posted 07-11-2005 10:08 AM
CITY OF GRASS VALLEY
REGULAR MEETING OF THE GRASS VALLEY CITY COUNCIL,
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2005, 7:00 P. M.
1.0 CALL TO ORDER: 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Dan Castles
ROLL CALL: Council Members Ingram, Swarthout, Williams, Vice Mayor Johnson and Mayor Tassone were present. Also present were Gene Haroldsen, City Administrator, Ruthann Ziegler, City Attorney, and Bobbi Poznik-Coover, City Clerk.
2.0 INTRODUCTIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
2.1 Recognition of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) – One of the Nation’s Top 100 Hospitals – Presentation to Tom Collier, CEO
Mayor Tassone introduced Tom Collier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. Mr. Collier accepted a proclamation on behalf of the people of the community and, in particular, those who work at the hospital. He stated that without their continued effort this would not have been possible. Last year the hospital had 6,000 admissions and about 30,000 visits to the Emergency Department. Patient satisfaction and compassionate care is something the hospital strives to deliver to the community. He praised the Board of Directors who provides direction for everything the hospital does. Next year an Imaging Center will open at the hospital that will bring some of the newest technology available to the area. He stated that SNMH pledges to continue to do the best for this community.
2.2 Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC) Presentation – Larry Burkhardt, President / CEO
Larry Burkhardt, President and CEO of the ERC introduced several members of the
organization. He showed a projection of a flash email message that was produced by a grant the ERC received from PG&E and which has been mailed to eighty prospects who will have an opportunity to respond and ask for more information about the community. The flash email contains a full complement of information about Nevada County and its diversity. The categories include location, education, arts and culture, business relocator, industry and life style.
Larry Burkhardt stated the ERC Board of Directors structured what they call their governing
principles and priorities. The ERC believes that this community desires to extend opportunity to all individuals regardless of age, personal wealth and ethnic background. They also feel that the community wishes to provide opportunities for individuals to work in their own community. The Board has constructed a new set of goals, objectives and strategies. This is the guiding document that will take the ERC into the next five years and produce results we feel are important to this community in terms of employment opportunity, revenue for local government to provide essential services and to strengthen the local economy.
Larry Burkhardt commented that the ERC is averaging over 100,000 hits on its website per
month and now has a marketing brochure for Nevada City. He stated they hope to do a salary survey on the local marketplace as inquiries continue to come in from local employers regarding the going salary rates. He stated the ERC believes it has done a good job for the City over a period of years. Two studies done by Chico State University have suggested that the ERC has had a hand in the retention, expansion and attraction of more than $18 million in annual direct payroll and a total annual impact of more than $32 million to our local economy. He stated the ERC budget is not adequate enough to carry on a full economic development program and will either support staff or programs, but not both. The ERC needs $13,600 in new revenues to reach the same funding level enjoyed in 2004.
Mayor Tassone thanked Larry Burkhardt for the presentation and expressed appreciation for all
that the ERC does for the community.
3.0 ANNOUNCEMENTS, AGENDA REVIEW AND CHANGES
Bobbi Poznik-Coover, City Clerk, stated that staff has requested that item 6.6 be removed from the consent calendar and placed on the agenda as item 10.1 for discussion.
4.0 PUBLIC COMMENT
Inger Avery, Grass Valley School Foundation for Arts and Science, explained an idea they would like to implement for a major fund raiser in association with the Grass Valley Downtown Association (GVDA). The idea is to line the streets of Grass Valley with American flags for a visual extravaganza on the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day.
Howard Levine, Executive Director of the GVDA, stated he has talked with City staff about this proposal and feels this is a great opportunity to use the flag pole holes already in place to support the schools and make downtown look absolutely wonderful during these four holidays.
5.0 BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENTS / REPORTS BY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Council Member Swarthout stated she attended the GVDA and NCTV Board Meetings.
Council Member Williams stated he and Council Member Swarthout were interviewed on NCTV,
but not in regards to their roles as Council Members.
Mayor Tassone stated he and Joe Heckel, Community Development Director, were on the radio representing the City. He also attended the ground breaking ceremony for Habitat for Humanity on North Church Street.
