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City Manager's Report For Week Ending July 14

E-FORUM subscribers now have access to the City Manager’s Weekly Report, which is distributed weekly to Council members and City department heads.

This is the weekly report for the week ending July 14, 2006.   

1.         Meeting Notes

Tuesday’s meeting will begin with a Closed Session at 8:30 AM, reconvening at 6:00 PM for a study session on possible changes to the business license tax structure.

2.         Meetings with Bond Rating Agencies

As you know, Jim Goins and I, along with members of the sewer revenue bond financing team, were in New York from Monday through Wednesday of this past week to make presentations to rating agencies and potential bond insurers regarding the proposed bond issue.  Specifically, we met with Moody’s (rating agency), FGIC, AMBAC, MBIA, and XLCG (all bond insurers, and representatives from 4 potential letter of credit banks.  (Note:  we are meeting with Standard and Poor’s in San Francisco next week.)  My assessment (trying to be as objective as possible) is that our presentations went well, and were important in conveying good up-to-date information about the City of Richmond and the proposed wastewater system improvement project.  The proof, however, will be in how the proposed bond issue is rated, and whether or not we are able to purchase credit enhancement at a reasonable price.  We will keep you informed.

 3.       Private Investor Interest in Richmond Port

As I indicated in my past Weekly Report, several investment groups have approached Jim Matzorkis and Jim Goins within the past several weeks about an idea of building a new port on north waterfront property near the rail yards.  These investors feel that the projected volume at west coast ports could merit a significant venture capital investment.  I indicated that we had tentatively placed this issue on the City Council agenda for Tuesday, July 18th to find out if the Council wants staff to pursue it.  Please be advised that we have modified the schedule and are planning to place it on the July 25th City Council agenda as a study session.

4.         Fire Service – Automatic Aid Update

As you know, automatic aid with Contra Costa County Fire was resumed on Tuesday, July 11th. Since then, the City had eleven responses into County service areas.  Eight calls were for emergency medical assistance and two calls were for structure fires.  Contra Costa Fire has responded twice into Richmond, with both of these calls for a fire alarm sounding, where no service was provided.  The fire crews from both departments have been getting together on an informal basis to meet one another. Plans for more structured training are currently being developed and will be implemented later this month.  City Fire Department management met with Chief Richter’s staff on Wednesday to discuss immediate issues of concern, and plan to meet on a weekly basis for the remainder of July.  Chief Banks reports that his Department is excited about the opportunity to once again provide outstanding fire service in areas of West Contra Costa County outside of the City limits.  Chief Banks is also working to finalize the formal, written agreement for this automatic aid arrangement, with an agreement currently completed in draft form.

5.         Meeting with Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians Regarding the North Richmond Casino

Janet Schneider, John Knox, Lashonda Wilson and I met for the fourth time with representatives of the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians regarding various mitigations and a potential service agreement for the North Richmond Casino.  While discussions are quite substantive in terms of issues, the group has determined that nothing will be in a form that can be placed on the City Council agenda until after your August hiatus.

6.         Planning Department Update

The Planning Department reports the following as an update on significant projects:

·        General Plan

During this past week MIG and staff completed final preparations for Monday’s (the first of five) community meeting.  The General Plan newsletter was issued during the week of July 3rd.

·        Design Review

Staff discussed an initial work plan with Opticos Design, a firm based in Berkeley. They will assist with the development of residential renovation and preservation guidelines.

·        Pending Projects

Toll Brothers representatives would like to return to the Planning Commission on August 3rd with answers to questions raised during the special meeting held on June 22nd.

Happy Bastille Day!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.

Have a great week.

Bill Lindsay
City Manager
City of Richmond
1401 Marina Way South
Richmond, CA 94804

Phone:  510-620-6512
Fax:      510-620-6542
e-mail:   bill_lindsay@ci.richmond.ca.us