Winters City Council: April 5, 2022 meeting preview

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By Brandon McCapes
Express Correspondent

At its regular meeting April 5, the Winters City Council will consider entering into a three-year agreement with the Solano Aquatic Sea Otters (SASO), and adopt a 6.85-7 percent across-the-board increase to city service fees, adjusting for inflation and tied to the consumer and other price indexes. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. via teleconference, and be joined through this Zoom link.

Three-year rental agreement with Solano Aquatic Sea Otters

Starting in 2021, in a one-year agreement, the City of Winters contracted with the Solano Aquatic Sea Otters (SASO) to run the Winters Swim Team and offer swimming classes at the city pool. At Tuesday’s meeting, City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa will recommend the City Council continue the agreement for a three-year term, calling last year’s program “highly successful for program participants as well as city staff.”

“The professional management of the programs, in addition to the registration platform SASO uses, resulted in tremendous time saving for existing staff,” the agenda report reads. “As a result, staff recommends entering into a three-year agreement with SASO to manage the swim team and swim lessons for the 2022-2024 seasons, unless otherwise terminated by either party upon completion of a season.”

Last year, rent fees paid by SASO were determined flexibly after a review of program finances at the end of the year, with SASO ultimately paying $3,000 total for rental costs to operate lessons and swim team practices.

The schedule proposed for this year will include five practices per week for the 11-years-and-older age group and four per week for the 10-and-under age group.

With the agreement also comes an increase in fees, which the agenda report attributes to SASO’s staffing and insurance costs, as well as administrative costs. Participation for swimmers older than 11 will cost $125 per two-week session, versus $85 last year, while students 10 and under will pay $115 versus $70 last year. Swimmers on the pre-team will pay $95, the same as last year. 

Staff, however, is proposing Swim Team funds be used to provide scholarships to youth eligible for the free or reduced lunch program at the school district, so that lower income families would pay $75 per child.

Increases to City fee schedule

An item from the finance department will ask the City Council to hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution establishing a new fee schedule for the building permits, in addition to fees associated with planning, public works/engineering, police, fire and recreation services.

Resolution 2017-35, adopted in 2017, established that beginning July 1, 2022, fee adjustments will be based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), as of December of each year.

This past December, there was a 7 percent positive change in the CPI-U, which will result in a similar change for all fees listed above except public works/engineering, which will increase by 6.85 percent, based on the Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index.

Consent calendar:

Three items are on the consent calendar:

-A proclamation recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Resolution 2022-28 will renew authorization to hold virtual/telephonic meetings as a measure to present the spread of COVID-19 without violating Brown Act posting requirements, in adherence with AB 361.

Resolution 2022-23 will initiate the proceedings for the annual levy and collection of annual assessments within the City of Winters City-Wide Maintenance Assessment District for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 and order the preparation of the annual Engineer’s Report. Assessments from within the City’s landscape maintenance district “are used to maintain the City’s parks, landscape areas, and electricity for street lighting.”

The public can join the meeting via the Zoom link here.

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