|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending July 22nd, 2011
July 23, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending July 22nd, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:30 PM and with the regular agenda convening at 6:30 PM. Note that this is the last meeting before the August break.
As I have reported previously, the City of Richmond is one of the finalists to host the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL) Second Campus at the UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station site. This is an unparalleled opportunity to bring green jobs, economic development, and countless other benefits to the Richmond community.
As part of LBNL’s selection process and public outreach, the City hosted a welcoming reception and town hall meeting this last Thursday evening (last night) at the Richmond Auditorium.
This turned out to be a fabulous event with approximately 700 Richmond community members in attendance. The auditorium sparkled with banners welcoming LBNL, and community members were greeted by terrific local Richmond food and entertainment during the reception.
The formal meeting began with a presentation by Lab Director Paul Alivisatos, who described the tremendous work that LBNL is doing in the sciences that touch so many lives, and that are so important to our collective future. Jim Krupnick, Chief Operating Officer for LBNL then described the site characteristics that they are looking for in a second campus. Following a warm welcome by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, representatives from UC Berkeley, the development team, and the Richmond City Manager described the plan for the Richmond Field Station and why it is the best location for the LBNL second campus. This was followed by public comment that included all Richmond Councilmembers, Police Chief Chris Magnus, and Fire Chief Michael Banks.
The richly diverse Richmond community members were absolutely united and vocal in their enthusiasm, reflecting on the encouraging changes that are taking place in their city. I think that all those in attendance left with a positive outlook toward meeting both the global and local challenges that we face.
Hosting this event was a tremendous team effort by City staff that included the Public Works Department freshening up the Civic Center plaza and hanging banners for the occasion, auditorium staff preparing the facility, KCRT staff working magic with audio and video technology, and department managers helping fine tune presentations. Shasa Curl, in the City Manager’s office, continues to lead the LBNL second campus project, and planned and oversaw this marvelous community event with particular skill and energy. All staff members in the City Manager’s office, including Jennifer Ly, LaShonda Wilson, Adam Lenz, Sue Kadlec, Soco Perez, Rochelle Monk, and Lori Reese-Brown assisted in this effort, along with City Council intern David Gray. I wish I could include the names of all City staff that helped with this event, but I simply can’t – that’s how great a team effort it was. Nonetheless, I offer them my profound thanks.
The Richmond Circular Shuttle began operation through its service provider, TransMetro, Inc. on July 1st. The service is funded by a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and offers transit service from the El Cerrito Del Norte and the Richmond Intermodal BART stations to multiple health facilities and clinics, pharmacies, businesses, recreation, residential communities, and employment centers. The shuttle includes a stop at the Richmond Civic Center, and the City Manager can personally vouch for its convenience, having himself taken advantage of this great service.
In an effort to provide the highest level of quality, dependability, reliability, customer service and a convenient schedule, riders can hop aboard the free Richmond Circular Shuttle at any of its 11 stops. Buses arrive every 15-20 minutes during commute hours from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM (excluding weekends and holidays).
The objectives of the service are to ensure mobility, by providing a convenient transit link to key regional destinations.
One can find additional information by phoning TransMetro at (510) 620-5436.
The California Redevelopment Association (CRA) and the League of California Cities (League) filed a petition on July 18th, asking the California Supreme Court to overturn AB 1X 26 and AB 1X 27 because they violate the Constitution. The cities of San Jose and Union City have joined as plaintiffs against the State of California. The central claim of the challenge to AB 1X 26 and AB 1X 27 is that these bills violate Proposition 22, the constitutional amendment passed last November by 61% of the state’s voters. This amendment explicitly prohibits the “seizing, diverting, shifting, borrowing, transferring, suspending, or otherwise taking or interfering with” revenue dedicated to local government, including local redevelopment funds.
At the same time as the filing of the petition, CRA and the League requested that the Court issue a stay to prevent the legislation from going into effect until the Court can decide the lawsuit. In their joint statement to the press, CRA Executive Director John Shirey told the press, “Many redevelopment agencies have notified us that they cannot afford the ransom payment and they will cease to exist. And those agencies that are planning on making the payment tell us that these payments will greatly diminish their ability to pursue vital local projects.”
The Richmond Redevelopment Agency is one such agency that cannot afford the extortion payment, and vital projects will stall if this legislation is not overturned.
