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City Council to discuss $3 million owed to TID

POSTED June 24, 2011 8:53 p.m.

The proposed Surface Water Treatment Plant may have been shelved, but the City of Turlock still owes the Turlock Irrigation District nearly $3 million for work performed on designing the facility.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will consider repaying the Turlock Irrigation District between $2.7 and $2.8 million for services performed related to the development of the proposed facility – less than TID asked for.

The project’s roots lie in October 2005, when Turlock entered into an agreement with TID to design and engineering a facility to take excess water from the Tuolumne River and treat it to serve as drinking water for Turlock and some neighboring communities. In 2008, as the economy plunged, Turlock and the participating cities balked at the cost of the project, and established a Joint Powers Authority to better examine the effort.

The JPA requested TID cease work on the project in the third quarter of 2009, as they considered alternatives. As of 2011, the project remains in the works, but no timetable exists for construction.

Turlock owes TID for work performed through the third quarter 2009, but the two sides differ on the amount due.

The agreement calls for a 4 percent interest rate, which Turlock now considers “unacceptable” given the change in the economy. The city is proposing to pay the 4 percent interest rate through Sept. 31, 2009, and a lower rate for the following period of time; TID refuses to budge from the agreed to 4 percent interest rate.

Should TID not accept the suggested amount, Turlock could be forced to pay the district more, per the terms of the contract.

 

The Turlock City Council is also expected to:

·         Purchase the office building located at 144 South Broadway Ave. to house the Recreation Services Division and other city operations. The facility would cost $483,894.

The purchase would allow the City of Turlock to consolidate all of its operations on Broadway Avenue and along South Walnut Avenue.

·         Extend the Turlock Partnership Incentives Program, which offers $1,000 cash to new businesses which complete business plans and open in existing storefronts.

The program is due for renewal after a six month trial run, during which the City of Turlock drafted the program and drew significant interest but did not issue any payouts. Two businesses are said to be close to opening, however.

Renewing the program would re-allocate an unspent $150,000 toward the effort, previously shifted from General Fund Reserves.

·         Alter the Turlock Municipal Code to allow the city to issue administrative citations for code violations, rather than relying on infractions which end up in courts. Turlock is one of only two cities in Stanislaus County without an administrative citation program.
The change would see administrative citations incur a $100 charge for the first violation in a 12 month period, a $200 charge for the second, and a $500 charge for the third. Building and housing code violations would incur $100, $500, and $1,000 fees for the first, second, and third violations in a 12 month period.

·         Consider a Redevelopment Agency budget amendment to expend $4,000 to complete landscape design plans for the Turlock Beautification Project, which would landscape the Monte Vista Interchange and the Golden State Corridor.
A split, 3-2 council previously agreed to move forward with the plans at the June 7 meeting of the Turlock City Council. The plans had been put on hold for the prior year, due to concerns Turlock will not have funding to install or maintain landscaping even should design be completed

·         Approve environmental quality act review of the Avena Bella low-income housing project, planned for 500 W. Linwood Ave., which would allow the project to be developed in two phases.
The project has already passed environmental review, but requires reexamination as the project will now be phased. Initially, the entire project was to be developed at once.

·         Implement a new mandate which changes how Turlock classifies its fund balances.

·         Reappoint Candy Klaschus to the Turlock City Arts Commission.

·         Recognize employees for years of service, both at a special, 6 p.m. reception and at the opening of the 7 p.m. council meeting.

·         Hear a presentation on a partnership between the Turlock Police Department and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from Frank Johnson, president of the Stanislaus Branch of the NAACP.

·         Receive a staff update on the Fourth of July from Fire Chief Mark Lohman.

·         Adopt a mitigation monitoring program for the development of the Mi Pueblo Food Center.

·         Support the Farmers Market Committee’s request for funding through the Farmers Market Promotion Program of the United States Department of Agriculture.

·         Extend a public dance hall permit for Mariachi’s Restaurant, located at 2669 Geer Rd. The restaurant, which holds salsa dancing and salsa lessons, originally received its dance hall permit on Oct. 26, 2010.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway Ave.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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