|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending April 2nd, 2010
April 2, 2010
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending April 2nd, 2010.
The next City Council meeting will be Tuesday, April 6th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular agenda at 6:30 PM.
The public hearing concerning the proposed changes to the sewer rates that was noticed for the City Council meeting of April 6th is being continued until Tuesday, April 20th. The reason for this continuance is to allow more time to disseminate information regarding the rate increase into the community, and to have an additional community information meeting. The additional meeting will be on Wednesday, April 14th at 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers. An additional mailed notice regarding this meeting, together with questions and answers regarding the proposed sewer rate increase, should be received by all households in the service area by the middle part of next week.
This past week, staff from Engineering/Wastewater, Finance, the City Attorney’s Office and Veolia conducted an informational meeting related to the proposed sewer rate increase, which was attended by about 30 – 40 members of the community. Staff was concerned, however, that adequate notice regarding this meeting was not provided uniformly throughout the community, necessitating that an additional meeting be scheduled.
Redevelopment Agency and Finance Department staff, working with bond counsel, underwriters and consultants, have sold bonds necessary to restructure the $65 million 2007A Redevelopment variable rate bond to a $33 million fixed rate bond with an all-in annual interest rate of 6.97%. This will stabilize the Agency’s debt service at a rate which enabled the Agency to maintain a Standard & Poor’s “A” rating.
As you may recall, these bonds will refund the RCRA 2007 bonds, which were affected by the credit rating downgrades of the bond insurer, and this new bond issuance will permanently remove the bond insurer. The bonds will be sold on April 22nd, 2010.
As you know, the City is required to perform an annual compliance audit of all federal grant expenditures by March 31st of every year, usually referred to as the “Single Audit.” The most recent Single Audit report completed for the City is for the year ended June 30th, 2009, contains information on seven audited grant programs, and carries an unqualified opinion from the auditors. The completion of the Single Audit is a City-wide effort. All departments with federal or pass-through federal grants make up the Single Audit report. It should be noted that, for the second year in a row, Employment & Training had no audit findings.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved the issuance of project-based Section 8 vouchers for the Lillie Mae Jones Plaza affordable housing development. This development, located in the Historic Iron Triangle at Macdonald Avenue and Second Street, will offer 26 supportive rental units -- all of which are reserved for families, including the previously homeless, at or below 60% Area Median Income (AMI). The developers, Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, plan to start construction in early May. The groundbreaking celebration is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 13th at 11:00 AM.
As the primary roadway connecting the El Cerrito Plaza BART station with Interstate 80 and 580, Central Avenue is a key commute corridor. It also serves as an important local route, connecting commercial areas and local neighborhoods. However, the 0.1 mile (500 foot) section of Central Avenue between Jacuzzi and Pierce Streets is the site of significant congestion, especially during peak weekend commute times. The cities of Richmond and El Cerrito’s engineering departments are working with Contra Costa Transportation Authority, their consultant team, and Caltrans to evaluate several alternatives to modify the freeway interchange to improve traffic flow. To learn about the latest development on this project, the cities of Richmond and El Cerrito are holding a public open house on April 14th, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at El Cerrito’s City Council Chambers.
After 30 years of service with the City of Richmond’s Fire Department, Deputy Chief Clyde Tucker retired on Wednesday, March 31st. Following his hiring in March 1980, he ascended through the ranks, serving as Engineer, Captain and Battalion Chief before being promoted to Deputy Chief in June 2004. As Deputy Chief, Clyde managed the Fire Department’s largest division, Emergency Operations. Some of his notable accomplishments include helping to reinstate automatic aid in West Contra Costa County, starting a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) testing program, and rejuvenating the Fire Department’s Awards and Commendations program. He will be missed by the Fire Department and City staff who worked closely with him throughout his career.
The Recreation Department, in collaboration with RPAL, West Contra Costa Unified School District, North Richmond Neighborhood House, and El Sobrante Christian School, has begun its 3rd season of Little League Baseball at Nicholl Park. The league has grown from 8 teams the first year, to 16 teams this season, including for the first time, 5 girls softball teams.
9. Website Fun
We have several new slideshows on the redesigned site. A couple of fun ones are GIS and Planning Division. GIS shows different layers of maps available. Planning Division shows current project sites blending into proposed images. Visit these pages and watch the images change:
Planning Division: http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=2098
Also enjoy the Arts & Culture slideshow:
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!
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