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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

CITY OF BRENTWOOD
CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING MINUTES
TUESDAY, 7:00 P.M.
FEBRUARY 26, 2008
COUNCIL CHAMBER

CALL TO ORDER CITY COUNCIL/REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY (07:01 PM)

Pledge of Allegiance (07:01 PM)
Roll Call (07:05 PM)
Present: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

PRESENTATIONS (07:05 PM)

B. Proclamation honoring the United States Military

Mayor Taylor said the proclamation was for every service person in the United States of America and those serving abroad. He introduced attending military personnel, Staff Sergeant, Robert Edward, Staff Sergeant, Sean Hughes, and Commander, Alexandra Lockhart. Commander Lockhart read the proclamation.

A. Proclamation for March 2008 as American Red Cross Month

Mayor Taylor presented the proclamation to representatives of the American Red Cross, Paul White and Villa Serrano. Ms. Serrano invited everyone to participate in a free CPR class on March 8, 2008, at Los Medanos College. Mr. White said on-site training was available on how to make a kit and build a family plan in place of an emergency.

PUBLIC COMMENTS (07:17 PM)

Assemblyman, Guy Houston, presented a legislative update on issues affecting our military. He had introduced two bills to the State Assembly; a Veterans Property Tax Exemption Bill for disable Veterans in California and a bill to freeze $3.3 million of transportation dollars from the City of Berkeley. He read an email into the record from Bryce Dibble, of Camden, California, currently serving in Iraq, who said he felt that what the Council had done this evening to honor military personnel mattered.

Stacey Martin presented an update from the office of County Supervisor Mary Piepho, and spoke on the following topics: The County getting revenue back on track; rejection of prison facility in Contra Costa County; the vote to ban marijuana dispensaries in the County; completion of Segment 1 of the Highway 4 Bypass; full completion of the Bypass scheduled for summer 2008; County partnership regarding American Avenue; an East County Trail Plan; and bringing County services to the area.

CONSENT CALENDAR (07:25 PM)
1. Approved minutes of the City Council/Redevelopment Agency meeting of February 12, 2008. (M. Wimberly)

2. Adopted Resolution 2008-32 approving and authorizing City Manager or her designee to execute Amendment No. 2 to Purchase Agreement with Brentwood Sunset 2010, LLC, to extend the closing date for sale of property at Sunset Industrial Complex. (H. Sword/G. Rozenski)

Vice Mayor Brockman abstained on Item 2 and said he owned the adjacent property.

3. PULLED FOR DISCUSSION - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Contract for Janitorial Services with BSM Services increasing the contract by $15,000, from a total contract amount of $313,635 to $328,635, for additional weekend janitorial work in the Brentwood Community Center through fiscal year 09/10. (K. De Silva/M. Azamey)

4. PULLED FOR DISCUSSION - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Contract for Janitorial Services with Dependable Janitorial Services increasing the contract by $36,151, from a total contract amount of $281,881 to $318,032 for additional janitorial work for the Los Medanos site at the Brentwood Education & Technology Center through fiscal year 09/10. (K. De Silva/M. Azamey)

5. Adopted Resolution 2008-33 approving and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute a Purchase Agreement and any necessary related documents with Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District for a portion of real property, generally located on the north side of Grant Street at Lone Oak Road, for the Grant Street School Infrastructure Improvements, CIP Project No. 336-31460. (B. Grewal/M. Sullivan)

6. Adopted Resolution 2008-34 approving a plan for the use of Proposition 1B transportation funds, authorizing the City Engineer to submit the plan to the State Department of Finance and amending the CIP Budget Sheet for the John Muir Parkway Extension/Foothill Drive-Phase I, CIP Project No. 336-31640. (B. Grewal/D. Galey)


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7. Adopted Resolution 2008-35 accepting the public improvements for maintenance; accepting all right-of-way offers of dedication in-fee; accepting all easements, abutter’s rights and sub-surface mineral and water rights as shown on the Final Map; accepting the Maintenance Bond; and releasing the Improvement Securities for Subdivision No. 8481, constructed by Western Pacific Housing/D.R. Horton, located south of Balfour Road and west of Foothill Drive. (B. Grewal/D. Galey)


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8. Adopted Resolution 2008-36 approving and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute the First Amendment to Deferred Improvement Agreement with David and Ligia Gibson for storm drainage improvements associated with Minor Subdivision No. 358-01, located on Beverly Place, east of Brentwood Boulevard. (B. Grewal/D. Galey)


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9. Adopted Resolution 2008-37 accepting the work performed by Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. for the Sand Creek Road Widening - UPRR to O’Hara Avenue, CIP Project No. 336-31680 and the Community Beautification, CIP Project No. 522-52220, and directing the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder. (B. Grewal/F. Lideros)


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10. Adopted Resolution 2008-38 accepting a $10,000 grant from Citibank Foundation for the establishment and development of a Small Business Resource Center and amending the 2007/08 Operating Budget for Economic Development in the amount of $10,000 to include the budget for the Small Business Resource Center. (H. Sword/L. Maurer)


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11. Adopted Resolution 2008-39 approving the Brentwood Grown certification mark and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute appropriate documentation with the United States Patent and Trademark office for use of the term and logo, Brentwood Grown. (H. Sword/L. Maurer)

Council Member Stonebarger abstained on Item 11 due to a potential conflict.


