The Turlock City Council is slated to tackle a number of big issues at their next meeting that could see new programs to address homelessness in Turlock, the hiring of a pollster to find out residents’ opinions on a potential new tax and what roads will be fixed next.
The City Council will consider three projects aimed at addressing homelessness in Turlock that, if approved, will be submitted to the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency for Homeless Emergency Aid Program grant funding.
The grant funding comes from Senate Bill 850, which created $500 million in one-time funding to address homelessness across California. Stanislaus County received approximately $7.2 million in funding, with Turlock slated to receive $585,000.
The projects Turlock is proposing are:
· - Build a flex/community room off the WeCare program’s kitchen area that could be used for overflow shelter beds and the delivery of support services and training when not needed for sleeping space ($240,000);
· - Rehabilitate the Turlock Gospel Mission Day Center and install life safety equipment that would allow the facility to be used as overflow shelter bed space ($240,000); and
· - Rolling out a pilot project that will allow homeless individuals to store their belongings in a city-owned facility near City Hall.
The projects City staff will present to the Council fall within the parameters of the funding guidelines that they must be used for services, construction costs and/or housing subsidies that will be a direct benefit to people experiencing homelessness; and funds cannot be used for activities directly related to enforcement, closing encampments, etc.
Additionally, 50 percent must be spent by January 2020 and 100 percent spent by June 2021. If all the funds aren’t spent by June 2021, they return to the State.
Polling for a tax measure
The majority of the City Council directed staff on Nov. 12 to move forward with finding a pollster in advance of putting a potential tax measure on the November 2020 ballot. A local tax measure would be one way of obtaining a new source of revenue to help bolster the City’s quickly diminishing financial resources.
Interim City Manager Michael Cooke and Assistant to the City Manager for Economic Development and Housing Maryn Pitt met with three political consultants and solicited bids for polling services to gauge citizens’ possible support of a local tax measure.
After a review of proposals, Cooke is recommending the City contract with Grassroots Laboratory in an amount not to exceed $40,000 to conduct public opinion research of likely voters about Turlock’s quality of life and standard of public services, including voter attitudes towards various revenue measures.
The funds for the pollster would come from Economic Development Expenses, a non-General Fund account.
If approved, Grassroots Lab would conduct a poll in a 10 to 14-day timespan and then review the results with city leadership and consultants. Grassroots would also provide an analysis of revenue measures in peer agencies in the state and give information to the Council on the merits and viability of any potential tax measure.
The City Council will consider changing the scope of one of the road projects previously approved and direct staff on identifying an additional project should funds become available through the close out of the West Main Project.
The City Council adopted a road funding strategy on Oct. 22 that places the funding priority of 60 percent for residential streets, 20 percent to collector roads and 20 percent to arterial streets. The Council also approved four project areas to be started as soon as possible, which was identified as the upcoming summer season.
Rehabilitation of Golden State Boulevard in three different areas was selected as one of the projects to be started in 2020. As this project will use some federal funds, specific design processes have to be completed prior to construction. Interim Development Services Director Nathan Bray states in the staff report that there is not enough time to get all the design work completed for summer work to be done. Bray is recommending the City only tackle one portion of Golden State Boulevard, Crane working towards Fulkerth until project totals are equals. This section of Golden State was designed already as part of the prior Measure L project list.
Bray is also seeking input on the next roads project list. A list of locations that City pothole crews spent the most amount of time on in fiscal year 2018 will be presented to the Council. Topping the list is W. Linwood Avenue from S. Walnut to Tegner Road, N. Golden State from Atherstone to Taylor and N. Quincy from Marshall to Canal.
Information on bonding Measure L funds and a trench repair update will be presented to the City Council.
On Tuesday, the Council is also expected to consider:
- Adopting 2019 California Building Code Standards;
- Adopting the 2019 California Fire Code;
- Authorizing staff to implement a quadrant-based utility service billing cycle for garbage, rubbish, sewer service and water service in accordance with California SB 998;
- Accepting the City of Turlock’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018;
- Reaffirming the declaration of emergency made by Interim City Manager Cooke with the repair of the roadway, sewer and storm facilities on W. Tuolumne Road between Golden State Boulevard and Tully Road;
- Accepting a staff report on upcoming vacancies on the Planning Commission and Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission;
- Accepting an update on Business License Tax.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. The meeting is open to the public and available to be viewed online at: https://www.cityofturlock.org/government/turlockcitycouncil/councilmeetings.asp