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Council to resume police contract discussion
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Two weeks after a contentious hearing where the Turlock City Council considered unilaterally imposing a contract on Turlock Police union members, the council expects to take the issue up again on Tuesday.

This time, though, the city and the union have met and agreed on the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the two groups.

The agreement sees changes to how holiday time and benefit costs are handled. For more details on the changes, and how the Turlock City Council votes on the matter, see the Wednesday edition of the Journal.

After considering the city’s contract with the Turlock Associated Police Officers, the Turlock City Council is also expected to consider approving labor contracts with management employees, general city employees, firefighters, and confidential employees.


On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:

·         Appropriate $600,000 to purchase a replacement fleet of 21 police patrol cars, plus related safety equipment.
The purchase would see Turlock immediately replace all vehicles, as the production of the Ford Crown Victoria is set to end. Should the police department use a different model vehicle, it would increase costs by approximately $92,000 as current equipment would not fit into new models.

·         Finalize the City of Turlock’s Housing Element update, which includes a zone where homeless shelters would be allowed without any special permitting.
The change was approved by council on July 12, but as this requires an ordinance amendment, the council must approve the matter for a second time.

·         Receive a status report on water fund revenue since the implementation of meter-based billing on a citywide basis in January. The council was expected to hear the report at their July 12 meeting, but postponed the report as the meeting was lengthy.
The report projects the change will lead to a $1.2 million decline in revenues from 2010 to 2011. While a decline had been projected, the fall would exceed those projections by $235,000.

The decreased revenues could force either increased reserve spending or higher water rates.

·         Update all program areas for Turlock Lighting, Landscape and Street Maintenance Benefit areas for the coming year.

·         Recognize artist Jennifer Downey, who contributed the art currently hanging in the City Hall Art Gallery, at a special 6 p.m. reception.

·         Issue proclamations in honor of July as Parks & Recreation Month, and Chief of Police Gary Hampton, who will step down from the police department to work with the Tracy Police Department.

·         Receive staff updates on the 2012 Water Bond, the status of Redevelopment Agencies, and railroad closures.

·         Approve approximately $19,000 in funding for the Morgan Ranch master plan, intended to create a new subdivision area on the east side of Turlock.

·         Authorize an agreement to operate the Gomes Lake water basin in partnership with the Turlock Irrigation District, Stanislaus County, Reclamation District 2063, and Reclamation District 2091.

The agreement will see Turlock contribute $19,350 annually, 31 percent of the total annual cost of $63,000. Turlock has participated in the operation of the facility since 1971, as Turlock expels storm water and wastewater to Gomes Lake.

The Turlock City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. The meeting will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception for artist Jennifer Downey in the foyer.