6.0 CONSENT ITEMS
Motion by Council Member Ingram, seconded by Council Member Williams and carried by a
unanimous roll call vote to approve the consent items as follows:
6.1 Minutes of Council Meetings of March 7 and 8, 2005
6.2 Warrant Registers
Approved disbursements of $1,144,102.04.
6.3 Department Reports: a. Fire b. Treasurer’s Report
Received and filed.
6.4 Appointment of Auditor for FY 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07
Authorized execution of agreement with Smith and Newell CPAs to provide auditing services.
6.5 Allocation of Pedestrian / Bicycle Transportation Funds for Mautino Park Project
Adopted Resolution #05-17 allocating $25,050 of LTF to be used to reimburse the City for construction of perimeter paths and concrete sidewalks.
6.7 REMAX Office at 1740 Nevada City Highway – Offers of Dedication
Authorized acceptance of Offers of Dedication for right-of-way.
6.8 Habitat for Humanity – 307 ¾ North Church Street
Approved Final Map 04-10 and authorized execution of subdivision improvement agreement.
6.9 Berg Heights Development Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
Authorized execution of an amendment to the scope of work of the agreement with North Fork Associates.
6.10 HOME Rental Assistance Projects Monitoring
Approved the Long-term Monitoring “Policies and Procedures”.
6.11 Specialty Chemical Supply Contracts for Wastewater Operations
Authorized execution of contracts, subject to legal review, with Altivia Chemical Company and State Chemical Company.
6.12 Fire Department Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
Authorized execution of agreement, subject to legal review, with Scott Technologies, Co. for in-house maintenance of SCBA’s.
6.13 Fireworks Ordinance
Waived the reading of the ordinance in its entirety and adopted Ordinance #648 pertaining to fireworks.
7.1 Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Gene Haroldsen, City Administrator, stated this item is being brought forward at the request of Council Member Williams. It seeks to lend support to the efforts to locate the headquarters of Sierra Nevada Conservancy in Nevada County, specifically Nevada City which has been very instrumental in forming the Conservancy and has been vying for this role. The agency was created by the Laird/Leslie Sierra Nevada Conservancy Act of 2004 and in September 2004 Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Bill at a ceremony on the Bear River.
Council Member Williams stated the Conservancy has a significant budget and whatever town becomes its headquarters will benefit from an influx of new jobs.
Vice Mayor Johnson stated he would like to see it located in Nevada City, but he knows Truckee is also vying for this opportunity.
Council Member Ingram stated she is not in favor of specifying its location to Nevada City.
Mayor Tassone clarified that the Conservancy will not necessarily locate in Nevada County. It could be Auburn or other cities. He is willing to support its location in Nevada City.
Council Member Ingram stated she thinks having the opportunity for two or three cities in Nevada County that would be willing to have the Conservancy would be better than singling out one that may not have the total attributes being looked for.
Council Member Swarthout believes the economics of it would be better for Grass Valley if it were located in Nevada City. She would like to see the City support locating the Conservancy in Nevada City.
Motion by Council Member Williams, seconded by Council Member Ingram and carried by the
following voice vote to adopt Resolution #05-18 in support of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy locating its headquarters in Nevada County: Council Members Ingram, Williams and Mayor Tassone-aye; Council Member Swarthout and Vice Mayor Johnson-no.
7.1 Cooperation, Compromise and Planning for Growth – Future Policy Considerations on City Expansion and Special Development Areas (Continued item from 3/22/05)
Council Member Williams stated that he requested this item be on the agenda. He stated the City has hired a consultant to complete an SDA Study related to the annexations which should be complete in about two months. He believes it is important that Council set some examples for the community of working cooperatively together. It is important for the public to work with the City in the decision making regarding the SDA’s. He stated it is positive if the public sees the Council working toward five votes and trying to make compromises so that all segments of the community are represented in the decisions.
Council Member Ingram believes this is an amenable Council regardless of how the vote turns out. She believes Council Members can walk away from making decisions and be able to say "hello" on the street. It is important for the public to know that that's the way business is handled. The entire Council is trying to do what is best for our community and for our constituents and do it in a fashion that garners respect not only between the five members of Council but also with the public.