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12. Adopted Resolution 2008-40 accepting Detention Basin Improvements for Subdivision No. 8788, S & S Farms, located on the south side of Caper Drive from Ceylon Drive to Lone Oak Road by Brentwood Sand Creek Partners, LLC. (C. Bronzan/K. De Silva)


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13. Adopted Resolution 2008-41 accepting Backbone Landscape Improvements for Subdivision No. 8788, S & S Farms, located on O’Hara Avenue from New Sand Creek Road to Grant Street, Grant Street from O’Hara Avenue to Lone Oak Road, Adams Lane from Grant Street to O’Hara Avenue and Caper Drive from O’Hara Avenue to Lone Oak Road by Brentwood Sand Creek Partners, LLC. (C. Bronzan/K. De Silva)


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14. Adopted Resolution 2008-42 accepting the In-Tract Alley Improvements for Subdivision No. 8788, S & S Farms, with one In-Tract Alley location between the south side of Grant Street and the North side of Lavender, one In-Tract Alley located on the south side of Grant Street and the north side of Clover Drive and one In-Tract Alley located on the east side of Pimento Drive and the west side of Mint Drive by Brentwood Sand Creek Partners, LLC. (C. Bronzan/K. De Silva)


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15. Adopted Resolution 2008-43 amending City Council/Administrative Policy Number 10-9 Use of Vehicles and Related Equipment to Adjust Replacement Years and Rents. (M. Huber/P. Ehler)


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16. Adopted Resolution 2008-44 approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an Assistance Agreement between the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation and City of Brentwood for the stabilization of the John Marsh House. (C. Bronzan)


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17. Adopted Resolution 2008-45 accepting the work performed by California Landscape Dimensions for the Community Beautification project, CIP Project No. 522-52220 releasing the 10% retention and directing the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder. (C. Bronzan/K. De Silva)


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18. PULLED FOR DISCUSSION - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute an Agreement with the Keller Canyon Landfill Company for Solid Waste, Green Waste and Recyclable Materials Transport, Processing and Disposal Services and a Guaranty Agreement with Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC. (B. Grewal/P. Eldredge)


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19. Adopted Resolution 2008-46 designating Karen Chew, Assistant City Manager, as the voting Board Member and Damien Brower, City Attorney, as the alternate Board Member on the Municipal Pooling Authority (MPA) Board of Directors and repeal in its entirety Resolution 2005-44. (K. Chew)


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20. Waived second reading and adopted Ordinance No. 856 amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 1.08 to provide for the recordation and release of notices of pending action on private property for nuisance violations and to clarify the authority and procedures for the recordation of liens to recover past due citation fines and abatement costs; and amending Brentwood Municipal Code Chapter 8.00 to include in the definition of a public nuisance: violations of City zoning regulations, permits and conditions of approval; and certain nuisance behaviors. (H. Sword/L. Kidwell)


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21. Approved the following warrants from Warrant lists dated January 31, 2008 and February 6, 2008. (L. Schelbert/P. Ehler)


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CONSENT CALENDAR ACTIONS (07:26 PM)
Motion: Approve CONSENT CALENDAR Items 1 - 21 excepting 3, 4 and 18. Vice Mayor Brockman abstained on Item 2 and Council Member Stonebarger abstained on Item 11.
The City Clerk read the title of Ordinance 856.
Moved by Becnel, seconded by Richey.

Vote: Motion carried 5-0.
Yes: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

3. PULLED FOR DISCUSSION - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Contract for Janitorial Services with BSM Services increasing the contract by $15,000, from a total contract amount of $313,635 to $328,635, for additional weekend janitorial work in the Brentwood Community Center through fiscal year 09/10. (K. De Silva/M. Azamey)


4. PULLED FOR DISCUSSION - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Contract for Janitorial Services with Dependable Janitorial Services increasing the contract by $36,151, from a total contract amount of $281,881 to $318,032 for additional janitorial work for the Los Medanos site at the Brentwood Education & Technology Center through fiscal year 09/10. (K. De Silva/M. Azamey)


Council Member Richey said Items 3 and 4 could be discussed and acted upon together. He asked about the amount of money to be increased toward janitorial services, and if it would be recouperated via the user fees of the facilities.


Landscape/Facilities Manager, Ken De Silva, confirmed the user fees from both Los Medanos College and City facilities would be used.


Motion: Adopt Resolution 2008-47 approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Contract for Janitorial Services with BSM Services increasing the contract by $15,000, from a total contract amount of $313,635 to $328,635, for additional weekend janitorial work in the Brentwood Community Center through fiscal year 09/10.
Moved by Richey, seconded by Stonebarger.

Vote: Motion carried 5-0.
Yes: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

Motion: Adopt Resolution 2008-48 approving and authorizing the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Contract for Janitorial Services with Dependable Janitorial Services increasing the contract by $36,151, from a total contract amount of $281,881 to $318,032 for additional janitorial work for the Los Medanos site at the Brentwood Education & Technology Center through fiscal year 09/10.
Moved by Richey, seconded by Stonebarger.

Vote: Motion carried 5-0.
Yes: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

18. PULLED FOR DISCUSSION - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute an Agreement with the Keller Canyon Landfill Company for Solid Waste, Green Waste and Recyclable Materials Transport, Processing and Disposal Services and a Guaranty Agreement with Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC. (B. Grewal/P. Eldredge)


Council Member Richey felt Item 18 should be continued to a meeting 30-days out, to give staff the ability to examine the issues. This would be a commitment of ten years for services that never went out to bid and would affect service levels. He felt it would be irresponsible to accept the recommendation of a long term contract.


