Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the two weeks ending January 21st, 2011.
The next City Council meeting will be a joint meeting of the Richmond City Council and the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Trustees. The City Council will convene at 6:00 PM for a short agenda, followed by commencement of the joint Council/Board meeting at 6:30 PM.
- 4th Annual Martin Luther King National Day of Service
On Monday, January 17th, hundreds of community members gathered for a work-party (including food and music) on the Richmond Greenway in celebration of the 4th Annual Martin Luther King National Day of Service. Projects included planting edible, butterfly, and native gardens, medicinal plant workshops, beautification of Berryland and the Lincoln School Farm, and designing a new mural. The MLK National Day of Service on the Richmond Greenway was organized by Urban Tilth and sponsored by City of Richmond, Bay Localize, Building Blocks for Kids, CCISCO, CURME, Coronado Neighborhood Council, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Friends of the Richmond Greenway, Gompers Guerillas, Groundwork Richmond, Kaiser Permanente East Bay, Opportunity West, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Richmond Rivets, Richmond Grows, Solar Richmond, Transition Town, and the Watershed Project.
- Update on BART Parking Garage Construction Project
A major milestone was reached this past week on the Richmond BART Parking Structure with completion of the structural pile installation. Over a 24 week period, subcontractor Foundation Constructors – working under the general contractor Overaa Construction – installed a total of 14 test piles and 744 production piles, without major incident or complaint.
The drilled-in steel pile system used on the project, well proven in the industry but new to the BART system, was championed by the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency as a much less disruptive method than traditional hammered concrete pile installation. The drilled-in piles were installed with greatly reduced noise and a minimum of ground vibration, a great benefit to nearby residents and businesses.
In the coming weeks, the community will see concrete reinforcing and concrete placement at the building foundation, and the beginning of column construction. The six-level, 771-space parking structure is on track for completion in Spring 2012.
- Governor Recommends Elimination of Local Redevelopment
According to the California Redevelopment Association, on January 10th, the Governor proposed to eliminate local redevelopment agencies by July 1st, 2011. His proposal abolishes local redevelopment in the following manner:
- Statutory elimination of redevelopment agencies that will protect obligations for existing projects and will divert $1.7 billion to the state’s General Fund in 2011-12 for Medi-Cal and trial courts. There will be $210 million left over for distribution to schools, cities, and counties, according to their proportionate share of current property tax.
- In subsequent budget years, after deducting for existing debt obligations, the remaining tax increment property tax will go to the cities, counties, and schools. There will be a $50 million exception in the amount currently going to enterprise special districts which are fee supported – this will go to counties.
- The current balances in redevelopment agencies’ housing set-aside funds will be shifted to local housing authorities.
- A constitutional amendment to provide for 55% voter approval for local, limited tax increases and bonding against local revenues for economic development projects similar to those currently funded through redevelopment.
- Existing agencies will be required to cease creation of new obligations. The local governmental entity will be required to designate a successor agency to be responsible for retiring current redevelopment debt obligations in accordance with existing payment schedules.
This was part of a package of proposals to address a budget shortfall of $25.4 billion in the FY 2011-12 California State Budget. The budget shortfall consists of an $8.2 billion projected deficit for 2010-11 and a $17.2 billion gap between projected revenues and spending in 2011-12. The Governor’s proposal includes $12.5 billion in budget cuts, $12 billion in tax extensions and changes, and $1.9 billion in other solutions. The Governor is calling for a statewide special election in June to extend taxes currently set to expire for five more years.
We will keep you informed as this discussion moves forward.
- This week, paving crews completed dig outs at Parchester Village on Banks and Williams Drives, San Pablo Avenue at Hilltop Drive, and Florida Avenue at Harbour Way. Next week, the paving crew will be resurfacing 11th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to south of Roosevelt Avenue.
- The Facilities Maintenance Division completed the installation of the “No Smoking” signs on city buildings, and will power wash the Civic Center Plaza.
- The Parks Division completed the installation of the “No Smoking” signs at all the parks. They also conducted major vegetation control management at the 23rd Street grade separation, and along Key Boulevard this week. Additionally, they planted 200 trees in the Hilltop District, and conducted major landscape improvements at the Virginia Play Lot.
- The Parks Division also started pruning and cleaning up the EBMUD garden at Civic Center Plaza in preparation for the new electronic marquee. The tree crew will remove five dead trees on Esplanade Drive, tree trimming on Bissell Avenue, Carlson Boulevard and S. 49th Street.
- The proposed removal of the existing Civic Center Plaza marquee scheduled for this week was rescheduled due to unforeseen electrical connections affecting this marquee. Public Works will relocate these connections next week, and the marquee removal will be rescheduled.
