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Council considers leasing Starr Avenue building to womens center
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The former site of Turlock's Park and Recreation Division may soon become home to a nonprofit offering help for abused women and children.
On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will consider approving a five year lease agreement with Haven Women's Center of Stanislaus County for the 301 Starr Ave. parcel.
The agreement would see the center use the site to offer free counseling services to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, case management, legal assistance regarding restraining orders, and behavioral health services. Additionally, youth programs would help children and teens affected by domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual assault.
"The Starr Avenue location is ideal for the delivery of these services as it is located directly across the street from the current Turlock Police Department as well as less than a mile from the Emanuel Medical Center," the city staff report reads.
Haven Women's Center has operated in Stanislaus County for nearly 35 years, offering a variety of services for women and children, including shelter in Modesto. The agency looks to enact social change, reduce violence and discrimination, and support individual women and children, many of whom are battered.
The 301 Starr Ave. parcel is currently owned by the former Turlock Redevelopment Agency, which purchased the property from the City of Turlock when Parks and Recreation moved to 144 S. Broadway in 2011. At the time, the agency planned to develop the site into low-income housing, perhaps for seniors.
The city expects it may take some time to raise funding needed to develop the Starr Avenue site, but still intends to construct housing there at some point.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:
• Finalize an amendment to city speed limits. The change would see the speed limit increase on Taylor Road between Golden State Boulevard and Berkeley Avenue, from 45 miles per hour to 55, and decrease on Fransil Lane between West Main Street and Fulkerth Road, from 55 miles per hour to 50.
The amendment was first introduced at the Oct. 9 meeting of council, where it was unanimously endorsed.
• Update the city's Conflict of Interest Code, which details positions that make decisions which may affect the employee's financial interests. The document was last updated Nov. 9, 2010.
• Receive special briefings from the Teen Advisory Council, and from the California State University, Stanislaus Associated Students, Inc.
• Approve an agreement with CSU Stanislaus, allowing the Turlock Police Department to use college interns.
• Approve setting the Annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 7.
• Conference in closed session discussing anticipated litigation.
• Conference in closed session with labor negotiators representing all city unions and unrepresented employees.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.