Vice Mayor Brockman asked for a summary report from staff before discussing the item and referred to a document regarding percentage of yearly increases.


Assistant Director of Public Works/Assistant City Engineer, Paul Eldredge, said there was an annual inflation factor of 3.95 percent. He presented a general overview of the agreement and said staff had been negotiating with the current service provider, Allied Waste, and had done due dilligence with other individual rate levels. Staff had requested the ten-year period to provide insulation to the City in a volatile market and there was no new landfill capacity being constructed. In response to Council Member Richey, Mr. Eldredge stated that Allied was qualified to provide the City the level of service sought, for transport, disposal, and recycling processing. Should staff go out to bid for services, the City would more than likely need to have separate contracts. Staff was comfortable with the pricing received from Allied and were currently utilizing and pleased with services.

An extensive question and discussion period between Council and staff ensued.


Council Member Becnel agreed with Council Member Richey that the item be continued 30-days.


Council Member Stonebarger said he favored the competitive bid process.


Vice Mayor Brockman said he had no problem with a request for proposal and asked staff to work with the existing provider to continue the contract.


City Manager, Donna Landeros, said Council Members Stonebarger and Becnel had been on the subcommittee to review utility rates and had made recommendations to full Council. Council had the option of referring the item to the Subcommittee.


Council Member Richey asked staff to look into the process.


Mayor Taylor asked about items for public bid.

City Attorney, Damien Brower, said the City Council had adopted in the past, purchasing guidelines and regulations related to public contracts, including the contracts before Council. The regulations said the City believed in the competitive bid process. There were exceptions to that process ranging from professional service agreements that were not required to go under a competitive bid process to membership and organizations and sole source contract. It was staff opinion that the item could be considered a sole source contract in that there was one contractor who could provide all the services. It was his understanding there were no other contractors that could provide all the services by themselves. If Council wished to move forward with the item, they could, or wish to decide to go out for competitive bid and would be within the purchasing guidelines.


Council Member Richey moved for a 30-days continuance or until the next meeting - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute an Agreement with the Keller Canyon Landfill Company for Solid Waste, Green Waste and Recyclable Materials Transport, Processing and Disposal Services and a Guaranty Agreement with Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC.

Motion failed due to lack of second.


Mayor Taylor asked if staff needed 30-days and expressed concerns about delay.


City Manager, Donna Landeros, said staff preferred to return to the next meeting if it were Council’s direction, and have present the expert that had been advising staff.


Vice Mayor Brockman requested a review of competent contractors or those able to perform.


Council Member Richey said he would amend his motion to continued the item for two-weeks.

City Manager, Donna Landeros, said staff would explore the time frame with the consultant and if they were not available in two weeks, staff would move the discussion to the next Council meeting.


Director of Public Works/City Engineer, Bailey Grewal, said staff would work with the current service provider to see if they would continue to provide service.


Council Member Richey said he would amend his motion to request a staff presentation at the next Council meeting permitting the availability of the consultant. Should the consultant not be available at the next meeting, he would like the item to return the following meeting.


Motion: Continue Item 18 - Adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager or designee to execute an Agreement with the Keller Canyon Landfill Company for Solid Waste, Green Waste and Recyclable Materials Transport, Processing and Disposal Services and a Guaranty Agreement with Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC. (B. Grewal/P. Eldredge)
Moved by Richey, seconded by Brockman.

Vote: Motion carried 4-1.
Yes: Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor
No: Becnel

OLD BUSINESS (07:53 PM)
22. Status report on Civic Center project by LPA, project architects; Discussion by Council of Civic Center and Downtown utility improvements; Council direction to staff, if necessary. (D. Landeros/G. Leech)


City Manager, Donna Landeros, introduced Jim Wirick, LPA, to present the status report on the Civic Center project. She said the agenda item provided the opportunity for Council to provide direction to staff and direction would be formalized by coming back to a subsequent meeting.


Jim Wirick, LPA, presented a power point presentation, beginning with the current status of the Civic Center project, and presenting timelines, dollar amounts, and levels of commitment. Topics included: Completed design of the Civic Center; What the commitment would be should Council approve the pre-construction manager contract; Authorizing for preliminary bond analysis; Land use, CEQA and design approvals, Prepare temporary space for Council Chamber, Library, and Parks and Recreation; Construct offsite infrastructure on Third Street and Maple; Approval to go to bid for Civic Center; Bid analysis; Award construction contract, commitment to bond, and decision to demolish existing library and community center; Move Council Chambers, library, and Parks and Recreation Department to temporary facility; Begin construction; Start design of new Library; Occupy City Hall, close and renovate City Park and new Library; and Open City Park and open new Library.


A period of questions and discussions between Council Members and Mr. Wirick ensued.
Mayor Taylor requested public comments.


Ron Enos, said this was a beautiful project and expressed concerns about the timing. He felt the Council should delay the project for approximately 18 months. He was concerned about perception and people loosing homes and jobs. He asked where funds were coming from and how the City was to pay back bonds. He compared the City Hall cost to that of the City of Oakley and asked Council to wait for approximately six months and said he felt now was not the right time. Should Council elect to move forward, he asked the jobs be kept local.


