Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Council Approves Use of Gas Tax Funds for Traffic Data, Increased Costs of Monte Vista Repaving

Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com

The Turlock City Council met Tuesday unanimously approving an agreement between the City of Turlock and outside contractor, Omni-Means, to spend $31,650 for traffic count data to gather roadway use information for planning related purposes.

With the plan, the City intends to address current and future growth-related issues including interchanges, bike paths, routes, bus systems, and affect on current transportation.

Based on the competitive, lowest bid price offered by Omni-Means of Roseville at $23,442, and their past work history with the City of Turlock, the company was selected for the project.

The company, offers remediation for high accident locations, traffic speed-calming programs, pedestrian safety programs offering safe routes to schools, and gives traffic operation and congestion studies. They give accident rate comparisons, traffic signal timing information, and traffic operations analysis.

Quality Traffic Counts and Quality Counts, also submitted bids for the project; the projected prices for work came back at $24,050 and $31,655, respectively.

The Council approved the recommended additional 5 percent contingency fund of $1,376, and contract administration costs valued at 10 percent of the project, $2,752, for a total of $31,650 as recommended by City Staff.

Through the plan, the City intends to explore value-added opportunities and ensure a balanced community between restaurants, entertainment, housing, business and special events. Information gathered will be of potential help in applying for future grant funding.

Instead of General Fund monies, the City will use unappropriated reserve monies from Fund 217, the Gas Tax fund.

The fund is derived from a portion of the 55.7 cents per gallon of gasoline for state and federal excise and use taxes that Californians pay at the pump.

This 55.7 cent per gallon tax includes a Federal Excise Tax of 18.3 cents per gallon, Federal Underground Storage Tank Fee of 0.1 cents per gallon, a State Fuel Tax of 35.3 cents per gallon and State Underground Storage Tank Fee of 2 cents per gallon. Additionally, state sales and use tax of 2.25 percent is added, along with any additional local tax rates, which can vary from 0.125 percent to 1.25.

Of the 2.25 percent state sales and use tax, 1 percent is devoted to local jurisdictions where 0.75 percent of that goes to city and county operations with the remaining 0.25 percent is devoted to county transportation funds.

Additionally the Council unanimously approved the appropriation of an additional $150,000 for the Monte Vista Avenue Rehabilitation Project from the City’s Gas Tax Fund.

The contract change order was approved, adding $210,255.15 to the price of the project. The contract which was originally approved by the Turlock City Council in 2013 in the amount of $887,037.25, with continued adjustments and changes, now stands at $1,141,276.56.

Fluctuations in price are due to the additional work deemed necessary by the City, like paving, grinding and leveling, additional median curb work, and a notification system to residents and California State University, Stanislaus students which was used previously.

Mike Pitcock, Director of Development Services and City Engineer, explained that there were unforeseen conditions with curbs in the Monte Vista Project; there was concern that individuals may drive over reconstructed curbs should they be fixed improperly.

To mitigate the problem, the City chose a rubberized asphalt overlay material, which was explained as a better product to maintain levels of median curbs, to deter individuals from driving over them and increase and “ride-ability.”

“It is a cost that was beyond what we wanted it to be,” said Pitcock. “It was an unforeseen condition that popped up as we got into construction, and I think that we are going to have a better product in the end.” 

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