|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending May 27th, 2011
June 5, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending May 27th, 2011.
The next meeting of the Richmond City Council is Tuesday, June 7th. Enjoy the fifth Tuesday off night!
This past Monday, May 23rd, Chevron submitted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for their Revised Hydrogen and Energy Renewal Project. The application represents a reduced overall project scope from that for which an application was submitted in 2005, the approval of which was successfully challenged in court. The revised project will complete construction and make operational only the Hydrogen Plant Replacement and Hydrogen Purity Improvement portions of the original (2005) project. The Catalytic Reformer Replacement, Power Plant Replacement, and other new and replacement facilities (e.g. storage tanks) that were part of the original 2005 project are not part of the new application for the revised project. The City will prepare a revised Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to comply with the court decision regarding the original project EIR and to address changes in the project proposed by Chevron. Project related materials are available on the City’s webpage at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrenewal
The ribbon was cut this past Thursday, May 26th, signaling the official opening of the Nevin Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Linkages Project. This new bicycle and pedestrian pathway connects major downtown businesses, Social Security and Kaiser with Amtrak, BART and AC Transit services available at the Richmond Intermodal Transit Station. This was another in a series of Redevelopment projects that are helping to renovate Richmond’s downtown. Mayor McLaughlin and Councilmember Corky Boozé attended this event and cut the ribbon on the Council’s behalf.
This twelve month project was designed by Gates and Associates and was constructed by Ghilotti Brothers. The improvements made include new pedestrian lighting, landscaping, Class II bike lanes, way-finding signage, enhanced seating areas, and a redesigned and improved Nevin Plaza. Redevelopment Agency staff worked with the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC), downtown businesses and community groups to develop this project.
This $1.2M construction project received $1.075M in federal grant funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Transportation for Livable Communities Program, with the remainder of the funding coming from the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency.
In 2007, 2009 and 2011, the Richmond City Council approved enrolling in the National Research Center’s (NRC) National Citizen Survey (NCS) program. The program provides for a statistically valid resident survey in which questionnaires are sent to a random sample of 3,000 Richmond households. The purpose of the survey is to help city officials evaluate services, measure resident satisfaction with current services, and to help plan for Richmond’s future. The findings from the scientific survey were presented to the City Council at a study session this past Tuesday.
One not surprising report from the 2011 resident survey data was that 82% of Richmond residents consider street pavement condition a high priority for the City. This is consistent with previous surveys, and has helped focus the City’s attention on increased pavement rehabilitation funding over the past few years.
Pavement condition is measured by a standard “pavement condition index” (PCI), which is an integer from 0 to 100 that indicates the overall condition of pavement. A PCI of one hundred is newly constructed pavement and a PCI of zero is for completely failed pavement.
The following table indicates the 3-Year Moving Average PCI for Richmond as published by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission:
The good news for Richmond, as shown in the graph, is that its PCI has shown consistent improvement beginning in 2006, when the pavement budget was significantly increased. In April of 2008, the static Richmond PCI was 58, at the mid-to-lower end of the “good” range and considered at-risk for deterioration. In April of 2011, the static PCI jumped to 68, which is at the upper end of the “good” range. (Note that this differs from the 3-year moving average shown above.)
These calculations were based on pavement surface distress surveys and took into account annual paving activities conducted by the Public Works Department, annual Capital Improvement Plan construction projects, recent Redevelopment Agency streetscape projects, grant-funded pavement reconstruction projects, and regular maintenance activities such as crack sealing and pothole repair.
The bad news is revealed by a drive through Richmond’s residential neighborhoods: although 30% of Richmond’s streets have received some form of treatment during the past three years, there is still significant work that needs to get done. The current pavement backlog is estimated at about $100 million and the current paving budget is on the order of $4 million to $6 million per year.
We will continue to monitor and report our progress on this issue.