Emil Geddes spoke about school district cuts and expressed concerns due to the collapse of finance and mortgage. He felt the facility was beautiful and cautioned Council to hold back a bit and realize finances. He believed the downtown would be successful due to the radius population. He supported Council and said it was a beautiful project and asked that caution be used.


Ronn Nunn said he did not agree with the City’s position on City Hall. Taking down the Library, City Hall and the Community Center was a poor choice of values. The City did not need an icon downtown and to spend $1,000 per square foot on a City Hall did not seem reasonable. He asked to change the plan to something more appropriate.


Cathy Reed, President of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, read excerpts from a letter previously submitted by the Chamber and dated March 22, 2004. She said the Chamber supported a balanced approach to economic development across the City and the Chamber believed that a downtown Civic Center should contain a city hall, park and community center sufficient to support a population of 76,000 at buildout, with elements in close proximity. The Chamber felt it was time to move forward and not delay implementation of the new Civic Center and wanted to be part of downtown when it was implemented. She spoke about the economic downturn and said the City layoffs showed fiscal responsibility. The economic downturn could benefit the City in lower construction costs for the Civic Center and she encouraged using local businesses for the construction. Council would show commitment to economic and social viability by moving forward with the plan.


Roger Moore said he felt the City should delay the project due to the economic downturn and it had not ended yet. People in town were out of work and he was concerned about the perception to people should construction start now.


Barbara Guise delivered a message from a citizen who used the existing Library. The Library was functional as it was and she asked that it not be moved to a temporary location. Moving the Library twice may be a waste of money and create parking problems. She felt the Library could be left as a stand-alone until City Hall was built. Money had been spent to remodel the Community Development Department and now they would need to be relocated to a new City Hall and she asked if this had to happen. She asked if the Community Center could be remodeled for a new Library and if the existing Library could be used for an art center or other purpose. Then the City Hall could be built in connection and integrated. She felt moving the Library twice would be a mistake and people should be able to use the Library while other facilities were under construction.


Anne Cain, Contra Costa County Librarian, said libraries contributed to literacy and supported education, positive youth development and life-long learning. Libraries were viewed as a civic asset that made a significant contribution to community and neighborhood development and brought people downtown. The Library had limited space and needed to be expanded and updated since there were four to five times the amount of books there now. The new Library would attract more people to come to the downtown and the Library appreciated Council support.


Ike Montanez thanked Council for facilitating an opportunity to hear the voice of the community. The sudden downturn of the economy had caused Council and citizens to reevaluate on how to proceed. Moving ahead with the plan did not preclude modifying it at a later date should a study reveal the advantages in doing so. He believed no such study had been done and the current economic condition dictated a modifying of the current Civic Center plan. He asked to look at the Liberty High School property adjacent to the current City Hall, and referred to the negotiations between the City and School District. He felt that bringing the property back into the picture would bring the Civic Center back to the front on Oak Street, preserve the current City Park, and save the Community Center and Library for a few more years, and saving money.


Jason Moore, grounds keeper, Brentwood Union School District, said the plan looked great and he spoke about layoffs at the City and School District. He spoke about public perception and the economic downturn. The plan looked nice and it seemed a lot of money to spend. He asked if the City could make a smaller Civic Center.


Karen Rogge said the City had been planning and saving for the Civic Center for long time. She trusted the judgment and expertise of the Finance Department. She spoke about layoffs and said there was not work. The money was there because of the development fees. If permits were not coming in, people were not needed. Engineering and Community Development had been crowded and everything was a temporary fix to be able to work. Money was earmarked for the Civic Center and salaries had come from a different place.

Mayor Taylor closed public comments.


Council Member Richey asked about the method of financing and paying back the bonds.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said of the $73 million, 18 percent would come from Redevelopment, 60 percent would come from Development and Assessments and the General Fund would provide 22 percent. The City would bond for $37 million and part of that was Redevelopment and part was Development and Assessments. There would be no funding that was bonded for from the General Fund. The City committed to provide the Council with an operations budget where revenues exceeded expenditures for operations and not using reserves. Reserves from the General Fund for the project had been designated for many years.


Council Member Richey asked how much the City would save by moving forward with bids now rather than 18 months or later.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said approximately six percent which would be approximately $1.2 million each year. That was a guess since she believed there would be a bottom of the construction market.


Council Member Richey asked about money being used to finance the Civic Center and the potential to not have layoffs and use the money for placing people in a different department. He spoke about perception and development related layoffs, residential foreclosures, economic situations and nexus of terms and the financing of City Hall.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, spoke about operation expenses coming from operation revenues. The money she spoke about was designated reserves and it was not the same. City would take six months to analyze and return to Council with a financing package, taking steps to mitigate and prepare for the worst case scenario. With regard to bonding, the City was bonding on the dollar today, and not expecting future dollars in this type of bond market.


Vice Mayor Brockman asked if the numbers were not there when the bonding capacity was looked at, would there be an opportunity to stop.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said there would be and if the numbers were not favorable, staff would not recommend it.


Vice Mayor Brockman asked about the possibility of relocating the library one time to save costs.


