The City Council is expected at their next meeting to receive information on the possible relocation of the ACE train terminal and approve spending another $500,000 in COVID relief funds for the local shopping incentive RAD card program.
The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is in the process of extending the Altamont Corridor Express from Ceres to Merced with a stop and station in Turlock. The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority have submitted grant applications requesting funding for the ACE Extension project.
When the Turlock Transit Center was built in 2018 on the corner of Golden State Boulevard and Fulkerth Road, it was expected to be not only a regional bus station but eventually the ACE train station with a pedestrian walkway erected to allow passengers to walk from the station to the tracks on the west side of Golden State Boulevard.
Turlock Vice Mayor Pam Franco, who represents the City on the regional rail commission, has been in discussion with the commission about what would be required to relocate the proposed location of the Turlock station from the southwest corner of Fulkerth and Golden State Boulevard to a location closer to the downtown in the area of South First Street, B Street, the Union Pacific rail line and S. Golden State Boulevard.
Franco believes locating the ACE Station closer to the downtown will have the benefit of the station serving the downtown businesses and public venues while also providing for the redevelopment of this area in Turlock.
Through Vice Mayor Franco’s participation, the commission is willing to pursue this location as an alternative to their current plans if the City pays for the updates to the CEQA studies needed to evaluate the new location. The commission has requested the City Council hold two public meetings to discuss this relocation request and obtain public comment. Tuesday’s Council meeting is the first of those meetings with the second being held during the July 12 Council meeting.
The Council will also consider on Tuesday a second issuance of funding for the RAD card program in the amount of $500,000.
As a result of the major financial distress caused by the coronavirus disease, the City of Turlock partnered with Downtown Modesto Partnership for the RAD Card matching program in December 2021. The RAD Card matching program matches purchases through the RAD Card application to be used at qualifying local businesses. The RAD Card functions much like a gift card, however, the funds are only accessible by downloading an app onto a mobile devise. When the customer makes a purchase, the retailer scans the QR code, enters the amount of the purchase and uploads a picture of the receipt to the customer’s app. The funds in the account are encumbered accordingly, and the customer heads to their next shopping destination.
On the backend, funds are disbursed to retailers electronically on a weekly basis. Dollars are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100, per person. On Dec. 14, 2021 the City Council authorized the execution of a Service Agreement between the City of Turlock and Downtown Modesto Partnership for the RAD Card matching program in an amount not to exceed $1,115,000. The RAD Card matching program allocation of $1 million in matching funds, and $115,000 for administration fees, utilized American Rescue Plan Act resources as the funding source.
In December 2021, the City of Turlock released $500,000, one-half of the matching funds. The Council will discuss and determine the release date of the second allocation of $500,000, consistently utilizing ARPA funds.
Currently there are 79 local businesses participating in the RAD Card program. According to the City staff report, the RAD Card has been well received, as it is simple and straightforward to use, both for the shopper and the business. City of Turlock businesses are benefitting from this program. City staff have received positive feedback from many local businesses regarding the RAD Card matching program.
The following is a list of local verified businesses currently accepting RAD Card transactions and funds disbursed:
$50,000 - $60,000: Farm House First and Main
$40,000 - $49,999: Bella Forte
$30,000 - $39,999: Glitz Fine Clothing, Center Street Grill
$20,000 - $29,999: Commonwealth, Turlock Kraving Kebab Pizza, Willie’s Pizza & Wings, Dean’s Pizza, Cuts Steakhouse
$10,000 - $19,999: Rustic Roots, Big Vic’s BBQ, Round Table Pizza, Savor, Vintage Market, Dolly Boutique, Bijou Turlock, Katana Sushi, Main Street Footers
$5,000 - $9,999: 10 East Kitchen and Taphouse, Main Street Antiques, Crivelli Shirts & More, Intro – Turlock, Sunsports, Danilyn Children’s Boutique, House of Random
$1,000 - $4,999: Café Rome, Back Home Furniture and Décor, Snazzy Boutique, Edith’s Crust & Crumb, Jura’s Pizza, Lulu’s Ice Cream Parlor, Vail Creek Jewelry Designs, The Udder Place, Jem Juicery, I Am Yoga Wellness Studio, Lisa’s Cookie Jar, Taqueria La Primera, Little Red Door, Flawless Studio of Beauty, 1507 Boutique, Re.treat, D2, Inspirations, Steph & Co., Cotta’s Kitchen, American Male Hair Salon.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. The meeting is open to the public.