL CALL

Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza (Late Arrival)

Mayor Pro-Tem Gurpal Samra

Council Member Jim Soria

Council Member Arturo Sicairos

Council Member David Mendoza

CLOSED SESSION ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra participated in Closed Session. There were no announcements made.

CHANGES TO THE AGENDA

None.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS

Supervisor John Pedrozo Announcements’ and Reports

None.

City Staff Announcements and Reports

Police Chief Chavez gave an update on recent police activities. He began his PowerPoint presentation by discussing an illegal marijuana operation. The culprits were using fluorescent lights to grow marijuana indoors. The Police Department was tipped off after they noticed a spike in the culprits’ electricity usage which was directly related to the usage of indoor fluorescent lights. Subsequently, the Police Department took legal measures and found incriminating evidence onsite.

On another note, Chief Chavez added that the City is constantly being vandalized by graffiti. The Police Department conducted a thorough investigation, identified a culprit, and then followed up on the investigation by searching the culprit’s home. Here, police officers found an overwhelming amount of incriminating evidence. The Police Department is currently handling this case and determining what measures to take with the vandals.

Public Works Director Molina gave the City an update on his department’s recent activities. He provided a PowerPoint presentation outlining the recent change in his department’s scheduling system. The biggest scheduling change includes the creation of schedules that are organized by tasks. Another major modification is that employees will now be tracking the status of their projects. In addition, Director Molina shared that the City has had a lot of issues with illegal disposals. Public Works disposes these items and it is costing the City an average of $1,000 per month.

Mayor Espinoza arrived at 7:23 p.m. and took over chairing the meeting.

Recreation Superintendent Benoit gave an update on her department’s recent activities. She announced that the Christmas Parade will take place on Friday, December 6. She shared that staff is currently looking for a grand marshal. Superintend Benoit encouraged the entire community to participate.

City Manager Ramirez asked Superintendent Benoit if her staff could extend the Christmas lights out to E Street.

Director Molina explained that unfortunately the lights cannot be extended because E Street does not have a power source.

City Manager Announcements and Reports.

City Manager Ramirez shared that the City is diligently working to identify and catch graffiti vandals. One strategy would be to locate cameras at strategic locations to catch the culprits in action. On another note, he shared that the City is working extensively on Development Agreements. Currently there are about five developers who want to develop in the City. In addition, City Manager Ramirez shared that the City will soon be switching over to a purchase order system and that Chief Chavez is working hard to do outreach in regards to animal control penalties.

Mayor Espinoza added that the Development Agreements could take awhile to complete because the City needs to expand its infrastructure to accommodate for growth.

City Manager Ramirez relayed that the City currently has enough water capacity to add 181 residential units. As of right now the strategy is to allow developers to create model homes while the City prepares to expand its infrastructure.

City Council Members’ Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Mayor’s Announcements and Reports.

Mayor Espinoza wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Resolution Adopting the Merced Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (MIRWMP).

The item was introduced by City Manager Ramirez. He commented that other municipalities have already adopted the MIRWMP. He supports the proposal and acknowledges that when it comes to water it is important that cities think of it as a regional issue because it is a shared commodity. In addition, he supports the plan because the City has submitted some water related projects and has the flexibility to add or subtract more projects if necessary.

Mayor Espinoza opened the hearing for public comments at 7:32 p.m.

Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 commented that she was impressed by whoever prepared this report. She was particularly impressed by the realistic expectations pertaining to water capacity and population growth projections.

She went on to compare GPCD projections from various sources: Livingston Plan 370 GPCD, 2006 IRWMP 185 GPCD, 2007 WMP 150 GPCD, and the MIRWMP 270 GPCD. GPCD is directly correlated to the required number of wells needed to supply water for the existing population and population growth.

She added that these studies are inconsistent, therefore, the number of wells required to supply the community are inconsistent, and in many cases over-projected.

In addition, she shared that the City’s sphere of influence is unrealistic and the population projections are overinflated as determined by the California Department of Finance.

In addition, Ms. Alvernaz shared that the City’s proposed 42 inch sewer tank line was declared illegal by the Merced County Grand Jury and that it must meet CEQA regulations. She concluded her comments by asking how much water will the 42 inch sewer tank line hold? How much will it cost? Where will the water come from? How will this addition affect the region?

City Manager Ramirez replied that Council has acknowledged the need to re-do the Master Plans. Recently the City received a grant and staff is exploring the opportunity of allocating those funds to create a Water Management Master Plan and subsequently address the Master Plan if the State approves this proposal.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 stated that the IRWMP will address four projects of which it has received funding for 75% of costs : 1) Black Rascal Creek Flood Control, 2) Bear Creek Siphon and Diversion Structure/Expansion Project, 3) El Nido Recharge Project, 4) Merced River Education and Enhancement.

Ms. Schell-Rodriguez noted that the City of Livingston submitted four proposals which include: 1) Ground and surface water centralized treatment, 2) Water distribution improvement system, 3) Water conversion phase II, 4) Flood risk management project. She asked the Council to identify different funding mechanisms for the projects mentioned above.

City Manager Ramirez replied that the City’s proposals are going to be considered for funding during the next round of funding. He also mentioned that this year’s projects will receive a combined grand total of 3 million dollars. He added that he cannot predict whether Livingston will be selected for funding. However, the City is not depending on the IRWMP for funding. The City has been very proactive by applying for several grants and State revolving loan funds.

