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Council decides to stay with agency operating Gomes Lake, for now

POSTED October 15, 2010 8:59 p.m.

The Turlock City Council on Tuesday elected not to withdraw from a Joint Powers Agency in charge of operating Gomes Lake, where Turlock discharges its storm water.

Dropping out of the JPA would save the city about $800 per year in the short term, but council members were concerned that not being part of the JPA could potentially cost more in the long run. The Turlock City Council did not completely abandon the notion of departing from the JPA, but want a better idea of what tactic would save the city more money.

Turlock transfers storm water to Gomes Lake via the Turlock Irrigation District canal system. Currently, the city pays TID only for a share of improvement district costs and does not pay for the impacts of transporting water through the canals, as allowed under the city’s Master Storm Drain Agreement. Under the staff proposal, Turlock would have begun paying TID for those costs as part of dropping out of the JPA.

“Once you no longer have a say, they pretty much dictate how much they charge you,” said Councilman Ted Howze.

The JPA’s membership is in flux around the county, since the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors took issue with the distribution of costs earlier this year.

Since 2001, the City of Turlock has paid 35 percent of the costs to operate and maintain Gomes Lake, which amounts to about $18,000 per year. TID pays 20 percent of the costs, while Stanislaus County pays the remaining 45 percent.

Turlock has been part of the JPA since its establishment in the early 1970s.

 

On Tuesday the Turlock City Council also:

·         Approved eliminating a part-time police cadet position, used for parking enforcement. The duties will be merged with those of a Community Service Officer currently assigned to child safety seat installations and inspections and permitting tow truck, taxi cab, and limousine drivers. The move will close the Parking Enforcement fund, and merge the fund into the Traffic Safety Unit.

·         Tabled approving a contract to complete a space need assessment for City Hall and the Recreation Department needed to update the city’s Capital Facility Fee Program as part of the General Plan Update. The council unanimously voted to postpone approving the contract for two months, so the document can properly assess fees needed for the Public Safety Facility and Police Department Building.

·         Postponed approving a contract which would see the City of Turlock expend $70,000 from redevelopment funds to pay for the Planning Division to update and revise the Downtown Plan for the Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association.

·         Appointed Todd Weaver to a vacant seat on the Stanislaus Airport Advisory Committee. Weaver is a regional manager at Shepard Bros. and an active member of Monte Vista Chapel who has a strong desire to see more commercial flights arriving and departing from the Modesto Airport. Weaver’s term will run through Oct. 30, 2012.

·         Received a special briefing on California State University, Stanislaus from Pamela Contreras, vice president external for Associated Students Inc. Contreras updated the council on a successful Oct. 7 Flunk the Legislators event, sponsored by ASI, the Pinktoberfest breast cancer awareness campaign, a community service bus tour showing students volunteer opportunities in Turlock, and a Sustainable Futures Conference which will occur this weekend in San Ramon.

·         Issued a proclamation recognizing the Rotary Club of Turlock and the Turlock Sunrise Rotary for their efforts to eradicate polio, officially honoring the upcoming Oct. 24 World Polio Day.

·         Issued a proclamation recognizing National Friends of the Library Week, running from Oct. 17 through Oct. 23.

·         Received an update on Turlock Shines. The Oct. 2 community cleanup event drew 250 volunteers and disposed of 15 tons of trash.

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

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