Vice Mayor Johnson stated Council is going to be faced with some big decisions when it comes to SDA's and traffic improvements. There have been some lively discussions and Council has not always agreed but excess baggage is not carried to the next meeting from previous meetings even though there have been differences. Council will have to put their name behind some major decisions and it will draw out some emotions and differences. Hopefully Council can work together through anything presented to them as a Council.
Mayor Tassone stated one element that may be helpful is to schedule a team building session sooner than later. It is important that Council Members begin to learning about each other's strong points and weak points.
8.0 PUBLIC HEARINGS – No Items
9.0 STAFF REPORTS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
9.1 Nevada County Transportation Commission (NCTC) – FY05/06 Work Program
Dan Landon, NCTC Executive Director, presented the 2005/06 work program and budget. In the work program the planning revenues from the State have been significantly reduced but included are three important projects that were recommended: the development of a web-based traffic data base, updating the regional traffic model to a 2005 base year, and looking at a traffic operation study to identify the potential for any low cost, interim improvements that might be implemented until there are sufficient funds for larger improvements.
Vice Mayor Johnson stated there is a strong desire to keep the Dorsey Drive Interchange at the top of the list. He asked if there is a priority in the group of projects listed in the Transportation Improvement Program.
Dan Landon replied that the Commission will be adopting a new Regional Transportation Improvement Program and he anticipates the Commission will maintain their priority for Dorsey Drive. The big caveat at the moment is the State budget. The process is being monitored and the Commission is actively involved with legislators and other transportation advocacy groups to insure that there is sufficient funding for the project.
Vice Mayor Johnson stated the Dorsey Drive improvements are critical. He stated he is concerned that the Grass Valley Corridor Improvement Project (GVCIP) will become a priority over the Dorsey Drive project, which he feels should be the top priority.
Dan Landon stated both projects are needed and the funding available for these two projects is not in competition with each other. The Commission is hopeful that CalTrans will recognize what a significant contribution these projects will be to their operations. The funds for Dorsey Drive are in the hands of the State and there are two sets of assumptions. One is that all the money gets diverted again and there's none for transportation, and the other is if all of the statutory requirements that are in place are met.
Vice Mayor Johnson asked what is needed to keep the triangle position of the GVCIP moving forward.
Dan Landon stated that the Commission’s design team is working on both projects and because of some potential changes in the way CalTrans is doing their budget, the Commission is trying to determine whether to break the projects and rely on "safety" funding solely for one project or keep them together and go after a bigger pot of money. Within the next two weeks the first piece of the Project Study Report will be submitted to Caltrans. He stated the triangle piece is not as time sensitive because the safety funds are in place.
Vice Mayor Johnson asked for information relating to the Crestview Drive/Smith Drive intersection. Also, he asked for clarification on the costs for the studies and who is paying them. It is his understanding that transportation dollars are not being used.
Dan Landon replied that this is correct. Also, significant strides are being made with CalTrans but it is a tortuous process. It appears they are satisfied with the location selection and are ready to delegate lead agency authority under CEQA. It is hoped that within the next week final comments and approval will be received.
In response to questioning from Council Member Swarthout, Dan Landon stated the community has a better relationship with CalTrans than it did in 2002 when the Brunswick Corridor Study was completed.
Council Member Williams asked what would cause NCTC to begin exploring reduced speed coming down the hill toward the "weave".
Dan Landon replied that the Commission is already studying that and the collector /distributor alternative is an attempt to achieve that. By taking the Bennett Street off-ramp traffic and the Idaho-Maryland Road off ramp traffic off together, things slow down. A striped median is provided between the on ramp and the auxiliary lane which allows the weaving to occur at approximately 35 mph. As a result, the traffic destined for the freeway has its own auxiliary lane to go onto the freeway and merge at a safe distance and speed.
Mayor Tassone expressed his appreciation to Dan Landon for all he has done to keep Dorsey Drive at the top of the priority list and asked what the City can do to help.
Dan Landon replied that he would encourage the City to write to the Governor and to our local legislators and key members of the legislative delegation, i.e., the Senate Transportation Committee Chair, and let them know that funding for transportation is desperately needed.
