TO: Mayor and Council
FROM: Executive Team
DATE: October 1, 2008
RE: ACTIVITY UPDATE – WEEK OF September 20-26, 2008
· The City Manager and Development Services staff met with Scott Belyea of JKB Homes for an update on the progress of planning for the Morgan Ranch project.
· The Homeless Voucher ad hoc committee met for the second time on Friday. Various types of homeless assistance were discussed with the focus still remaining on a voucher program.
· No new items to report.
Housing Program Services:
· Self Help Enterprises (SHE) has completed lot cleanup at the Montana Estates project. Construction has been delayed due to State funding issues. A meeting with HCD and SHE has been scheduled for next week to discuss the Cal Home grant.
· A Foreclosure Prevention workshop is scheduled for October 22, 2008 at Turlock Junior High School. The event will provide a forum to answer any questions from the public regarding foreclosure prevention. This event will be advertised in the Turlock Journal, Modesto Bee and Vida en el Valle (Spanish version of the Modesto Bee).
· After 19 years with the City of Turlock, Bob Martinez, Housing Services Supervisor, has retired. His last day of work was on September 26, 2008.
· After 23 1/2 years of service with the City of Turlock, as the Housing Program Services Manager, Martin Amador will be retiring. His last day of work will be December 31, 2008.
· More then thirty city employees, primarily from Development Services Department, have graduated from Merced College’s Customer Service Academy. Hosting the Customer Service Academy here at the City was an objective included in the Development Service Strategic Plan. The classes completed included Attitudes in the Workplace, Team Building, Managing Organizational Change, Conflict Resolution, Customer Service, Stress Management, Time Management and Foundation Essentials: Ethics and Values. Most of the classes were voluntary and had attendance of up to sixty employees.
· The Development Collaborative Advisory Committee met on Thursday for a workshop on Use of Surveys and establishing property lines. Members of the development community were also present. The public is always invited to attend.
· The Support Service Supervisor/ Property agent show the 400 B Street to a prospective buyer. They were encouraged to further define their plan and come into the City for a pre-development meeting.
· At the request of the Rotary Club, the Deputy Director gave a brief presentation to the lunch group on the upcoming General Plan Update. Questions were raised about how the County islands would be addressed, whether or not the Denair “green belt” buffer would be maintained, how much growth the General Plan would accommodate, and so on. Staff discussed the current strategy to maintain the general framework of the current General Plan while ensuring that adequate urban land is designated to accommodate the growth projected for the City. Under the current schedule, staff expects the first round of workshops with the City Council and Planning Commission to occur in the January/February 2009 time frame. One of the first tasks the Council will be asked to take on is the appointment of a community “Focus Group” to act as a sounding board for community reactions to various programs and policies.
· Staff met with Mr. Axel Gomez, representing the 7th Day Adventist Church, to discuss an agreement regarding roadway and intersection dedications and improvements. The meeting was led by the Engineering Division. Members of the Planning Division attended to assist in answering any planning questions and to address questions regarding a proposed expansion of the Sierra Vista school located on an immediately adjacent parcel owned by the church. The Planning Division has been approached by the Sierra Vista, a tenant of the 7th Day Adventist Church, to place modular classrooms on the site adjacent to the three homes that are in the process of being demolished by the church to accommodate the City’s roadway improvement project. A predevelopment meeting was previously held with members of the Sierra Vista school in September 2007. The school representatives have been notified that expansion of the school would require an amendment to the current Conditional Use Permit, prior to applying for a building permit. Dedications, improvements, landscaping, screening, design standards, and other requirements were discussed at that time. Since that time, several different school representatives have contacted Planning Division staff requesting an exemption from the Conditional Use Permit process because they are a school. Staff has explained that only schools located within official school districts may exempt themselves from local zoning codes under State law. Staff encouraged Mr. Gomez to bring all the parties together for a meeting to discuss the planning processes, requirements, and potential conditions of all projects affecting church property, as well as to get a better understanding of the fees that would apply should the school expand.
