Fulkerth Road Rehab Approved by Turlock City Council

David Fransen

The Turlock City Council on Tuesday approved a project to rehabilitate Fulkerth Road from State Route 99 east to Golden State Boulevard.

The rehab effort was on the Turlock City Council's consent calendar, which consists of routine business items. Consent items are not discussed unless a councilmember so requests; the Fulkerth Road work was not removed for discussion.

The project will install rubberized asphalt, the first use of the surface in Turlock. Rubberized asphalt is said to last longer, require less maintenance, and generate less road noise.

Rehab work will be performed by Granite Construction Company of Watsonville, at a total cost of $884,488. Teichert Construction was the apparent low bidder, at $803,982.85, but did not meet federal requirements as a bidder as they did not identify a disadvantaged business enterprise to be used within their bid.

The project will be funded by federal street project and gas tax dollars. Further funding will come from CalRecycle, funding the used tires which will be part of the rubberized asphalt.

Council also approved a new pavement condition survey on Tuesday, which will assess the state of all local roadways. The survey could play a major role in justifying a new roads tax roads to voters, as proposed by Mayor John Lazar during his 2013 State of the City address.

“For too long we have waited for some county, state or federal initiative to improve our transportation systems,” Lazar said during his address. “… I would like to explore the idea of placing some type of special road maintenance measure on the Turlock ballot for residents to give us the tools to fix our streets.”

When an assessment was last performed, in 2008, Turlock streets were considered “satisfactory,” scoring 59 on a 100-point scale. At that time Turlock was told it would need to spend $9 million annually to simply maintain that rating; Turlock has spent closer to $2 million annually, due to both California's failure to remit Turlock's fair share of tax dollars and the down economy.

The survey will be performed by Nichols Consulting Engineers at a cost of $28,620. The company is also surveying all federally-aided roadways in Stanislaus County, as part of a Stanislaus County Council of Governments-funded project.

Turlock to Add Four Supportive Housing Units

Turlock City Councilmembers approved the purchase of a four-plex located at 1060 Alpha Road Tuesday, which will be converted into the city's first permanent supportive housing units.

“We currently have none of those types of units in Turlock,” said Turlock Community Housing Program Services Manager Maryn Pitt said.

The units will be operated in partnership with the Stanislaus County Affordable Housing Corporation, which contracts with county Behavioral Health and Resource Services to offer care. The $270,025.25 cost will be funded through HOME Partnership Funds.

The Stanislaus County Affordable Housing Corporation will look to build further units in the City of Turlock as their new partnership matures, according to board member Dennis Wann.

“This will be a wonderful launching pad for our organization in the City of Turlock,” Wann said.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council also:
• Conferenced with legal counsel in closed session regarding the case of Bolt, an Alaskan Malamute accused of biting two women in the face and sentenced to death by the City of Turlock. Bolt's owner, Daniel Mendonca, is fighting the case.
As the discussion occurred in closed session, members of the public and media were unable to witness the discussion. There was no report of any action taken.
• Finalized a plan to move the start time of Turlock City Council meetings to 6 p.m. Meetings currently start at 7 p.m.
The new, 6 p.m. meeting time will take effect on April 9.
• Discussed the possibility of holding quarterly off-site City Council meetings in locations other than Turlock City Hall, to be more transparent and accessible to citizens.
The change will require some additional staff work, as all meetings must be recorded and made available under state transparency laws. Turlock City Hall is equipped with recording devices, but meeting at other sites may require the rental of such equipment.
The plan is still in the preliminary stages, but an off-site meeting is expected this year.
• Heard a presentation on Go Green Week. Now in its sixth year, the annual program looks to raise awareness of ways to be environmentally friendly.
Since its founding, the program has seen 114 trees planted, 14,000 pounds of waste diverted from landfills, and $4,000 raised through fund raising activities.
As part of Go Green Week, city buses offer free fares all week.
• Created a new position, an “Assistant to the City Manager for Economic Development/Community Housing.” The position will combine the current positions of Community Housing Program Services Manager and Economic Development/Redevelopment Manager.
The previous Economic Development/Redevelopment Manager, Heidi McNally-Dial, retired earlier this year. The new position will be filled by current Community Housing Program Services Manager Maryn Pitt.
• Began the process to increase the delinquency charge on garbage-only accounts from $10 to $25. The change would make the late fee consistent across all city account types.
• Finalized an amendment to Turlock Municipal Code governing the sale of fireworks, capping the number of sellers at 35. The cap was previously 50, though no more than 27 have ever applied.
The change also makes it easier for nonprofits to qualify to sell fireworks, requiring a tax exemption certificate from either the California Franchise Tax Board or the Internal Revenue Service, but not both.
• Sitting as the Successor Agency to the Turlock Redevelopment Agency, approved an updated payment schedule for outstanding obligations, and a budget for administrative expenses. The documents are required under state law.

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