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Council to consider Roads Initiative Program contracts, changing bus fares
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Following a special roads workshop held on Sept. 1, the Turlock City Council is expected to move forward with awarding contracts for consultants in connection to the Roads Initiative Program at their Tuesday meeting.

Interim City Manager Sarah Eddy is recommending the City Council approve professional service agreements with Public Facilities Investment Corporation (PFIC) and Michael Baker International for program management services and design and engineering services. The Council will also consider approving upfront investment of funds prior to the acquisition of lease revenue bonds, as proposed by the consultants.

PCIF’s proposed approach to the City’s Roads Initiative Program included:

·         The use of multiple consultants — PFIC as program manager, Michael Baker International as design engineer, Norton Rose Fulbright as legal financing consultant, Raymond James as underwriter and Ghirardelli Associates as construction manager; and

·         Exploring lease revenue bonds issued by the Turlock Public Financing Authority using the City’s streets as collateral as the leased asset.

If the Council should approve the contracts with PFIC on Tuesday, the fiscal impact would be $675,088 related to the programming phase and an additional $393,000 to deploy the vehicle that drives the roads and collects data. All of these costs could be funded from the Measure A funds that have been identified for the Roads Initiative Program, according to City staff.

An estimated $5.5 million will go towards road projects annually from Measure A funds, as previously approved by the Council.

As the scope of work is further defined, additional costs will be brought before the City Council for approval.

The upfront costs of acquiring lease bonds would be directly related to the amount of bonds issued and the rate at the time of bonding.

The Council could also decide to approve agreements with the other consultants who gave presentations during the workshop — Noresco and Project Finance Advisory Limited — or continue exploring options with City staff.

On Tuesday, the Council is also expected to:

  • Consider revising the passenger fare structure for City buses due to changes signed into law on July 16 in the State’s Public Utilities Code. There would be no fare increases. Fares would be either the same or reduced. Some of the proposed changes include: Anyone 18 years or younger would have unlimited free use of fixed route services; elimination of single trip passes; reducing all-day passes to an affordable level; and a reduction to fares for Dial-a-Ride.
  • Consider increasing the minimum wage that Storer Transit Systems pays Turlock bus drivers to address critical staffing needs. In the previous four weeks Storer lost four bus drivers to other opportunities and staffing for Turlock locations is reaching critical needs, according to the staff report. City staff is recommending raising the required minimum wage for Turlock bus drivers by $4 an hour, from $16 to $20 an hour, effective Oct. 1. If implemented, federal and state transit grant funding would be available to pay for the additional costs and Storer Transit would pay for employer-related expenses such as worker’s compensation;

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. Those who attend the meeting, must follow current State of California Public Health guidelines. The meeting will also be streamed on the City of Turlock website at and broadcasted on Spectrum Channel 2. Members of the public may also participate in the meeting via the following methods: