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Council to consider cop cuts

POSTED February 6, 2010 12:30 a.m.
In a cost-saving measure, the Turlock City Council will be asked to reduce the number of Turlock Police Officers funded through the general fund from 81 to 77. The proposal is expected to save the cash-strapped City of Turlock $436,000 per year, on top of $1.5 million in police department budget cuts over the past 18 months.
However, the City of Turlock only has 78 of 85 total police officer positions currently staffed. Three general fund positions are vacant, in addition to four positions made possible through an existing Office of Community Oriented Policing Services grant.
As a result of the vacancies, only one officer would be laid off in the short term, and a modification to the COPS grant would likely allow his or her rehire in a short period of time. The change would, however, see the total funded number of police officers fall from 85 to 81.
According to the staff report, additional personnel cuts will likely be necessary to balance the budget.

Also on Tuesday’s Turlock City Council Agenda:
• The Council will consider entering into in agreement with non-profit housing corporation EAH, Inc., to develop nearly 7 acres of city-owned vacant land at 500 West Linwood into affordable rental housing.
• A planned development for the expansion of All Saints Newman Catholic Community Church, which would include a new 7,600 sq. ft. multipurpose building, a new 700 sq. ft. office building, a 1,000 sq. ft. youth center expansion, and, eventually a new 17,000 sq. ft., 1,000 seat church building.
• Turlock’s economic and redevelopment manager, Heidi McNally-Dial, will present a report on economic development efforts with an emphasis on the city’s Westside Industrial Specific Plan shovel-ready industrial park.
• The Council will consider funding options for a  $27.3 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion, which includes a pipeline to bypass the Harding Drain and discharge treated wastewater directly into the San Joaquin River. Council may opt to either issue sewer revenue bonds or wait to see if it receives low-cost financing from stimulus funds.
• A presentation on a proposed project to use the City of Turlock’s recycled wastewater to irrigate land owned by customers of the westside’s Del Puerto Irrigation District.
• A housekeeping revision to the City of Turlock’s agreement with the Turlock Poker Room, editing in a passage restricting the maximum payment to 7.5 percent of gross revenue which was previously agreed upon but not included in the final text.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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