Mayor Espinoza closed the hearing at 7:44 p.m., there being no further comments from the public.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra cautioned that it is good for the City to participate in regional grant efforts. However, doing so limits the City’s control and forces the City to be subject to regional policy. He added that participating is better than not participating.

Council Member Soria announced that addressing water quality is an important subject.

Motion: M/S Soria/Espinoza to adopt Resolution No. 2013-54, Adopting the Merced Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (MIRWMP). The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, Mendoza, Soria, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Colette Alvernaz, P.O. Box 255 asked for clarification regarding prioritizing the Water Master Plan over the Master Plan.

City Manager Ramirez replied that Council acknowledges that the Master Plan needs to be addressed, but as of right now producing a Water Master Plan is more urgent.

Mario Mendoza, 1421 Brandy Court asked Council Members if they could donate money for the local band review. The Council usually donates between $5,000 and $6,000. He is personally donating the funds generated from selling one of his premium bred dogs.

On another note, Mr. Mendoza invited the community to participate in a racial discrimination/hostile work environment protest outside the Castle Aviation Center during the second week of December.

Mayor Espinoza replied that he will gladly donate money to the band review.

Council Member Sicairos asked Mr. Mendoza if he has reported the hostile work environment to the proper authorities.

Mr. Mendoza said that the proper agencies were more concerned with the profits lost by the company than the health of the employees.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 shared that the Utility Rates Stakeholders Committee held a meeting a few days ago. She had two questions: 1) Will the City continue to use the studies found in the Kennedy-Jenks Report?, 2) According to her sources TCP standards could begin as early 2014. How is the City going to address TCP?

Mayor Espinoza stated that the City has been very proactive about addressing the constituents found in Well #8. In addition he announced that the State has not implemented TCP standards. Therefore, he believes that is best not to invent hypothetical scenarios.

City Manager Ramirez stated that the Kennedy-Jenks Report is very valuable and will continue to be used. In regards to TCP maximum contaminant levels, the State will give signs before the regulations are imposed.

He expects TCP standards to be implemented sometime in the next two to three years. He gave the example of how the State discussed standards for Chrome 6 before regulations were enforced. City Manager Ramirez also warned the community to be cautious about the articles that they find online. Not all articles come from a reliable source.

Mayor Espinoza closed Citizen Comments at 7:59 p.m.

CONSENT CALENDAR

1. Resolution No. 2013-55 Supporting the Merced Regional Enterprise Zone Expansion #5.

2. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 6, 2013.

3. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 20, 2013.

4. Approval of Minutes of Meeting Held on August 28, 2013.

5. Approval of Warrant Register Dated November 14, 2013.

Motion: M/S Samra/Sicairos to approve the consent calendar. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, Mendoza, Soria, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

DISCUSSION AND POTENTIAL ACTION ITEMS

6. City of Livingston – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and City of Livingston Local Transportation Development Act Fund – Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements June 30, 2013.

City Auditor Bryant Jolley reported that the City of Livingston is currently in an $87,000 deficit which is commendable given the population size of the community.

Unfortunately, there were some unexpected surprises with the State declining to pay back the $500,000 that the RDA borrowed. However, the City has taken measures that allow the City to address deficits in the General Fund.

Although the City is doing well with the General Fund it is struggling with other accounts like the Industrial Wastewater account which has incurred over a million dollar deficit. Funds in this account should actually be positive because sewer lines will eventually need to be repaired and/or replaced.

One measure that could help address this deficit is increasing water rates. In closing, Mr. Jolley thanked staff for their organized bookkeeping and satisfactory level response.

Mayor Espinoza opened the meeting for public comments at 8:07 p.m.

Katherine Schell-Rodriguez, P.O. Box 163 asked Mr. Jolley if the TCP settlement funds of 9 million dollars are being reflected in the report.

Mr. Jolley noted that the TCP funds are allocated under the section labeled restricted funds which currently has a balance of 8.1 million dollars.

Mayor Pro-Tem Samra stated that he believes it is unfair that Domestic Wastewater consumers may have to pay for the Industrial Wastewater debt.

Mr. Jolley commented that although there are two separate water components, Industrial Wastewater and Domestic Wastewater, the debt is shared by both.

Mayor Espinoza stated that the financial challenges can be traced back to previous management and, thus should be paid by the system.

City Manager Ramirez added that financial challenges can be traced back to 2010. Currently the Council has 121 acres decommissioned to Foster Farms who will soon be returning the land. One option to regain funds is to market the property for a value added opportunity.

Mr. Jolley concurred with City Manager Ramirez by stating that this is definitely a viable option to recuperate funds.

Motion: M/S Samra/Mendoza to accept the Independent Auditor’s Report and Financial Statements Ending June 30, 2013. The motion carried 5-0 by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Council Members: Sicairos, Mendoza, Soria, Samra, Espinoza

NOES: Council Members: None

ABSENT: Council Members: None

ADJOURNMENT

Mayor Espinoza adjourned the meeting at 8:17 p.m.

______________________________

City Clerk of the City of Livingston

APPROVED: December 17, 2013

_____________________________

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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