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Council to consider valet parking in downtown Turlock
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Turlock may soon join popular tourist areas like Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach in offering valet parking service in the heart of the booming downtown area. The Turlock City Council is expected to consider on Tuesday a one-year pilot project that would allow a third-party contractor to provide valet parking service from the corner of Broadway and Main Street.

Ace Valet, owned by Matt Swanson and managed by Todd Owen, has requested to operate the downtown valet service from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day with hours depending on demand. The valet drop-off and pick-up point would be the five parallel parking spaces in front of Hauck's Grill, at 142 W. Main St., and the vehicles would be transported to the public parking lot on the corner of Broadway Avenue and A Street, across from City Hall. The valet service would be available to the general public for a flat rate of $5 per vehicle.

According to Deputy Director of Development Services and Planning Debbie Whitmore, the valet parking idea came out of the recent discussions with business owners about the downtown parking study. The City Council contracted with TJKM Transportation Consultants in December to develop a Downtown Parking Plan. The consultants have been gathering data over the past five months on the current parking situation and are expected to present a comprehensive approach to addressing current and future parking in all of the downtown areas in the coming months.

In the meantime, the valet parking service could help mitigate the parking impact of the opening of Hauck's Grill,  another downtown eatery which has already generated a lot of buzz.

"The main reason we want the valet service is to help encourage people to come downtown and not be discouraged by the parking problems," said Eric Gonsalves, vice president of Brownstone Equities, which offices are located above Hauck's Grill.

The proposed agreement between Ace Valet and the City of Turlock includes background checks on all valet employees, limits on advertising and a requirement that the operator be held responsible for any liability.

On Tuesday, the Council is also expected to consider:

Approving the revised City of Turlock Special Event Permit application and proposed fees;Designating the annual 4th of July Fireworks Display a City co-sponsored event and appropriate $5,000 annual to the fireworks display from the City's Tourism fund;Accepting the Ad Hoc Committee's review of the City's street tree ordinances and policies and adopting the revised Subdivision Street Tree Theme List and Map;Approving a Water Supply Agreement between the City of Turlock and Del Puerto Water District for the sale of recycled water to Del Puerto via the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program;Approving the purchase of one Rosenbauer Type I Fire Engine for $500,157.76 and the sale of Engine 32 for $125,000;Providing direction to staff on whether City staff time and resources should be expended on the request of Council member Steven Nascimento for future consideration of establishment of a campaign finance reform ad hoc committee.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway Ave.