A large part of the City’s General Fund revenue comes from property taxes, which are received during the months of December, April, and June of each fiscal year. However, regular operational disbursements happen consistently throughout the year, which can put a strain on the City’s cash flow needs. For the past two years, the City of Richmond has issued a Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note (TRAN), which it has used to fund the City’s operating cash needs between property tax receipt periods. This is analogous to “cash flow” or “working capital” financing that is commonly used by private businesses having seasonal variations in cash flow. After reviewing its projected cash flows for FY2011-12, the Finance staff found that the City can expect only a minimal cash flow deficit to occur in December, a reflection of the City’s strong cash position. This minor deficit can be financed through internal borrowing, which is a much more cost-effective approach than a TRAN.
The City’s proposed FY 2011-12 budget was presented to the City Council at a special study session this past Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM, but the public outreach is still continuing at Neighborhood Council meetings. During the month of May, Finance Director Jim Goins, together with members of his staff, the city manager, and various department heads, have made presentations to the Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council, and the Marina Bay, Park Plaza, Laurel Park, Pullman, Parchester, Iron Triangle, Belding Woods, North and East, Richmond Heights, and Richmore Village Neighborhood Councils encompassing seven separate neighborhood meetings. West County School Superintendent Bruce Harter has also been in attendance at most of these meetings so that he and the city manager can provide information and answer questions about Measures C and D on the June 7th ballot. This past week, presentations on the City‘s budget and on Measures C and D were made to the Richmond Annex Neighborhood Council. The final presentation will be next Thursday, June 2nd at the May Valley Neighborhood Council.
The City of Richmond is co-sponsoring a Physical Activity and Nutrition Forum, “Out of the Box and Into the Community,” on Friday, June 3rd from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM in the Richmond Auditorium. This forum is intended largely for practitioners in the community health arena to present new ideas on ways to promote exercise and nutrition in a community setting. The forum includes several excellent speakers, and is presented by the Network for a Healthy California- Bay Area, American Diabetes Association, and the City of Richmond. The event is free of charge but attendees must pre-register at: http://www.barnn.org/d_meeting_registration.asp
The first ever Urban Agriculture Summit in Richmond will be held on Saturday, June 4th from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM at Sunnyside Organic Seedlings in North Richmond. The event is officially hosted by County Supervisor John Gioia and Richmond Vice-Mayor Tom Butt. This free event will have leading urban agriculture organizations provide information about the role of urban agriculture in environmental sustainability, community health, and economic development. Attendees will be able to learn about innovative practices, resources for urban agriculture activities, and backyard gardening.
The event is free of charge but attendees must pre-register at: http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/forms.aspx?FID=189.
Facilities Division: Work started this past week on the installation of the Civic Center Plaza Marquee, which is expected to be completed in two weeks.
The Electrical Department powered the new Marquee; replaced poles at Burk Avenue and Conestoga Way; installed new traffic loops at Shane Drive and Hilltop Drive in coordination with the new resurfacing at this location, and worked on wire theft/vandalism at the Kerning Overpass (13th Street/Harbour Way) and Wildflower Way.
The painters continued painting the exterior and interior (95% complete of interior) of the Disabled Person’s Recreation Center (DPRC). Stationary Engineers repaired the restrooms and water faucets at the Annex Senior Center and Richmond Fire Station #62.
Streets Division: This past week, crews resurfaced Shane Drive between Hilltop Drive and Hilltop Mall Road. Next week, crews will resurface Garrity Way from Blume Drive to the easterly end, and will grind Burbeck and Grant Avenues from 20th to 23rd Streets and 21st and 22nd Streets from Grant to Garvin Avenues.
Parks and Landscaping Division: Crews completed mulching the Shimada Park, East Richmond Avenue and Tewksbury in Point Richmond and troubleshooting the Marina Bay Landscape Maintenance District irrigation systems. Next week, crews will weed and prune 49th Street and Cutting Boulevard and the median strip on Bayview Avenue. They will also continue fire fuel management in the Hilltop area.
Tree trimming was completed on 20th Street, Florida and Garvin Avenues, Gold Court and Fran Way. Next week, the tree trimming crew will be working the Hilltop Auto Plaza Street.
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 three day weekend and a great week!
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