· Staff met with a representative of the Morgan Ranch project who informed staff that changes in the representation for the project have been made by JKB Homes, the project applicant. One of the hurdles for the project has been the funding of intersection improvements at Golden State/Berkeley/Golf roads. City staff agreed to contact the County to arrange a meeting to determine whether the County would be willing to assist in funding transportation improvements at that location.
· Mr. Bob Endsley and Toni Cordell attended a predevelopment meeting to discuss the development and operation of a temporary community garden project on a vacant parcel located on Christine Way. Due to the downturn of the housing market, Mr. Endsley does not plan to move forward with the housing project approved a few years ago on this property, but has offered to make the lot available for a community garden project in conjunction with the City’s Municipal Services Division. While the project is not intended to be sponsored by the City, the City’s Municipal Services Division has been coordinating a community garden committee to discuss the potential development of the site. At the predevelopment meeting, staff provided advice on how adjustments in the scope of the project would define the level of planning review (from Minor Administrative Approval to Temporary Use of Land Permit to Conditional Use Permit). As proposed, the committee would like to give youth groups from throughout the City access to the lots. Given that this type of operating plan has the potential of generating significant impacts to the adjacent resident’s staff indicated that a Conditional Use Permit would be required. Adjustments in the operating plan, such as establishing firm schedules to ensure that vehicular and pedestrian traffic generated by the site is maintained at levels more compatible with residential use of the property would allow staff to process the application under a lower level permit. In any case, all of the adjacent neighbors would be notified and have an opportunity to provide input to the City on whether the project is approved and what conditions would apply to the project. In addition to Planning’s comments, the Engineering Division would require full curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements, as well as an on-site accessible path of travel to meet ADA requirements.
· Mr. Brett Tate and his business partner met with predevelopment staff to discuss the operation of a small brewery (manufacturing and distribution only) at 3100 Spengler Rd. The applicant was seeking information on the code specifications that the city would require for this use at this location. The primary comments related to the sewage and storm requirements from Municipal Services. Mr. Tate and his team were advised on what the sampling station and discharge procedures would be. Mr. Tate and his team were encouraged to contact Municipal Services for any assistance or clarification on the applicable wastewater codes.
· Building, Planning, Engineering and Fire staff met with representatives from 151 S. Walnut (Sensient) to discuss the possibility for temporary occupancy of their building currently under construction. Staff concluded there are too many outstanding issues and too much of the project to be complete before the use of the dry storage area can commence. Once a final inspection has been conducted and all of the outstanding life and safety issues have been addressed staff can meet with Sensient again to discuss an agreement for temporary occupancy. Sensient anticipates being much further along with the project by the end of October and staff anticipates revisiting this question at that time.
Capital Improvement Projects
Projects in Construction
· Golden State and Tuolumne Road Signal: Waiting for Union Pacific Railroad to return.
· Water Reservoirs and Pump Stations: Monday the contractor will begin erecting the steel.
· CNG Maintenance Facility: Contractor is still working on the punch list.
· Canal Drive Bike Path: Contractor is waiting for the arrival of the street lights.
· CNG Slow Fill Station: In the contract stage.
· Fire Station #1 Parking Lot: A pre-construction meeting was held this week and work will start on October 7th.
· Fire Station #3 Gate: Waiting on punch list and submittals.
· Fairgrounds Sidewalk: In the contract stage.
· Traffic Signal at Orange & South Avenue: In the contract stage.
· Demolition of Existing Structures: The apparent low bidder was WC Maloney Inc of Stockton, CA and will go to council for approval on October 14th.
· Interim Police Evidence Facility: In the contract stage.
· Commercial Water Meters: Ready to go out to bid. Utility staff is reviewing the plans.
· Trench Repair 08/09: Out to bid with an opening date of October 16th.
Projects in Design
· West Main Street and Fransil Signal: Working on acquiring right of way.
