Council meetings will open in-person to public in June, keep hybrid option

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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Council chambers are expected to be open to public attendance in June with the Zoom hybrid option remaining available.

The Winters City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting on May 17. The hybrid meeting was held in council chambers for council members and city staff while the public was able to attend via Zoom.

The city has been working with a citizen volunteer to connect council chambers with the necessary technology to conduct hybrid meetings. Over the past few meetings, the bugs have been getting worked out and for the first time since the pandemic, council members met in person.

The Winters City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Public will be able to attend in person on Tuesday,
June 7 or view via Zoom. Information on how to attend is available on the City of Winters website on the City Council page.

Consent Calendar highlights
Blue Oak Park: Resolution 2022-41 was approved appropriating $27,165 from the Park and Recreation Capital Fund to the Per Capita Grant Fund, increasing the fiscal year 2021-22 operating budget to complete the Blue Oak Rehabilitation Project. The project experienced cost changes not anticipated when the project was approved.

Pathway lighting was installed in the park, but, to energize them an unanticipated agreement between the City and PG&E was necessary and added $14,770 to the cost of the project. Additionally, the amount from Ample Electric’s bid to carry out the work rose $12,395.

CPA Auditing Services: Resolution 2022-42 approved a three-year, $125,500 professional services auditing agreement with the Sacramento CPA firm of Mann, Urrutia & Nelson.

The firm responded to a request for proposals and was chosen over Van Lant & Frankhanel, which has provided the city auditing services over the past eight years.

Assistant City Attorney: Resolution 2022-44 approved the fourth amendment to the contract with Best, Best & Krieger, LLP, designating Martin de los Angeles as assistant city attorney.

De los Angeles was introduced at the meeting and works in the firm’s Walnut Creek office as part of the firm’s municipal law practice group.

Illegal Fireworks & Social Host Liability: Ordinance 2022-04 was adopted adding a social host liability ordinance in an effort to curtail the use of illegal fireworks.

Each year “Safe and Sane” fireworks are legal in Winters from noon on June 28 through noon July 6. The ordinance grants law enforcement, fire and code enforcement personnel the ability to issue administrative citations holding the owner, possessor or host of a gathering on public or private property responsible for the discharge of illegal fireworks. Persons cited under the proposed ordinance are subject to a $1,000 fine.

Road Rehabilitation Project List: Resolution No. 2022-43 was approved for the 2022-23 Street Rehab Project to rehabilitate stretches of roadway on Caselli Court, Lauren Court, Moody Slough Road, Neimann Street and Hemenway Street.

The city foresees receiving $144,500 in fiscal year 2022-23 from the SB1 Fund obtained from a state gas tax, transportation improvement tax and vehicle registration taxes. Once approved by the California Transportation Commission, these funds are to be combined with Gas Tax and Transportation Development Act funds to finance the project.

Facility lighting upgrades: Resolution 2022-40 was presented and approved for two professional services agreements with Ecogreen Solutions to convert to LED lighting and add new fixtures at the public safety facility ($267,900) and other sites ($172,330).

The upgrades are to improve energy efficiency and will be financed through a PG&E program. Once the loans are repaid over an approximate eight-year period the city anticipates an annual savings of $33,000.

Presentations
Council received two presentations: one from Yolo Animal Services and the second from the newly-commissioned Winters Natural Resources Commission.

Management Analyst Joanne Van Hoosear presented on behalf of the Yolo Animal Services Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). She discussed the JPA and outlined baseline services, development, expense, jurisdiction and costs incurred from the $3 million 2021-22 budget.

Natural Resources Commission Chair Kurt Balasek reviewed the recent NRC formation and its evolution from the Putah Creek Commission. Balasek said the NRC serves the City of Winters as a source of scientific and technological expertise.

The NRC’s initial workplan proposal to council includes continued monitoring of Putah Creek, updating the city’s master tree plan, seeking funding for air quality monitors, work with fire safe councils, water quality and reuse and reducing light pollution.

Upcoming
In her May 20 update, City Manager Katheleen Salguero Trepa informed the community that Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting included the City’s first Capital Improvement Program.

According to Trepa, the CIP must be reviewed by the Planning Commission for General Plan consistency. The complete CIP budget and operating budget will be presented to City Council at the  June 7.

Trepa asked residents not to enter active construction sites.

“These sites are potentially dangerous for those not authorized to enter, and trespassers may be cited,” Trepa said.

Three Oaks Park remains closed while the developer’s contractor continues to work on bringing the landscaping up to standards.

Trepa gave kudos to the Project Playground coordinators and to the volunteers who braved the heat last Wednesday morning to spread the new chips around.

“It takes a village and we at City Hall certainly appreciate the partnership to help this treasured community asset stay in pristine condition,” Trepa said.

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