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Down economy leads to creation of fee deferral program

POSTED October 30, 2009 11:40 p.m.

In an effort to help developers bring their building plans to fruition in the current down economy, the City of Turlock will now offer a fee deferral program.
City Engineer Mike Pitcock presented the Fee Deferral Program to the city council on Tuesday which will allow Capital Facilities Fee payment deferment for a period of 24 months in the Northwest Triangle Specific Plan and the Westside Industrial Specific Plan.    
Pitcock presented three options for this program. The first option considers all fees being deferred. The second option considers 20 percent of the cost due at building permit issuance and the remaining 80 percent paid over the next four years. The third option considers zero percent of the cost due at building permit issuance and the remainder 100 percent paid over the next five years.   
The city council came to an agreement to adopt this program.

Council to consider allowing private funeral escort services 
Captain Mike Langston of the Turlock Police Department presented a city code amendment to the council on Tuesday that would allow private escort services to direct traffic during funerals.
Current Turlock Municipal Code 4-7-801 states that, “The directing of all vehicles and traffic on any street over which such funeral procession or parade wishes to pass shall be subject to the orders of the Police Department.”   
Councilmember Kurt Spycher expressed his concern with changing city code to specifically allow private citizens, such as Turlock resident Sebastian Jones who already helps with coordinating traffic during funeral services, to do something the police have control over.
Chief of Police Gary Hampton assured Spycher that this amendment will “allow us better regulatory.”   
Langston, Councilmember Mary Jackson, Jones, and Allen’s Mortuary all expressed their support for this amendment.   
The City Council will vote on amending Turlock Municipal Code 4-7-801 at their next meeting scheduled for Nov. 10.

Police Department hires five new officers
The City Council approved on Tuesday the hiring of four full-time and one part-time police officers.
Chief of Police Gary Hampton referred to the addition of new officers as a “house cleaning issue,” with filling the gaps to maintain the strong force of the police department.
Hampton assured the City Council that they are “not increasing staffing, just filling vacant positions.”
The four full-time positions being filled are for two Police Officer I positions, one Police Sergeant position and one Public Safety Communications Supervisor position. The one part-time position will be filled by a Police Cadet.

City loans Turlock Scavenger $400,000
To make the billing process easier on Turlock residents, the Turlock Scavenger Company will be changing their system to add sewage, water and garbage all on the same bill. Michael Cook, representing the Turlock Scavenger, asked the City Council on Tuesday to loan them the $400,000 needed to make the changes.
The City Council approved the loan.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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