· Colorado and Monte Vista Signal Interconnect: Waiting on FTIP amendment.
· Columbia Park Renovations: The architect should be getting plan check comments back from building department.
· Westside Industrial Specific Plan
· City Hall Projects: These projects include Fire Administration, repair of the sewer line in Engineering, repair of the balcony and City Hall HVAC.
· Antenna at Fire Station No. 1: Out to bid next week.
· Water Line Replacement: Surveying has been completed.
· Sewer Line Replacement: Surveying is ongoing.
Building & Safety
· Among the 57 building permits applied for this week:
ü 1400 Venture Ln – New warehouse building
ü 700 W Main St – New convenience store “Matty’s Market”
ü 310 E Main St., Ste J – Tenant improvement for office space
· Among the 44 building permits issued this week:
ü 3210 Countryside Dr – Tenant improvement “Me & Ed’s Pizzeria”
ü 3130 Hotel Dr – Tenant improvement for office space
ü 333 E Canal Dr – New 3-story parking structure
· A multi-way stop warrant was initiated for the two-way stop intersection at Soderquist Road and South Avenue. The results of the study supported a multi-way stop installation. A work order has been issued to Public Facilities Maintenance to install the new four-way stop. “Traffic Change Ahead” signs will be placed in advance of the new stops for two weeks after the installation to serve as an extra reminder.
Active Submittals in process
√ – 16 – Improvement Plans
√ – 7 – Parcel Maps
√ – 15 – Subdivision Maps
√ – 1 – Lot Line Adjustments
√ – 4 – Road Dedications / Public Utility Easements
√ – 2 – Abandonment
√ – 14 – Approved Plans waiting for permits to be issued.
· The survey crew continues with the topography for City Project #0847 – Sewer Line Replacement FY 08-09 and City Project #0848 Water Line Replacement 08-09. We are plotting the topography for a base drawing to be utilized for the design.
Public Works Inspectors
· Recently issued permits include City Project #0719 Fire Station #1 parking lot.
Utility Maintenance Division:
· Replaced blower motor and fan at sewer 25 Smith & Loveless station.
· Installed floats and finalized telemetry points for new 15 hp Flygt pump at Storm 31.
· Removed damaged street light on 5th Street between C & D streets. SL-1239. Reinstalled new standard and mast with a 400 watt hps light.
· Replaced the display for the Mag 431 at Sewer 61.
· Pulled the screens for the Bio-tower drains to the aeration basins.
· Welded two broken brackets on the CNG station.
· Completed weekly sewer lift checks.
· Completed weekly and monthly WQC calibrations.
· Completed USA’s and street light work orders.
Water System Projects
· Replaced a leaking fire hydrant on E. Hawkeye between Colorado and Niel Street.
· Reset meter box at 2500 Barbara Way.
· Replaced a leaking 4” mainline water valve at N. Soderquist and Julian
· Installed a new water sampling station on Industrial Rowe
· Replaced damaged End Point and reprogrammed at 351 Bernell.
· Replaced End Point and Meter Register and programmed at 2250 Colorado.
· Replaced the G-5 street box in front of 425 Mitchell.
· Tested the Rp device at 309 N. Center
· Closed a private well at 1807 Geer Rd.
· Set the meter boxes at 303 and 307 West Ave North
Sewer and Storm System Projects
· Cut roots and televised the sewer service at 2509 Yale.
· Repaired the sewer mainline in front of 608 S. Soderquist, 8 ft.
· Cleared a sewer stoppage at 904 Edwards.
· Sawcut the street in preparation for sewer line repair at 2509 Yale, 2181 Spring Valley and 1700 Blevins.
· Cleaned catch basins on Tahoe Street, Lassiter, North Park, Guatavita and 1400 Lander
· Cleaned 1512 ft of existing sewer line Grid D-6.
· Cut roots and grease with Rodder, total of 1506 ft – 3 month list.