Jim Wirick, LPA, said he was currently looking to move the library off site and then back into the city hall annex. There had recently been a discussion to move the library once and he explained the process of preparing the annex to be vacated, build a new library in its place, move the existing library to the new library and demolish the library for the civic center to take place. He believed money could be saved from the two moves and building temporary facilities for the two-year stint of the library, some of the money may be spent in an accelerated construction process in the new, permanent library in order to continue on the schedule for the civic center. He said alternately pushing back starting the civic center one or two months to allow construction to occur and all the moves would need to be studied.


Vice Mayor Brockman said he felt Council needed to make a decision now or in the near future as to whether Council wanted to give consideration to moving the library for construction costs and asked if there would be time to make decisions as part of the phasing program.


Jim Wirick, LPA, said there would be time and in order to stay on the time schedule, construction needed to start on the new Library in the annex in September/October 2008.


Vice Mayor Brockman said the Library was an integral part of being relocated and would need to be relocated as part of any of the plan started. Council may want to consider giving direction and look at that aspect and the feasibility of it because there could be a significant cost savings.



Jim Wirick, LPA, said it was feasible, and without further study, he was not sure how it would impact construction of the Civic Center.


Vice Mayor Brockman asked about local preference for contractors and bidding policies.


City Attorney, Damien Brower, said the City had a local preference resolution although he had not seen it used for contracts and would review the document for applicability to contractors. State law had very specific requirements related to local preference resolutions and ordinances and very limiting in that regard.


Vice Mayor Brockman asked to look into preferential issues on local contractors. He spoke about agricultural benefits and monies set aside. He felt the building was viable and had been well planned for many years. There had been many years of studies and trying to set aside funds to be used only for the buildings. The economy was a problem and the Finance Department had set aside funds and stayed within reserves. He spoke about Liberty Union High School District negotiation not going through and said Council was open to a negotiation. The City would be willing to look at the bus barn and it must be economically feasible. He said he was in favor of the project and asked to continue to move forward. The plan allowed for the opportunity to stop for a month or year, and it would cost more to wait and the City could take advantage of the economy.


Council Member Stonebarger asked about general funds designated for the civic center.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said the funds had been budgeted as a designated reserve for the Civic Center. Staff would be returning with the 2008/09 budget in three months and would make sure the savings could sustain. Reserves were not sustainable revenue and staff was committed to making sure operations paid for itself. Council could change the reserves of 30 percent if they desired and staff worked to have on-going revenues for on-going expenses.


Council Member Stonebarger spoke about Redevelopment funds that would be borrowed and a line of credit used to obtain funding now and would be paid for later. He asked if those funds would need to be used for the Civic Center.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said the funds could be used for whatever the Agency decided.


Council Member Stonebarger said he believed there were some funds set aside that could only be used for the Civic Center, and the rest of the funds and majority of funds could be used at the discretion of the Council/Agency.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said that was correct for the Redevelopment Agency.


Council Member Stonebarger said the City had 50 percent of the money and would borrow 50 percent.

Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, agreed.


Vice Mayor Brockman asked how the parking garage was being financed.


Director of Finance and Information Systems, Pam Ehler, said it would be finaced with 100 percent of Redevelopment funds.


Vice Mayor Brockman said a lot of the funds were being used specifically for that due to the nature of the particular structure.


Council Member Stonebarger said the funds were not dedicated to the Civic Center. The parking structure for the Civic Center was not necessarily a parking structure for the downtown redevelopment area. He believed a dollar spent directly on the redevelopment area downtown, would be a better benefit than a dollar spent indirectly on the Civic Center. He spoke about the scale of the project and the amount per square foot.


Jim Wirick, LPA, spoke about hard and soft costs and said both equal the project costs. The $1,000 per square foot did not apply and the hard costs for City Hall were closer to $400 per square foot, and the Community Center was closer to $400 per square foot and the parking structure was $82 per square foot. There were site costs around it, temporary facilities, and the park costs and all of the costs added up to the $55 million hard costs and the balance was the soft costs, inspection fees, construction management, architects and engineers and various other items.


Council Member Stonebarger said he was concerned about the total project cost. He asked if in 2005 versus 2009, the amount would cost 25 percent more to build the project, based on six percent per annum.


Jim Wirick, LPA, said it would not.


Council Member Stonebarger said he was concerned about the size and timing of the project. He was not sure when the economy would rebound and wanted to protect public funds. He believed the City could be protected by prolonging the process or pushing it out. The 2008/09 budget was forthcoming and these were dedicated funds that needed to be used for the Civic Center. He was concerned about spending money within the next twelve months and felt Council would be in a better position to make the decision next fall.


Council Member Becnel said the six percent compounded per year would equal 25 percent increase in construction costs.


