Turlock City News

Turlock City News

City of Turlock Activity Update – Week of January 3-9, 2009

This document is the City of Turlock Activity Update for the week of January 3 - 9, 2009. The activity update is meant to keep the Turlock City Council and all areas of the government organization on the same page. The community may also view the complete document here at TurlockCityNews.com as it was sent out by the City of Turlock.

TO:                Mayor and Council
FROM:            Executive Team
DATE:            January 9, 2009
RE:                 ACTIVITY UPDATE – WEEK OF January 3-9, 2009

·         Newly elected Council members Amy Bublak and Mary Jackson were welcomed to their new positions on the City Council at a reception hosted by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce.
·         Mayor Lazar, Chamber CEO Sharon Silva, the City Attorney, City Manager and Economic Development Manager met with representatives of local auto dealerships to discuss the continuing decline of the auto industry and explore opportunities the City might pursue to assist these businesses during the present economic decline.
·         Mayor Lazar, Council member Mary Jackson and the City Manager attended the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected County Supervisor Vito Chiesa.   
·         The City Manager attended the January meeting of the area’s public administrators. One of the key issues was the ongoing stalemate in the development of the State budget. As with the prior year, it appears that there may be an attempt by the State to divert redevelopment funds from local government. However, unlike last year, this taking would be a permanent take away. At present, the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities is pursuing legal action against the State to restore last year’s taking and prevent future losses. 
·         The City Manager attended the January meeting of the STANCOG Technical Advisory Committee.
Economic Development/Redevelopment:
·         City Manager and Economic/Redevelopment Manager met with Downtown Property Owner’s Association Board representatives and Executive Director to discuss areas of mutual interest.
Housing Program Services:
·         Staff is in the process of revising the policies and procedures for the First Time Home Buyers and Rehabilitation Programs.  The revised versions will include the CalHome and Neighborhood Stabilization (NSP) funds that were allocated to Turlock. 
·         Staff will be meeting with Self Help Enterprises to review their request for funding next week.
·         Staff is preparing to send fifteen (15) letters to property owners responding to a citizen complaint regarding the long-term use of storage containers on private property. The City exempts cargo containers that are being used for construction purposes from any permitting requirements; however, the container(s) must be removed from the site once construction has ceased. Storage containers are not expressly prohibited on private property, but must comply with the zoning and building requirements. When used as a permanent structure, Planning typically will treat these containers just as any other accessory structure or piece of equipment, depending on its use. Similarly, building and engineering requirements would depend on how the container is being used by the property owner. Where a container is being used in lieu of a “stick” building, approval of the container as a permanent structure may even require the payment of development impact fees as it would constitute an expansion of the existing use. The letters have been drafted individually to address the unique zoning requirements of the district in which the property is located. The property and/or business owners are being asked to contact staff within the next 2-3 weeks to arrange a pre-development meeting so that staff can get a better idea about how the container(s) is being used so that we can identify the appropriate permitting procedures and requirements for the owner, should they decide to keep the container on site.
·         Foster Farms representatives met with pre-development staff to discuss a 20,000 square foot addition to the Foster Farms facility for a new slaughtering area that will utilize a new carbon dioxide gas method for turkey processing.  This addition will eliminate approximately 65 parking spaces which will need to be added elsewhere on-site.  They were informed by the Building Department that the proposed addition might not be possible due to exceeding total build able area restrictions and were advised to consult the Building Code to determine how much area they would be allowed.  Municipal Services staff also addressed an existing issue with some of the current infrastructure and will be working with Foster Farms staff to correct the issue. 
·         The first public meeting for the General Plan Update is scheduled on February 19 to start at 6 p.m. in the Yosemite Conference Room. The meeting will be conducted as a joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission. The public will have an opportunity to provide input during the meeting. The goal of the meeting is to obtain input from the Council and Commission on the successes of the past General Plan, and to identify future challenges and study topics for the General Plan Update.