In response to questioning by Council Member Williams, Dan Landon stated the Commission has been working for over a year with the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Placer County is our nearest neighbor that is a part of that group. Together with representatives from Truckee and Reno they have been working to identify the appropriate service configuration and equipment that would be needed to extend that service. The key issue now is getting Federal funding at a level that would allow those services to be implemented.
Mark Johnson stated that another letter should be sent.
Council Member Ingram encouraged groups all around the Grass Valley area to write letters to the State urging funding for these projects. A thousand constituent’s letters carry more weight than those of governmental jurisdictions.
Dan Landon added that in Nevada County 45% of the roads are in fair to very poor condition. There is a $4 million annual shortfall in meeting the maintenance need and a current $26 million backlog of deferred maintenance. That represents money that comes to Nevada County and Grass Valley in gas tax revenues that isn't happening.
Council Member Swarthout suggested that staff could let people know who they can write to and what the effect would be. She believes lobbying, etc., would be very effective.
Motion by Vice Mayor Johnson, seconded by Council Member Ingram and unanimously carried
to adopt Resolution #05-19 approving program.
9.2 Mautino Park Phase II, Drainage and Minnie Park Playground Improvements
Keith Sauers, Interim City Engineer, commended Dan Landon and the NCTC for doing so much for the community.
Keith Sauers stated that the selection committee recommends the award of a design contract to Bisnett Design Associations in the amount of $30,134, for Mautino Park Phase 2 and Minnie Park. Council had requested that the unsettled drainage issues be resolved before the park opens. A contract was negotiated with SCO Engineers who had been a sub-consultant on Phase 1 and had prepared the drainage design that the City did not use. The amount of that contract is $4,200 and is part of the $70,000 budget transfer before Council tonight. The budget transfer will cover the cost of the design fee and construction activity to correct all activities associated with resolving the drainage problems. There has been a lot of rain and staff has discovered that run off in the park was not being efficiently handled by the existing drainage facilities. His task will correct that problem as well.
Council Member Swarthout asked if the $70,000 is going to fix the original drainage problem that was either not appropriately designed or constructed.
Keith Sauers replied that the original design was not followed. The $70,000 will fix the drainage issue. The open ditch will become a culvert and covered over and the ponds that have relatively steep slopes in them will be graded out to be more visually pleasing. This design and construction will correct the run off problem.
Council Member Johnson asked for confirmation that the culvert, the safety issues and the drainage problems are going to be resolved before the park opens and for an estimate when these improvements would be completed.
Keith Sauers replied that the improvements should be completed by the end of May. The soccer field will be established by the time school is out and the tennis courts are playable now. Staff believes there will be a functioning park by the time school is out and if there are any dangerous conditions during Phase 2, adjustments will be made.
Motion by Council Member Williams, seconded by Council Member Ingram and carried by a unanimous roll call vote to authorize execution of agreements, subject to legal review, with Bisnett Design Associates for design services for Mautino and Minnie Park projects and SCO Planning and Engineering, Inc. for preparation of plans and specifications for remediation of drainage at Mautino Park; and approve associated budget transfer in the amount of $70,000.
9.3 Special Fire Response Tax – 2005 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
Hank Weston, Fire Chief, stated this is the annual report for the Special Fire Tax which will incorporated into the budget process. In 1997 a special tax was passed which was an annual cost of living adjustment not to exceed 5%. This year the COLA is up 3.3% this and the increase is necessary to keep pace with the step increases and COLA’s for the three firefighters funded by this special tax fund.
Motion by Vice Mayor Johnson, seconded by Council Member Ingram and carried by a unanimous
roll call vote to adopt Resolution #05-20 requesting the County Auditor to place the current Special Emergency and Fire Response Tax on the FY 2005/06 tax roll.
