|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending December 17th
December 18, 2010
Subject: Weekly Report for the Week Ending December 17th
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending December 17th, 2010.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 4th. (There is no meeting on the third Tuesday of December [the 21st] because of its proximity to the holidays.)
As a reminder, as a cost savings measure, City Hall will be closed during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day (December 27th – 31st), and non-emergency City services will be on a limited schedule. The Finance Department estimates that this may save the City as much as $450,000 in the form of reduced vacation liability, actual salary costs, and reduced occupancy costs. The details of this limited service schedule are attached to this report.
The City of Richmond’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) closed a $50,000 loan with Analytical Scientific Instruments, Inc. (ASI) this week to support their working capital and relocation expenses. ASI, a 21-year old manufacturer of medical equipment instruments and components, was recently awarded a $4 million contract with BioRad. They purchased a building at 3023 Research Drive in Richmond to support this growth and moved to Richmond on November 1st, bringing 25 existing employees, with plans to hire at least 10 additional employees. ASI is also working with the Employment and Training Department on Enterprise Zone (EZ) hiring tax credits. The owners noted that they are having a positive experience with the Planning and Building Departments on inspections.
This brings the total to three loans closed under the RLF since November 12th.
PAX Water Technologies, Inc. has just moved to 860 Harbour Way South in Richmond. PAX Water is a manufacturer of energy-efficient tools for the water industry. Using biomimicry (the science of reverse-engineering systems and processes found in nature to achieve efficiency improvements in man-made systems), PAX Water makes products that help municipal water agencies lower their energy and chemical use, and improve water quality. The company has 12 employees (two positions were created as a result of this move), and expects its headcount to rise to 30 in the next two to three years. PAX Water has been featured in Business 2.0, FastCompany, Inc. Magazine and, most recently, in the NBC News Special Prince Charles' Harmony. The company was drawn to the area by the quality building stock, the ease of commuting, the Enterprise Zone tax incentives, and the presence of other clean technology companies in the neighborhood.
After more than a year of negotiations, the National Parks Service, Ford Point LLC, and the City of Richmond have closed the deal and executed all documents for the renovation of the Historic Oilhouse building. This 12,500 square foot structure is adjacent to the Historic Ford Assembly Building and, upon completion of the renovation, will serve as the Education Center for the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park. Completion of the building renovation is expected in fall 2011.
As you know, staff members have been working together with Vice-Mayor Jeff Ritterman and others to promote Richmond as an excellent site for the second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The site would allow for the consolidation of current programs that are located in office space spread throughout the Bay Area, and situate the lab for its long-term future growth. We have been advised that the University of California now plans to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a second site on January 3, 2011. We will continue to keep you informed as this project moves forward.
On Friday, December 10th, at Peres Elementary School, a total of 40 parents attended a Gang Training and Awareness workshop that was led by Police Officer Ray Hernandez. City staff from the Health and Wellness working group and the Police Department partnered with parent school leaders and the principal to organize the event. The workshop covered topics that ranged from the history of gangs in the United States, talking with children about gangs, factors that attract youth to join a gang, and recent trends in the city. The same workshop was also held at Cesar Chavez Elementary School on November 16th. These two areas are part of the City of Richmond Health and Wellness Element pilot neighborhood implementation.
The City of Richmond was awarded the Excellence in Public Communications Award for their submission of the FY2009-10 Budget-in-Brief to the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers’ Budget Award Program. The awards program is designed to recognize those agencies that have prepared a budget document or communication tool that meets certain standards. The designation of “Excellence” is the highest in this category.
The Budget-in-Brief provides a concise overview of the operating and capital improvement budgets, includes the city’s five core strategic goals, and highlights accomplishments for the year linked to those goals. This document has been presented and disseminated to citizens during community budget presentations and events. Citizens have found it helpful in aiding their understanding of the city’s financial resources and how they are allocated. The Budget-in-Brief is on the city’s website via the following link:
The hauling of biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant off-site for processing continues pending the rehabilitation of both digesters to provide operational redundancy. The City’s Fire Department Hazardous Materials teams are now available to provide odor response and investigation. There are two new non-emergency phone numbers that residents can use to report odors. These numbers are (510) 233-5223 and (510) 620-6933. The existing Veolia hotline number, (510) 412-2001, will still be available as well. This information has been posted on the city’s website and was also mailed to approximately 1,400 residents in Point Richmond and near the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.
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 and a great holiday season!
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Finance Director Jim Goins in his non-day job!