Capital Improvement Projects:
·         Capital Projects under construction
$ 27,909,112.96
·         Completed Capital Projects
·         Number of Capital Projects currently under construction
·         Number of Completed Capital Projects
·         Total of Capital Projects budgeted for FY 08/09
Projects in Construction
·         Golden State and Tuolumne Road Signal, Contract Amount $1,786,903.95: Tennyson Electric will be on site next week to start the installation of the signal foundation.
·         Water Reservoirs and Pump Stations, Contract Amount $6,144,300.00:   The roof trusses were installed at the D Street site.
·         CNG Slow Fill Station, Contract Amount $216,542.00: We have submitted plans to the Building Department for their review.
·         Fire Station #1 Parking Lot, Contract Amount $436,327.85: Contractor is installing emergency radio antenna conduit.
·         Traffic Signal at Orange & South Avenue, Contract Amount $178,213.00: Contractor has ordered the signal poles and construction will start in January 2009.
·         Interim Police Evidence Facility, Contract Amount $1,004,810.00: Contractor is installing the electrical conduit and dry utilities.
·         Commercial Water Meters, Contract Amount $1,031,945.00: Vulcan Construction was the apparent low bidder. Going to council for approval on January 13th.
·         Trench Repair 08/09, Contract Amount $142,489.00: In the contract stage.
·         Antenna at Fire Station No. 1, Contract Amount $77,876.64:   In the contract stage.
·         RFP’s – Landscape/Signage Beautification Project: Staff is reviewing the RFP’s.
·         Tennis Court Resurfacing at Columbia Park, Contract Amount $17,505.00: The apparent low bidder is First Serve Productions from Danville.
·         Renovations at Columbia Park: Out to bid opening on January 22nd.
·         Broadway Sidewalk, Contract Amount $158,593.00: The contractor has a minor punch list to complete and waiting for TID to power up the street lights.
Projects in Design
·         West Main Street and Fransil Signal: Working on acquiring right of way.
·         Colorado and Monte Vista Signal Interconnect: Working on right of way on the northeast corner.
·         Westside Industrial Specific Plan
·         City Hall Projects: Staff is creating a Request for Proposal.
·         Water Line Replacement: Working on the topo.
·         Sewer Line Replacement: Working on the topo.
·         Well #40
·         Prop 1B Overlays: Staff is reviewing which streets will be overlayed.
·         Kilroy and N Walnut Road Pump Stations
·         Fire Station No. 4 Roof Repair
Land Development:
·         In a comparison for the last four years the Land Development Team has processed the following map and survey document submittals. 
Year 2005 – 136 submittals
Year 2006 – 131 submittals
Year 2007 – 132 submittals
Year 2008 – 97 submittals
Active Submittals in process
·         13 – Improvement Plans
·         7 – Parcel Maps
·         15 – Subdivision Maps
·         2 – Lot Line Adjustment
·         7- Road Dedications / Public Utility Easements
·         1- Abandonment
·         18- Approved Plans waiting for permits to be issued
Recorded Documents
·         3 – Abandonment’s
Land Surveying
·         Survey staff has completed construction staking for City Project #0803, The Interim Evidence-Investigations Facility. 
·         Completion of topography on City Project #0869, Canal Drive Reconstruction and Resurface and are now working on plotting and boundary research. They will be starting additional topography for City Project #6974, Water Reservoirs and Pump Stations.
Public Works Inspectors
·         In doing a comparison study between 2007 and 2008, the Public Works Inspectors handled the following permits. This data is for 12 months. We will continue to provide comparisons throughout the 2009 year for analysis.
