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City to update ADA plan; Council approves cost increase for new transit hub
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The Turlock City Council on Tuesday approved a $162,020 contract to produce an Americans with Disabilities Act self-evaluation and transition plan, which will describe how City of Turlock facilities, programs, policies, and practices should change to better accommodate the disabled.
Such a plan is required under the federal law. Turlock last completed a transition plan in 1997, but that plan will expire in fall.
The plan examines all aspects of the city's property and programs, from sidewalks to parks, intersections, and public transportation. Those projects are gradually taken care of as the city receives funding, usually from ADA or parks-specific grants.
"What we do is try to mark as many projects off that last as we can as we go," said City Engineer Mike Pitcock.
The new transition plan will also determine the amount of money which needs to set aside annually to make the needed changes, and to prepare a new ADA transition plan when the new document expires in 15 years.
The entire project will be funded from the city's current ADA fund; that fund will be essentially drained by the expenditure. The work will be carried out by Sally Swanson Architects, Inc., of San Francisco.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council also:
• Approved a $6,572.87 cost increase for construction on the $1.6 million Turlock Transit Hub. The increase came due to extra costs to remove unforeseen buried facilities and a diseased redwood tree, and is available in the project contingency budget.
• Ratified the City's federal grant application for $500,000 toward the purchase of a new fire engine. The new engine would replace a 1999 fire engine, which is nearing the end of its service life. A new engine will cost approximately $550,000, leaving Turlock to pay $50,000 if the grant is approved.
• Issued a proclamation in honor of Parks and Recreation Month, July 2012.
• Recognized the retirement of long-time city employee Richard Berru, an Electrical Mechanical Technician II.
• Appointed seven members to the reformed Turlock City Arts Commission. The commission was revised by Council in May to include seven members with two alternates; it previously had 15 regular members. As part of the revision, all members were required to reapply for the commission if they so chose.
Two vacancies remain for alternate members.
• Finalized an update to the Turlock Municipal Code which more clearly defines the responsibilities of homeowners in the maintenance of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, curb cuts, and driveway approaches.
The update, recommended by the Central San Joaquin Valley Risk Management Authority, does not substantively change previous obligations, which call for property owners to maintain sidewalks and holds property owners liable for any injury which may occur.
• Completed the process to pass the responsibility to approve dance hall permits, fortunetelling permits, and introduction, dating, and escort service permits to the Chief of Police. Previously, both Turlock Police and the Turlock City Council must approve such permits annually.
• Finalized an update to the City of Turlock's car towing regulations. The amendment is said to streamline and condense the language, while altering Turlock's code to mirror laws enforced by the California Highway Patrol.
The amendment also requires tow operators to tow cars to a yard located in Turlock. Currently, Anderson's Towing tows cars to Ceres, and the owner says the new restriction may force him out of business.
The update goes into effect July 1, 2013.
• Completed an alteration of the Turlock Municipal Code to more clearly explain the City of Turlock's process to transfer surplus or unused equipment between departments, or to sell such goods. The clarification would spell out the City Manager as responsible.
• Conducted an annual performance evaluation of City Attorney Phaedra Norton in closed session.