We will keep you informed.
Fire Station #64 at 4801 Bayview Avenue will be hosting an open house on Saturday, July 23rd from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This is a great opportunity to meet the firefighters who work there and learn more about the service they provide to the community. There will be station and apparatus tours, children’s games, food and plenty of fun for everyone.
Engineering Services Pavement Rehabilitation Project
As described in previous weekly reports, the 2009/10 Pavement Rehabilitation contract’s preventative maintenance work was put on hold during the rainy season. This week’s preventative maintenance work on two segments of Pierce Street and Huntington Avenue includes a unique “green” application called Rubberized Asphalt Cape Seal which utilizes recycled tires.
The application is conducted in 2 phases. This week, the first phase called “Chip Seal” was completed by International Surface Systems, a subcontractor for Ghilotti Brothers, Inc., and involves a thin layer of rubberized asphalt embedded with fine aggregates on top. The second phase will cover the “Chip Seal” with a layer of “Slurry Seal” to form a “Cape Seal” and reduce the small aggregates (chips) from littering the roadway.
EBMUD Emergency Water Main Break In Point Richmond
On Saturday, July 16th, at approximately 3:30 AM, a 12” water main line on West Richmond Avenue ruptured. The only residence or business that was affected during the repair was the Mechanics Bank, adjacent to the sinkhole. A temporary 2” asphalt overlay has been installed over the trench, and permanent asphalt repair, including the area of damaged asphalt above the gutter lip on the north side (adjacent to Mechanics Bank) is scheduled in approximately 2 weeks. The wig-wag signal was taken by BNSF and is being stored in their yard pending completion of the road repair.
The City will file a claim with EBMUD and coordinate the reinstallation of the wig-wag and repair of its damaged concrete structure. EBMUD’s risk management office will determine how to proceed in selecting a contractor to restore damaged property by either acting as the prime contractor or entering into a contract agreement with BNSF for the reconstruction of damaged property. EBMUD will also be recommending how to proceed and notify the City on their approach in restoring the damaged structures.
Atlas Road Extension:
As you may recall, Atlas Road is planned to be extended via a bridge across Union Pacific Railroad’s tracks to create a new entrance to the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park. The rough grading plans for the Atlas Road Extension project have been finalized and approved by the Engineering Services Department. Rough grading includes mainly earthwork, site preparation, and erosion control and is the first phase of the project before constructing the bridge. Call for bids and construction management will be handled by East Bay Regional Park District.
Kickball: Recreation Adult Sports staff members have begun planning for the beginning of a fall season of an Adult Kickball League at the new MLK turf field.
Cull Canyon: The “Kids ‘N Motion” summer camp participants at BTA Community Center enjoyed an afternoon of swimming at Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area in Castro Valley on Thursday, July 14th.
Adult Softball: In collaboration with the Social Security Administration, the Recreation Department Adult Sports staff has begun the summer softball league with 8 co-ed teams competing every Wednesday and Thursday evening at 5:00 PM in Nicholl Park.
Facilities Maintenance Division: This past week, carpenters completed repairing broken windows at the Disabled People’s Recreation Center (DPRC) and Shields Reid Community Center. The painters completed painting the exterior of the DPRC. The Electrical Section completed tuning up the auditorium lighting system for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) event this week. The Utility Section completed cleaning the auditorium carpet and windows. Stationary Engineers completed the installation of hot water to the Art Center restrooms.
Parks and Landscaping Division: Staff completed mowing the Greenway from San Pablo Avenue to Carlson Boulevard; major landscape maintenance at the Civic Center in preparation for the LBNL event; landscaping maintenance and mulching along the Esplanade/Bay Trail Marina, Shimada Park and Vincent Park; Carlson Blvd clean up and preparing the Shields Reid Park for this weekend Music Festival. Next week, crews will continue working on fire trails in the El Sobrante area; pruning the Mira Vista Park; mowing fire trails at the Hilltop Landscape District, including the Hilltop Lake and vegetation management at the Richmond Parkway.
The tree trimming crew will be working next week on Huntington, San Pablo and Lowell Avenues.
Streets Division: Paving crews completed the resurfacing of the Nicholl Park picnic area and the pedestrian walkways. Next week, the crews will be resurfacing 12th Street from Barrett to Pennsylvania Avenues.
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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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