2007                                                                                  2008
101 – Encroachment Permits                                           89 – Encroachment Permits
47 – Grading Permits                                                        42 – Grading Permits
41 – Utility Permits                                                                        69 – Utility Permits
189 Total                                                                           200 Total
Building & Safety:
Among the 24 building permits applied for this week:
  • 1050 W Monte Vista Ave – Tenant improvement for “Pizza Factory”
  • 1130 Pioneer Ave – New apartment building (3 units)
  • 2060 Colorado Ave – Office addition
  • 2026 W Monte Vista Ave – Tenant improvement for new personal service (beauty) salon
Among the 36 building permits issued for this week:
  • 1200 W Main St – New retail/office shell building
  • 134 Regis St., Ste B – Tenant improvement for “Turlock Pregnancy Center”
Certificates of Occupancies were issued for the following location:
  • 1199 Pedras Rd – “The Palms” 100 unit apartment complex
Public Facilities Maintenance Division:
·         On Monday, Dec. 22nd, Management staff submitted a grant application in the amount of $25,375.00 to the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program to purchase 360 trees for the Walnut/Christoffersen Storm Basin. If successful, this will not only enhance the City’s urban forest, but will also help to remove the pollutants emitted by the traffic next to the basin on Christoffersen Parkway. 
·         Central Park – This past year, Management staff has been coordinating with TID on trimming trees throughout the City that are growing into the TID lines. On Friday, Jan. 9th, a portion of the parking area next to Central Park will be blocked off for TID to trim trees at the park.
·         Columbia Park – Management staff has designed the new playground area at Columbia Park and is in the process of ordering the equipment. This new playground will be purchased with CDBG funding acquired in this year’s budget. The new playground area will be located on the west of the old playground area, on the south end of the park along High Street.    
·         Six new Doggie Pot Stations have been installed in the following parks: Crane Park (2), Bristol Park (1), Markley Park (2), and Christoffersen Park (1). The Doggie Pot Stations appear to be quite popular already.
·         Columbia Pool – Daily security check around the pool, (brush, clean, vacuum, and add chemicals to the pool as required).
·         Graffiti continues to be a problem at Broadway Park, Columbia Park, Crane Park, and Sunnyview Park. 
·         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.
·         Crews finished the Christoffersen Wall Project.
·         Potholes were repaired at the following locations; westbound Monte Vista/Walnut, eastbound Monte Vista/Walnut, westbound Monte Vista/Niagra, eastbound Hawkeye/Palm, eastbound Hawkeye/Wyndfaire, westbound Monte Vista/Colorado, and westbound Taylor near Berkeley. 
·         Crews picked up 266.25 tons of leaves in Zones 4, 5, 6 and 7 over the last two weeks and replaced 26 miscellaneous street signs throughout Turlock over the past 2 weeks.
·         Crews responded to a road closure at High St. and West Avenue South, debris in roadway at W. Monte Vista and Golden State, leaves blocking business driveway on 800 block of Delbon, and tumbleweeds in and around roadway near Centennial Park.
·         Cleaned graffiti off of 8 miscellaneous locations, picked up 5 yard signs and 4 shopping carts around Turlock, spent 2 full days removing/relocating bus stop benches and bus shelters in various areas of town per Engineering work order, installed 15 – 3’ delineators on Soderquist near Osborn School and installed 2 ‘No Left Turn’ symbol signs.
Water Quality Control Division:
·         The Regional Water Quality Control Facility is operating well. Preventative maintenance activities during this period were conducted by staff.
·         On Wednesday, December 31, 2008 staff collected the required weekly R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 samples.
·         Contractors continued working on the Fuel Cell Project.
·         Staff worked on the monthly safety inspection for the Facility.
·         The WQC Facility has encountered 362 days without a lost time accident. 
Utility Maintenance Division:
Fleet Maintenance
·         Diagnosed and repaired vehicles/equipment for the following divisions and departments:
·         Police – 10 work requests
·         Transit bus – 16 work requests
·         Public Facilities – 32 work requests
·         Utility Maintenance – 6 work requests, (Electrical, Collection and Water)
·         Development Services – 2 work requests
·         PM’s Preventive Maintenance work requests – 13 which include, A’s, B’s, CHP’s, mini’s, etc.
Electrical/Mechanical Projects
·         Wired up the flow meter and ph probe at REIG. Installed Scada Bridge for flow and ph signal to Kilroy sewer lift RTU.