· Televised 2195 ft of existing sewer main Grid D-6.
· Cleaned 3 sewer lift stations.
Miscellaneous and Special Projects
· Preliminary investigation on the flat rate commercial water services
· Cleaned and televised the sewer lines on Park Street and Flower Street for Engineering Dept
· This is the summary for this week’s projects, along with the normal USA’S, well pump and sewer pump maint, city bacti samples, water complaints & employee training hours.
Public Facilities Maintenance Division;
· Central Park – We have received all 50 donations needed to purchase the new Deodar Cedar Christmas Tree. Thank you to everyone that donated and supported our new Central Park Christmas Tree. Staff has been preparing the new planter area for the Christmas Tree and will order and plant the tree next month when the weather cools down some.
· Pedretti Sports Complex – Staff prepped ball fields all weekend for a 32 team girl’s softball tournament.
· Summerfaire Park – Crews trimmed trees and worked on sprinklers at the park.
· Sunnyview – Grand Opening of the Turlock Dog Park at Sunnyview Park on Saturday, Sept. 27th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
· Turlock Regional Sports Complex – Staff was busy preparing 13 soccer fields and staffing the complex for the TYSA games on Saturday and 5 fields on Sunday.
· Crews continue to do general maintenance, mowing, blowing, edging, weeding, irrigation repairs, cleaning, rake soft fall and playground safety inspections daily at all City Parks and ponds.
· Leaf Pick Up Program – Staff has been working diligently preparing for the 2008/2009 Leaf Pickup Program. The Program will begin on November 10, 2008 and end on February 6, 2009. Turlock residents are encouraged to use their green waste containers for leaves and garden refuse. Any leaves that will not fit into the green container may be placed in the street 18” from the curbside in loose piles, not bagged. Limbs are not to be placed in leaf piles. The City is divided into 9 zones. Fridays are make-up days. Leaves are collected according to the schedule.
· Crews continue to complete work orders from Engineering.
· Painted red curb in Zone 3.
· The patch truck ran for 2 days and used 5 tons of hot mix and ¾ tons of cold mix. The patch truck crew has been working on other assignments.
· Crews replaced 26 stop signs throughout Turlock. These signs were replaced and upsized from non-compliant 24” ‘Stop’ signs to State-Compliant minimum size of 30” signs. Replaced/repaired 5 street name signs and 1 Neighborhood Watch sign. Trimmed low hanging branches at 895 Flower, cut branch hanging down blocking roadway at Colorado near E. Main, and responded to an accident at Christoffersen and Crowell.
· Line trimmed tree wells and pruned trees at the North East Basin. Fixed water leak on Christoffersen.
· The 4th Annual Family Fun Day was held at Columbia Park on Saturday, September 20. The purpose of this event was to engage parents and youth in activities and programs which would provide them information on Gang Awareness, Health Insurance, Parenting Resources, Nutrition, Wellness and Fitness. Approximately 800 neighborhood residents attended. The event was led and coordinated by the Recreation Division in collaboration with 20 agencies including Police.
· Turlock Regional Sports Complex had a very productive weekend. On Saturday, Turlock Youth Soccer made use of thirteen soccer fields inside the complex to house more than 2500 children. On Sunday, there were three separate hourly rentals using 5 fields. The three rentals ranged from under 10 youth soccer players, to adult usage and University play. Recreation Division staff works closely with TYSA personnel to coordinate scheduling and use of facility.
· Pedretti Park hosted one of the largest tournaments of the year with more than 32 teams playing in the two day event utilizing all five fields. This event was a combination of girl’s fast-pitch softball and youth baseball. Due to the activities taking place at both Pedretti and the Sports Complex businesses at Monte Vista Crossings prospered.