Council Member Becnel said the six percent compounded per year would equal 25 percent increase in construction costs. He spoke about operating expenses and said he would have a problem if the civic center slowed down and the capital improvement funds would be used for operating expenses. If Council made an investment in the community, there needed to be a long run view of the accomplishment. The economy will recover and if the project was stopped or slowed down, then Council would be allowing a short run issue to determine what would be an appropriate long run solution to the investment in the downtown. He referred to layoffs and the budget downturn and said when looking at the bonding estimate, the estimate was based on the economy now. If the economy was at or near the bottom, the financing projections were based on a worst case scenario. He believed the economy would be weak and the City had planned for that. The reason for the long time period was to get the bond financing close to the bids so the City would have an accurate opinion of what could realistically be borrowed versus what it would cost. Spending $73 million was a risk and it needed to be analyzed and minimized to the maximum extent possible. The City had analyzed the numbers and allowed enough leeway to be sure if something happened, there was the ability to step back. He spoke about the bus barn issue and acquisition of the property. It was not practical to move the Community Center from its current position. If Liberty Union High School District wanted to make an offer to sell the property to the City, it would be open for Council consideration. If possible, he asked to save an extra move on the library. If the consideration was to move the library to the annex complex, and without slowing down civic center project, there needed to be some sort of direction to investigate that. He spoke about the cost of delay and said contractors needed work and felt now was the time to bid. If the project could be done all at the same time, it was good and a delay could cost money. The value of properties in the area would improve and it would be a domino effect. He felt the City was in the best position to make the investment and asked to watch the financing.


Council Member Stonebarger said it would be alright if the project was delayed for one year and agreed on the financing of the part of it. The City was conservative in estimates but could not foresee the future.


Mayor Taylor said the project was a huge expense and benefit. With regard to the Liberty bus barn, he was in support of the City and Liberty School Board coming to an agreement. He agreed the library should be moved only once and save money. He cautioned Council to spread the project out in phases and be fiscally responsible. He stated the City did not wish to cut back on Police services and Code Enforcement and he asked the downtown not be torn up for three years.


Council Member Richey felt the benefits of the project outweighed disadvantages and the City could take advantage of construction costs. He agreed with Council Member Becnel that every risk could not be eliminated from the project and the City could take advantage of the construction costs. He directed staff to proceed with the project with caution.


Council Member Becnel asked about the phasing decision and said it did not get done until the bid analysis.


Jim Wirick, LPA, referred to the power point and said it was November/December 2008, and January 2009.


Council Member Becnel said it was premature to say the project needed to be done in phasing. When the City reached that point and financing was an issue, then phasing would be an appropriate decision at that point.


Mayor Taylor said once the clock starts, the City was spending money and he directed staff to provide continuous financial updates for Council and citizens.


Council Member Becnel said the phasing issue was down the road and he asked LPA if the analysis of the library was the issue needed.


Jim Wirick, LPA, said that was correct and if that portion of the phased project came early, the City would need to invest money in building that in preparation for moving the library. Between LPA and Swinterton and the cost estimators, he felt confident the of the cost projections given to City. The final number was unknown until the bids were in.


At 9:48 PM, the City Council/Redevelopment Agency recessed.


At 9:56 PM, the City Council/Redevelopment Agency reconvened with all Members present.


PUBLIC HEARING ITEM (09:56 PM)
23. Consideration of an application for an appeal filed by Matt Ellison of K & E Properties of the Planning Commission’s effective denial of an amendment to an approved design review (DR 05-27) for the City Block retail center to allow for a left-in turn pocket for westbound traffic at the main Balfour Road entrance. The center is generally located on the property at the southwest corner of the intersection of Griffith Lane and Balfour Road, west of the In-Shape City fitness center. (H. Sword/D. Hill)


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Associate Planner, Debbie Hill, presented a staff report and a history of the City Block center. The Item went to a Planning Commission public hearing on January 15, 2008, with a 2 - 2 vote, which was an effective denial of the project. That action had been appealed by the applicant, Matt Ellison. She said there was access to the site at three locations and the applicant had been promoting the left had turn access. Staff had been consistent in denying left turn access due to the short distance from the project entrance to the intersection at Balfour Road and Griffith Lane. Traffic Engineering was not able to support a full signalized intersection due to traffic at the main entrance along Balfour Road would be stopped at a red light, which allowed traffic turning movement left in to have a safe vehicular movement due to stopped traffic on Balfour Road. Staff brought forward both the Planning Commission and Traffic Engineering recommendation for denial. Should the Council decide to deny the appeal, thereby denying the left turn project, no further action would be required. If the Council decided to approve the left turn pocket, thereby approving the appeal, in accordance with CEQA, staff would need to prepare the required environmental document, notice it for public hearing, and return to Council.


Engineering Manager, Steve Kersevan, said the Engineering Department did not favor the addition of another left turn pocket on Balfour Road to serve the City Block property due to the limited left turn access. Allowing the left turn pocket would set a precedent to allow future left turn pockets for other developers who felt it was necessary for the economic viability of their center. He spoke about the traffic study prepared by the developers’ consultant and said traffic would still increase into the City block center. With regard to visibility from Rosegate Avenue, the City had trimmed vegetation. He spoke regarding the concern that if the left turn pocket was not allowed, an increase in U-turns at Rosegate would occur and if there was a problem, a no U-turn sign could be placed there. There would be increased traffic volumes in the future in the location and there was a park and school across the street. The proposal was less of a traffic safety issue and more of an economic viability of the center.


Mayor Taylor opened public hearing.


Ralph Straus, SDG Architects, presented a power point regarding the City Block site. He spoke about three access points into City Block center and explained, in detail, other left hand turn lanes throughout the City that provided good access to commercial sites. He said through the planning process, the goal had been to create a pedestrian-oriented site. Children crossed the area each day from the school and traffic was moving through the area where people were backing out into a drive isle and crossing the pedestrian access points. He asked if trucks making deliveries to the center would need to make U-turns or wind their way through the center for access. Safety was a concern and he felt the safest alternative was the left hand turn lane since it alleviated pressure on other points of access. He proposed a well-balanced intersection, far enough away from Griffith to work, and he had incorporated all requested items from Traffic Engineering at the Griffith Lane intersection. He requested approval of the left turn lane into City Block as requested, since he felt it was the safest alternative. The economic vitality of the shopping center was important and the left turn lane was critical in helping to assure the success of the center as well as create a safer environment for the people who use it.