·         Removed shelving in parts room to accommodate new bins for reorganization.
·         Repaired irrigation gate at Linwood/Kilroy area.
·         Completed weekly WQC calibrations and instrumentation cleaning.
·         Completed weekly sewer lift checks. Pulled pumps at sewer 54 and 9.
·         Completed USA’s and street light work orders.
·         Reorganized electrical/mechanical parts room.
Water System Projects
·         Repaired a water service leak at 1842 Porter.
·         Poured concrete pads for fire hydrants at 1388 East Ave, 682 Alpha, 682 S. Rose, 682 S. Minaret and 789 S. Center.
·         Read commercial meters.
·         Replaced the curb stop at 254 Bernell.
·         Repaired a water main break at 1136 El Paseo.
·         Repaired the water service at 255 W. Main and 1509 Sycamore.
·         Installed a 1” meter globe valve and reset the meter box at 493 W. Main.
·         Upgraded three fire hydrants on S. Golden State.
·         Installed a 2” water meter at 645 South Ave.
Sewer and Storm System Projects
·         While searching for the sewer service at 128 Vermont, we hit the PG&E gas service with our probe. I notified PG&E and they repaired the gas line.
·         Installed a sewer clean out at 947 Alpha.
·         Cleaned 7Catch basins at various locations.
·         Used Vac-con to suck up the storm water on East Taylor Rd.
Miscellaneous and Special Projects:
·         This is the summary for this week’s projects along with the normal USA’S, well pump and sewer pump maintenance, city bacti samples, water complaints, and employee training hours.
Recreation Division:
·         Staff worked on gathering and submitting information relevant to the General Plan Update. Designated staff completed NIMS Training as directed. Staff met with Planning and Police staff to discuss options for the scheduling of the Community Room and Town Hall of the new Public Safety Facility.
·         Staff is working on finalizing plans for the upcoming Social Services/Non-profit Leadership Turlock day to be held at the end of January. Staff attended a meeting of the Mayor’s Gang Task Force. The Task Force will be providing presentation to Council on January 13, 2009. Staff attended the Stanislaus County Children’s Council meeting.
·         Recreation Supervisors are in the early stages of planning summer events and programs. Staff continues to work with Park, Recreation Commission on creating Teen programs and activities. 
·         Youth basketball began on Saturday, January 3 with over 230 participants.  This is an eight week program that is coached by the high school basketball coaches.  Coaches work with the youth on basketball skills during the first two weeks of the program; afterwards participants play 6 weeks of games.  This program is a partnership between the Recreation Division, Turlock High School, and Pitman High School.
·         Afterschool Programs continue to have waiting lists at some school sites. Many more parents are seeking Afterschool care due to the ongoing budget crisis. Staff is scheduled to attend a workshop entitled “You Matter! The power of Afterschool Program Staff”. The training covers the power of working with personal strengths, meeting the needs of young children and putting resilience into action. 
·         Commissioners and staff continue to work on obtaining new members. $650.00 in membership funds was received.   Staff continues to work on the draft budget for the new Carnegie Arts Center.   
·         The Carnegie Arts Center Foundation end of the year 2008 appeal letter generated approximately $15,000 in donations.
·         Staff distributed and sent out monthly Rings of the Arts Newsletter. 
Regulatory Affairs Division:
·         Funding from State Water Resources Board: Staff attended this week’s meeting of the State Water Resources Board who approved the City of Turlock’s request for $650,000 in state funds to assist with the monitoring and clean up of the PCE plume in the downtown area. We have been working on this request for more than a year. The award reimburses the City for previous work and provides funding for a “pump and treat” system that will speed up the removal of the chemical from the shallow groundwater aquifer. PCE is a chemical used in the dry cleaning process; the plume was discovered in the early 1990s.
·         Recycled Water Policy: While attending the State Board meeting (see above), the City provided testimony in support of the State’s proposed policy for Recycled Water. The State’s goal is to encourage the use of recycled water by consolidating and streamlining the various regulations related to this increasingly important resource.
