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Turlock City Council briefs
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The Turlock City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to:

·         Authorized the hiring of a part-time office assistant in the Housing Program Services Division.
The division had been down an office assistant since June 30, 2009, when the position was eliminated due to budget reductions. Housing Program Services has since received $3.2 million in grant funds and needed an additional employee to assist with the new work.
 A hiring freeze, implemented in efforts to cut the city budget, required council approval before the position could be filled once again. The position will be funded with the new grant money.

·         Submitted an application to the California Energy Commission for a 3 percent low interest loan in the amount of $766,164.11, which will be used to install energy-efficient induction lighting in city streetlights. The project is expected to result in a net annual savings of $22,107, due to reduced energy costs. The project is in addition to an existing grant-funded effort to transition 1,800 streetlights to induction lighting.

·         Approved the City of Turlock’s annual report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Tuesday was the first time the council had ever reviewed the document; previously, the report has been submitted directly to HUD.

·         The document, in part, analyzes the city’s progress in meeting objectives laid out in its five-year strategic plan and annual action plan. In the past year, Turlock has used HUD funds to install the Columbia Park water feature, to rehabilitate dilapidated homes, and to purchase empty houses for reuse as affordable living.

·         Convened a meeting of the Public Financing Authority and established a regular meeting schedule for the authority. The change was spurred by state Senate Bill 99, passed in October 2009, which requires any bond issuance to be approved at an authority regular meeting.

·         Heard a presentation on the activities of the census Complete Count Committee by Barbara Ferry of the Census Bureau. Ferry awarded the City of Turlock with a plaque for their efforts in increasing census response, with mail-in responses up 2 percent from the last census.

·         Issued a proclamation recognizing the retirement of Joe Fuentes, a senior maintenance worker for the City of Turlock.

·         Established liens on 14 properties as payment for the abatement of weeds, obnoxious growth, and other debris on property and abandoned vehicles that are a nuisance to the public. The liens total more than $4,100.