9.4 FY 2004/05 Eight Month Budget Review and Initial FY 2005/06 Budget Outlook
Carol Fish, Director of Finance, reviewed the budget stating that the main revenue source for the City is the sales tax. As a result of state budget impacts cities now receive only 3/4% of the sales tax revenues from the State. She stated property tax revenues are running higher than estimated by about $185.000 and sales tax is running comparable to previous years. Transient occupancy tax revenues have gone up because of a hotel that was recently annexed into the City. Business license tax has also gone up significantly because of annexations. She stated that overall departmental expenditures are at 66% eight months into the year. Expenditures are higher than the revenues coming in due to fixed costs such as salaries, benefits, operating costs, supplies, etc. She added that this is the second year the City is deficit spending.
Carol Fish stated that the Development Service Fund was created in order to isolate and report development activity in a separate and distinct fund. It was established in FY 2003/04 and receipts and disbursements for all developer related fees and expenses are tracked in this fund. The fund is still a work in progress and budget amendments are required to better depict actual activity. A few years ago when the user fees were adopted they were not fully supported. Staff will be returning to Council with an update relating to the User Fee Study. She added that revenues for other funds are running 41.55% of the budgeted amount.
Carol Fish stated that the budget for FY 2005/06 will be a comprehensive financial plan for all government units of the City. Its primary purpose will be to provide a foundation for making decisions about how the City will spend the financial resources at its disposal. It will address what types of programs will be funded and at what level. There are many financial challenges to face, but the local economy is strong and continues to grow.
10.0 ITEMS REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR FOR DISCUSSION OR SEPARATE
ACTION AND / OR ANY ADDED AGENDA ITEMS
10.1 Downtown Strategic Plan Priority Work Tasks – Status Report
Joe Heckel, Community Development Director, stated this is a new set of priority work tasks that relate to the Downtown Strategic Plan that was previously approved by Council. When the study is adopted staff will bring back a status report and reconfirm what Council’s priorities are. The intent tonight is to monitor the progress of the implementation program and present some new ideas to fold into some budget programs for the next fiscal year. The priority projects to be implemented during FY 2004/05 to FY 2005/06 focus on several improvements within the downtown including streetscape, parking, circulation and management/promotions.
Council Member Johnson commented that he believes Church and School Streets need to be part of
the streetscape improvements.
Council Member Swarthout commented she feels it would be beneficial for Public Works to get
together with the Downtown and Planning departments to review issues and added that she would be happy to participate.
Motion by Council Member Swarthout, seconded by Council Member Ingram and unanimously
carried to approve Exhibit “A”, a list of priority projects to be implemented from FY2004/05 to FY2006/07.
Recess the City Council Meeting and Convene as the Grass Valley Redevelopment Agency
11.0 GRASS VALLEY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY – Next Resolution #R05-02
11.1 Richardson Street Extension Project – Budget Transfer Request
Keith Sauers, Interim City Engineer, announced that the State Solid Waste Management Board will award Grass Valley a grant in the amount of $25,000 because of the City’s intent to use a composite material made of recycled rubber tires under the playground equipment at Minnie Park.
Keith Sauers stated there are some residual expenses that carried over on the Richardson Street Extension Project making the budget transfer in the amount of $7,890 necessary to close out the account. Also, the NCTC has allocated $1,500,000 of Regional Traffic Mitigation Fees to this project. The City expects to be reimbursed the cost of this project based on an NCTC schedule for 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Motion by Board Member Ingram, seconded by Board Member Swarthout and carried by a
unanimous roll call vote to approve budget transfer of $7,890.
Adjourn the Redevelopment Agency Meeting and Reconvene as the Grass Valley City Council
12.0 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY - No Items
13.0 CLOSED DOOR SESSION
13.1 CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATORS – Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8
Property: 131,139, 141, 214, 218 and 226 E. Main Street
Negotiators: City Administrator and Community Development Director
Under Negotiation: Price and terms
13.2 PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT – Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957
Title: Human Resources Manager
13.3 CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR – Pursuant to Govt. Code 54957.6
Agency Negotiator: Human Resources Manager
Employee Organizations: Unit 1 and 7
Direction was given to staff. There was no other action to report from closed session.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m. by Mayor Tassone.
GERARD TASSONE, MAYOR Bobbi Poznik-Coover, City Clerk
[This message has been edited by Bobbi (edited 07-11-2005).]