·         New NPDES Permit: The Regional Water Quality Control Board published the tentative NPDES permit (“Tentative Order”) for the Turlock Regional Water Quality Control Facility. The Tentative Order contains a number of new effluent limits that will require the addition of new treatment processes at the Water Quality Control Facility. Therefore, for the past three months, significant staff time has been spent addressing the issues raised by the Tentative Order with final comments submitted today (January 9, 2009). We have asked that the Regional Board delay adoption of the Order to give the City more time to submit monitoring data Draft Permit.
·         Diesel Regulations: Staff has been working on the implementation of new air quality regulations related to in-use, off-road diesel engines and the re-registration of diesel-fueled portable engines. Additionally, staff has been preparing compliance planning strategies for future retrofitting and/or the replacement of older diesel engines owned and operated by the City. 
·         Water Meters: The Modesto Bee conducted an interview related to the City’s Water Meter Project.
Service Demands:               
Calls for Service                     1982
Criminal Investigations             253
Arrests                                      102
Land Calls                                259
Wireless Calls                          102
Incoming Admin Calls             2244
Outgoing Calls                         908
Total Calls for the week          3513 
Staffing Levels:
Sworn Personnel-                   86       
Deployed                     77 (11 Officers: Field Training)
            Vacancies                    6
Non-Sworn Personnel-           47
Deployed                    42
Vacancies                    1
Special Operations Division:
Animal Services:                  
·         The floor replacement was completed at the facility without disruptions to services.
Neighborhood Services:
·         Staff worked enforcement regarding the homeless staying in the alley behind the City Hall and ‘A’ Street parking lots and they will continue to monitor those locations over the next couple weeks.   Staff continued to educate people around the city regarding the shopping cart ordinance.
Field Operations Division:
Significant Events and Trends
Traffic Unit
·         Traffic did some target enforcement at Osborne School. As a result of meetings with school staff, City Engineering and our Traffic Unit, suggestions were made for traffic calming and flow direction. Engineering completed the work last week. The City installed flexible delineators and regulatory signs, at our request. Traffic was moving much better, with no gridlock issues, at the W. Main and Soderquist intersection. Engineering’s efforts were much appreciated.
Patrol Unit
·         Driving While Intoxicated – An Animal Control Officer advised, via radio, that a female, who was at Animal Control, appeared to be intoxicated and was driving away. The A/C officer followed the female driver to Lander Avenue and Hwy 99, where an officer makes a traffic stop. Investigation reveals the female driver is, in fact, intoxicated. She was arrested by the officer for DWI.
·         Shopping Cart Arrest – A Safeway clerk called in a theft of unknown items. The suspect tried to steal items by pushing the cart out the door. Through electronic security measures, the wheels on the cart locked up when the suspect got outside. The suspect was found by officers using narcotics in the bathroom of McDonalds. The suspect admitted to a theft of cutlery items from Safeway. The suspect has prior theft-related convictions, elevating this arrest to a felony offense.
Street Crimes Unit “C” Team
·         Chop Shop Arrests – Patrol received a request from CHP who had a Merced area officer on Glenwood who had located a stolen vehicle through a Lo-Jack hit. The CHP officer saw it in a possible chop shop. “C” Team went to assist and found CHP with two suspects detained and a third suspect refusing to come out. Officer Rodrigues sent in his K-9 and the suspect surrendered. CHP then did the hand-off and left. We called out Officer Nicholas and his partner who took over the investigation. The investigation revealed one of the detained suspects had rented the shop. The wheels removed from the stolen vehicle were just installed on the suspect’s truck. We also located a pink slip for another stolen vehicle. The primary suspect was charged with operating a chop shop.
Support Operations Division:
·         Update on interim facility- We are scheduled to begin moving furniture over to the interim facility on January 22, or 23, 2009, with a scheduled move in date in the first week of February.

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