Matt Ellison said the City Block needed the left turn lane for the safety and load factor and the reasons explained by Ralph Strauss, SDG Architects. The Traffic Engineer had mentioned that if there was a problem at Rosegate, a no U-turn sign could be placed there. He felt cars would be cut off from the shopping site and keep on going. He asked why there should be extra loading on Rosegate when the problem could be relieved by the left turn lane. The traffic study showed it worked. The site needed the advantage that every other site had and the market was slow so it needed every advantage. He asked why other intersections should be loaded up. The original site design was with the left turn lane and he felt this should have been a condition of approval. The delay was costing him money and the left turn lane was needed for the site and safety. He had a condition of approval to do improvements there. He was afraid that Rosegate would have U-turns and it would affect the site, which needed every advantage other sites had.


Ron Enos said he was concerned about staff recommendation and felt it was a safety issue. The center really needed the left had turn lane to be successful and viable. He spoke about another area and measurements for a left hand turn lane. The center was viable and retail tenants would generate revenue and he felt Council should encourage commercial development. He was concerned about traffic going to Rosegate and Minnesota and traffic would back up. Even when vegetation was trimmed, it was difficult to see from Rosegate and everything should be torn out of there since it was a safety issue. He asked Council to consider granting the request for a left turn lane.


Karen Rogge spoke about left hand turn lanes in other areas of the City and proposed that the developer place a signal at Rosegate with a safe U-turn. She felt that would be the safest thing to do.


An unidentified gentleman said he had received letters of support and submitted them to Council. He said he had several commercial properties in the area and all had main access points and it made a big difference. There were neighboring building that did not have the access points and it made a difference.


Motion: Close the public hearing.
Moved by Brockman, seconded by Stonebarger.

Vote: Motion carried 5-0.
Yes: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

Council Member Richey asked about the safety issue with the left turn lane.


Engineering Manager, Steve Kersevan, said he was concerned about traffic headed eastbound on Balfour Road backed up further than 550 feet, blocking a driveway and a left turn pocket. He explained what could happen with on-coming traffic.


A period of questions by Council Member Richey and responses by Engineering Manager, Steve Kerservan, ensued.


Council Member Richey said placing the left hand turn lane into City Block discouraged U-turns at Rosegate. He did not see the traffic hazard there to the extent the Planning Commission had and he felt it was reasonable to give access at that point.


Council Member Stonebarger did not see it as much of a safety issue considering the Rosegate issue. He did not like forcing that many cars through the intersection at the In-Shape and Dallas Shanks and he was in favor of left turn lane.

Council Member Richey agreed with Council Member Stonebarger.


Council Member Becnel agreed that the left turn lane would be the preferred alternative. He asked for a finding to be placed in the Resolution, that Council made the decision specifically due to the safety issues at In-Shape and Rosegate that were related to the site.


Vice Mayor Brockman said he was in favor and felt the left turn lane would not be a safety problem and was practical. He was not in favor of another signal on Balfour Road.


Mayor Taylor said truckers would take the shortest route and he felt it was dangerous. He did not want any trucks through In-Shape parking lot. He felt the businesses needed to be helped and everyone should have access to make the business a success.


Motion: direct staff to prepare an environmental document and bring back a resolution approving the appeal.
Moved by Stonebarger, seconded by Richey.

Vote: Motion carried 5-0.
Yes: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

NEW BUSINESS (10:37 PM)
24. Report from the Neighborhood Improvement Committee regarding consideration of a Rental Inspection Program. (Council Members Becnel and Richey/K. Chew)


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Assistant City Manager, Karen Chew, said this was a report from the Neighborhood Improvement Committee regarding the rental inspection program. The Committee had been meeting since January 2007, and had brought forward recommendations, including a nuisance abatement ordinance and other ordinances for Council consideration and approval. The Committee presented a discussion of a rental inspection program for Council consideration.


Council Member Richey said surrounding communities had rental inspection programs and the Neighborhood Improvement Committee wanted a program that was proactive and prevention oriented, with a regional approach. A model was recommended by the Committee for Council to review. The rental inspection program would run out of Code Enforcement and rental inspections would consist of exterior inspections only. Once an exterior inspection was passed, the property was not seen again for approximately two years. If there were problems with the outside of the property, a standard Code Enforcement process would be used to get people to fix the problem. The program was designed to fund itself by charging the property owners to be licensed as businesses. The program would be able to fund itself until 2012 when an impact would occur to the general fund. The Neighborhood Improvement Committee asked for Council direction to move forward with the program.
Council Member Stonebarger said he was in favor of the program, which could be adjusted later.


Council Member Richey said everyone was held to the same standard and explained the incentives of the program.


Council Member Becnel had been concerned regarding the general fund and budget and other proposals were expensive. Council could look at this model and if it was Council’s desire to move forward, the Neighborhood Improvement would work on drafting an Ordinance. He believed the issue should be revisited down the road or have a sunset or re-evaluation provision in the ordinance for a certain time period.