- Paving crews are working on the resurfacing of 11th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to south of Roosevelt Avenue this week. They will resurface 5th Street from Ripley Avenue to Elgin Avenue next week.
- The Parks Division contracted the Civic Center Plaza Landscape Maintenance out to bid, continued with the landscape rehabilitation at Virginia Play Lot, completed tree planting for Cal Fire Green trees for the golden state grant, started the irrigation/landscape rehab project at the Humphrey Play Lot, and will conduct tree trimming at 3190 Klose Way, 4322 Center Avenue, Fran Way and the Richmore neighborhood.
- The Facilities Maintenance Division will deploy three bucket trucks this weekend to catch up with lighting outages, including the May Valley, San Pablo Dam Road and Fairmede areas. They will be replacing lamps and photocells. If the fixtures need more than that, they will be marked and repaired at a later date.
- Engineering Services Capital Improvement Project Updates
- Park Plaza Series Street Light Conversion: The contractor has completed the installation of foundations and is currently installing poles and fixtures.
- Park View and May Valley Series Street Light Conversion: A kick-off coordination meeting with City consultant Fehrs and Peers took place on January 11th. The consultant has agreed to fast track the project by presenting a preliminary plan. Staff will present the plan and discuss the project in general to the May Valley & Parkview Neighborhood Council on February 15th.
- Carlson Boulevard Improvements: The City’s contractor is excavating and paving this week and next, which includes the entire length of the #2 north-bound lane between El Cerrito and Interstate 80. Phase 1 will then be complete. Upon completion of Phase 1, most of the streets west of Carlson will be right-turn only access. The City’s engineering team will continue meeting with the contractor next week to determine the Phase 2 and Phase 3 schedules, with the primary focus on minimizing neighborhood inconvenience.
- Pedestrian Master Plan: Public preview of the Pedestrian Master Plan was held January 20th at the Recreation Complex. This public preview affords Richmond residents and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on the plan, which will go before City Council in February. The consultant team that developed the Pedestrian Master Plan worked in conjunction with the consultant team that recently developed the Bicycle Master Plan.
- Pavement Management Rehabilitation Program: The City received preliminary notice from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) of a P-TAP Round 12 grant award for updating the City’s Pavement Management Program (PMP). MTC requires all agencies to survey pavement conditions every two years for arterials and collectors and five years for residential streets in order to be eligible for pavement rehabilitation and maintenance project funding. All of the above data allows for the PMP to generate an annual preliminary programmatic-level list of streets for Engineering and Maintenance to resurface and calculates the most efficient way to spend the City’s pavement budget so that the appropriate pavement treatment is applied on the pavement section at the right time. The total grant amount is $52,800. The City is required to provide MTC with a 20% local match.
- Bay Trail Gap Closure Design (Castro Street to Point Molate): The City of Richmond, in concert with the San Francisco Bay Trail, Chevron and Caltrans, is currently working on the proposed Bay Trail connection between Castro Street and the existing trail under the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. The Bay Trail connection to Point Molate is a planned multi-use trail that will provide non-motorized access from Richmond to Point Molate. The trail will close a roughly one-mile gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail with a planned future connection to Marin County. The goal of the project is to provide an off-street trail that is safe, continuous and accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists. A community workshop is scheduled on Tuesday, January 25th, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Point Richmond Community Center at 139 Washington Street.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Improvements: The park is now over 60% complete. The artificial turf for the football/soccer field will begin installation on Valentines’ Day, and the overall project is scheduled to be substantially complete in early April.
- Award of Excellence: The City of Richmond has been selected as a 2010 California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) Award of Excellence recipient in the awards category of Facility Design–Aquatic Facilities for the Richmond Plunge renovation. The award will be presented at the CPRS Annual Awards Recognition Banquet on Friday, March 11th, at the 63rd Annual California and Pacific Southwest Recreation and Park Training Conference in Sacramento.
- 4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March: On Friday, January 14th, the Recreation Department co-hosted the 4th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March with the theme, “We Will Never Forget, Sowing Seeds of Peace in Richmond.” The march began on the Greenway at 16th & Ohio, culminating with a rally at Lincoln Elementary School. Over 375 children, parents and community members were in attendance. Messages of peace were heard from Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Congressman Miller's Office and the West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Bruce Harter. Children from Coronado, Lincoln and Richmond College Prep schools gave speeches, read poems, sang songs and danced in memory of Dr. King. Refreshments were provided by Urban Tilth and the Richmond Community Foundation.
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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