· Staff attended meetings with Chief of Police and the Mayors Youth Task Force sub-committee, Children’s Crisis Center Fundraising event, and Stanislaus Children’s Council. The purpose of the County Children’s Council is to raise community awareness of the problems facing children, youth and parent today. Each year the Council prints a “Condition of Youth Report”. Copies of the report may be obtained by contacting Recreation Division Manager, Judy Loretelli.
· The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation’s Garden Party at the Greenery drew more than 450 guests for the annual fund-raiser on September 20. Thanks to the efforts of Foundation Board members, Arts Commissioners, Pitman High School and Turlock High School student volunteers, and the owners and staff of The Greenery, an estimated $13,000 will be added to the Foundation’s Endowment Fund to support future programs at the new Carnegie Arts Center. 17 businesses and individuals participated as sponsors, 58 artists and businesses donated to the silent auction, and 35 artists exhibited their work at the event. In the two weeks leading up to the Garden Party, the Turlock City Arts Commission welcomed 21 new members to the Rings of the Arts. The Garden Party has become an annual Turlock tradition. It is a time to showcase the many talents of local artists as well as educate the community about the various cultural arts opportunities that exist in the community.
Water Quality Control Division:
· The Regional Water Quality Control Facility achieved Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Total Suspended Solids removal efficiencies of 98%. The Facility encountered an upset within the Secondary Biological system due to an Influent slug load of toxic material. Staff utilized all the options available to improve the Biological system operation. The High Rate Clarifier/Thickener chemical addition was maximized in an effort to reduce the Secondary effluent turbidity prior to Tertiary filtration. The Facility was unable to meet Daily average effluent turbidity discharge permit limits on September 18, 19 and 20, 2008. Staff reviewed industry monitoring data from the time period the slug load entered the Facility and consulted with the City’s Environmental Compliance Officer in an attempt to discover its origin. None of these efforts proved to be fruitful.
· On Wednesday, September 17, 2008 staff collected the required weekly R1, R2, R3, R4 and R5 samples.
· The Operations staff continued with the Facility building clean-up project and completion of weekly MP2 (preventive maintenance) work assignments. Staff continued working on numerous paint projects throughout the facility.
· On Friday, September 19, 2008 the WQC Operations Division Manager and other staff members gave a tour of the Facility to the Leadership of Turlock group.
· Staff cleaned four summer drying beds. The biosolids yearly removal process has been rescheduled for the first week of October 2008.
· The Contractor installed the main Fuel cell portion on Thursday, September 18, 2008.
· The WQC Facility has encountered 271 days without a lost time accident.
Regulatory Affairs Division:
· We met with one of our local food processors this week. Their production has increased significantly due to increased sales and a change in corporate strategy to produce more goods in California. They have just won a large contract with Costco and Wal-Mart to produce their product for sale in Canada and Mexico, so they expect to undertake a significant expansion in 2009. It appears that they will have to purchase more wastewater capacity.
Storm Water Monitoring
· We are working with a number of national chemical companies and a research company who would like to undertake some storm water monitoring in Turlock to study the “fate and transport” of commonly-applied household pesticides.
· Fire Services responded to 107 calls for service for the week of 9/19 through 9/25.
ü - EMS calls
ü - MVA’S
ü - False Alarms
ü - Wires down
ü 2 – Structure Fires **
ü 2 – No patients
ü 2 – Canceled enroute
ü 2 – No incidents
ü 2 – Steam related calls
ü 1 – Dumpster fire
ü 1 – Unauthorized burn
ü 1 – Refrigeration leak
ü 1 – Smoke check out
ü 1 – Assist invalid
** The first was at 1123 Sierra, a single family dwelling. There was an estimated $500,000 dollars in damage to the structure and contents. The fire is under investigation.
** The second was at 319 S. Broadway, a detached garage and fence. There was about $32,000 dollars in damage to the structure and contents. That fire is also under investigation.
· We provided a “Train the Trainer” class for our 3 shift auto extrication experts. The training was provided by L.N. Curtis and Sons, for new rescue struts we purchased.
· Sierra Oaks apartment complex well on the way.