Council Member Stonebarger said he was in favor of a three-year program, when it began to affect the general fund.


Mayor Taylor asked if fee would be charged every two years or every year.


Council Member Richey said there were inspection fees and business license fees and would be paid for on an as-needed basis. The Committee wanted to make compliance easy as a property owner.


Mayor Taylor requested public comments.


Karen Rogge asked why this was being done and how much would people be charged if they have a home. Fees were being placed on people and why would the City spend money for this program during a recession and what would the citizens get out of it.


City Attorney, Damien Brower, said that should Council wish to address the public, they may do so once the public comment period had closed.

Mayor Taylor closed public comments.


Vice Mayor Brockman said he was not in favor of any kind of rental program, inspection fees or business license for property owners. He may consider a program that would address four plex or more since it was a business entity recognized by the State. The fees were an excess burden to place on the property and the existing ordinances just put into place need to be given the time to function and see how that would resolve the issue.


Mayor Taylor agreed with Vice Mayor Brockman and said he believed ordinances had been put in place and he would like to see those proceed. The ordinances had gone over well from what he had heard and properties had been cleaned up fast.


Council Member Richey said while the property maintenance ordinance was effective, it had to be financed out of general fund. The advantage of the rental inspection program, while directed at rental properties, was a mechanism to finance the code enforcement that needed to be done. The program would handle the one or two percent and hold property owners accountable for wanting to do business in our neighborhoods.


Mayor Taylor said no.


City Manager, Donna Landeros, requested direction for the Neighborhood Improvement Committee and staff.

Vice Mayor Brockman asked for multiple units and a sunset clause and he asked to wait until other ordinances were given the time to do what they were supposed to.


Council Member Richey asked to move forward with the program recommended by the Neighborhood Improvement Committee.


Mayor Taylor said every homeowner needed to know what fees were. He asked how the item would return to Council.


City Attorney, Damien Brower, said if Council gave staff direction to proceed with the program as outlined, the staff report presented by Council Members Richey and Becnel, staff would work to prepare an ordinance and any necessary resolutions amending fees and return to the Neighborhood Improvement Committee and then back to Council. Staff requested a motion with direction from Council.


Mayor Taylor asked if the item would have a public hearing.

City Attorney, Damien Brower, said the Neighborhood Improvement Committee would hear the ordinance and resolutions at a noticed public meeting. The ordinance would not require a public hearing but would occur at a duly noticed public meeting, and public comments would be taken.


Council Member Becnel asked about a duplex versus a triplex.

Vice Mayor Brockman said he was not in favor of regulating rental properties in the residential section.


Mayor Taylor expressed concerns about fees and asked to investigate the fees.


Council Member Stonebarger said he felt the item should go back for a draft ordinance and take it to the Neighborhood Improvement Committee, and return to Council.


Council Member Becnel said he felt the item should return to the Neighborhood Improvement Committee for discussion. He was not sure if he would vote to invest the time to write an ordinance. He referred to the other ordinances that went into effect and he believed that the ordinances should work for a while.


Council Member Richey said he was concerned that by relying on the property maintenance ordinance, it would increase the work load for Code Enforcement as opposed to a rental inspection program, which provided a viable financing option to regulate businesses.


Vice Mayor Brockman said he would not like to be taxed and have another fee to pay for the privilege of renting out property. There was no other city that had that type of an ordinance.


Council Member Richey said surrounding cities had an ordinance for rentals.


Vice Mayor Brockman said he believed there was pride of ownership within neighborhoods and the ordinances put in place, were for Code Enforcement to allow them to enforce.

Council Member Richey felt the business owners who rented their homes out should shoulder the burden.

Vice Mayor Brockman felt it would increase rents to the population that could not afford it and was another burden.

Council Member Richey felt the fee amount would cause a negligible increase in rent.


Motion: Approve the Neighborhood Improvement Committee move forward with the program as designed and as in the staff report and return to Council in a more completed fashion - Report from the Neighborhood Improvement Committee regarding consideration of a Rental Inspection Program.
Moved by Richey, seconded by Stonebarger.

The motion was not voted upon.

Council Member Becnel asked about the sunset clause.


Motion: Approve the Neighborhood Improvement Committee move forward with the program as designed and as in the staff report and return to Council in a more completed fashion and amending the motion to include a re-evaluation in three years from the effective date of the ordinance to evaluate the appropriateness of continuing the rental inspection program - Report from the Neighborhood Improvement Committee regarding consideration of a Rental Inspection Program.
Moved by Richey, seconded by Stonebarger.

Vote: Motion carried 3-2.
Yes: Becnel; Richey; Stonebarger
No: Brockman; Taylor

REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS (11:04 PM)
Mayor Taylor asked for Council consensus for a Resolution or proclamation to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors opposing any prison in East County.

Vice Mayor Brockman and Council Member Stonebarger were in support.

INFORMATIONAL REPORTS FROM COUNCIL MEMBERS (11:05 PM)
Council Member Becnel reported on his attendance at the California District Attorney's Association seminar in Santa Barbara regarding community prosecutions.

ADJOURNMENT (11:06 PM)
Motion: Adjourn
Moved by Stonebarger, seconded by Becnel.

Vote: Motion carried 5-0.
Yes: Becnel; Brockman; Richey; Stonebarger; Taylor

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Garcia, CMC
Assistant City Clerk
 

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