· Plans reviews are going well, keeping up with them in a timely manner.
· Sensient Products on S. Walnut pushing for a temporary occupancy. Building must be in the final inspection process before temporary occupancy can be granted.
Calls for Service 2202
Criminal Investigations 282
Sworn Personnel- 87
Deployed 77 (11 Officers: Field Training)
Non-Sworn Personnel- 47
Special Operations Division:
· Investigators have been very busy investigating a recent bank robbery in our city. They have leads on the suspect and are trying to identify the responsible parties. Early afternoon on Thursday officers and investigators responded to a report of a shooting at the Brentwood Apartments. It is believed that this was an interrupted armed robbery. No one was injured and officers responding to the scene located the suspect’s getaway vehicle. A vehicle pursuit ensued and 3 suspects were arrested.
· Staff has met on several occasions with representatives from Turlock Shines regarding the city wide clean up. They attended two meetings this week in the evening to provide training and direction on cleaning in the city. The first night had no attendees but last night 4 groups attended and were trained.
· Staff responded to several calls throughout the week regarding various issues with homeless subjects.
Field Operations Division:
· Members of the Traffic Unit assisted with Car Seat Checks in Modesto and Newman during the week. There is another Car Seat Check scheduled to take place in Turlock (Walgreen’s parking lot).
· The Traffic Unit assisted patrol with several calls throughout the week, including the search for one of the home invasion suspects that occurred on Thursday.
· Speed surveys are being conducted in conjunction with two Problem Oriented Policing (POP) projects being worked by patrol.
Significant Events and Trends:
· Drive-by Shooting – Officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of 800 Julian. They located a possible crime scene and received a call from Emanuel Medical Center reporting that the victim was there being treated for a gunshot wound to his ankle. The victim was uncooperative and it appears it could have been gang related.
· Pursuit / Auto Theft Arrest – Officers attempted to stop a vehicle near Soderquist & Chestnut that had just been reported stolen. The vehicle failed to yield to the officer’s emergency lights/siren and a short (3 minute) pursuit ensued. The vehicle finally pulled over and the occupants are taken into custody without further incident.
· Pursuit – An officer attempted to stop a vehicle for reckless driving in the area of Chestnut & Grant. The vehicle failed to yield to the officer’s emergency lights/siren and a short (3 minute) pursuit ensued. The officer lost sight of the vehicle and terminated the pursuit. The vehicle was located a short time later, unoccupied, where it had crashed into a tree. The units were unable to locate the driver.
· Bank Robbery – The Bank of America on Main Street was robbed by a subject who made verbal threats to the teller. The subject got away with a yet to be determined amount of cash.
· Home Invasion Robbery / Pursuit – Units responded to several reports of shots fired calls in the apartment complex in the 300 Block of Wayside. While responding to the area, officers located the suspect vehicle driving away. They attempted to stop the vehicle, but it failed to yield to their emergency lights/siren and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit lasted approximately 15 minutes and was turned over to CHP as it continued north on Hwy. 99 and ended in Modesto when the vehicle drove up onto a sidewalk. Two suspects where taken into custody in Modesto following the stop. During the pursuit, two suspects fled from the moving vehicle in Turlock. One of them was located near Pitman High School (which was locked down during the search). A search in the northern part of the city proved negative for the second suspect. There was no one injured during the home invasion incident, however several shots were fired inside one of the apartments.
· Pursuit / Auto Theft Arrest – A unit attempted to stop a stolen vehicle near Berkeley & Abigail. The vehicle failed to yield to the officer’s emergency lights/siren and a short (2 minute) pursuit ensued. The driver of the vehicle was apprehended as he tried to flee from the vehicle.
· Auto Thefts – Several auto thefts have occurred during this week where a vehicle, (usually a Honda or Toyota), was stolen from one location and another stolen was left nearby. The majority of the cars were recovered a short time later within blocks of the location they had been taken from.