Winter Storm Warning Yolo County / State of CALocal Weather Alerts

Winter Storm Warning
...significant Mountain Snow Today Into The Weekend... .a Significant Early Season Storm Is Forecast To Bring Snow And Wind To The Mountains Of Interior Northern California Through Saturday Evening. A Couple Of Feet Of Snow Are Possible Above 6000 Feet By Saturday Night Over The Higher Elevations. Motorists Planning Travel Into The Mountains During This Time Frame Should ...Read More.
Effective: November 3, 2017 at 2:53pmExpires: November 4, 2017 at 11:00pmTarget Area: West Slope Northern Sierra Nevada; Western Plumas County, Lassen Park

Winter Storm Warning
...winter Storm Warning Remains In Effect Until 11 Pm Pdt Saturday... * What...heavy Snow Expected. Plan On Difficult Travel Conditions Especially Over The Passes. Total Snow Accumulations: Above 7000 Feet 1 To 2 Feet With Localized Higher Amounts. Between 6500 And 7000 Feet 5 To 10 Inches With ...Read More.
Effective: November 3, 2017 at 2:47pmExpires: November 4, 2017 at 11:00pmTarget Area: Greater Lake Tahoe Area

Winter Storm Warning
...winter Storm Warning Remains In Effect From 5 Am Pdt Saturday To 4 Pm Pst Sunday Above 7000 Feet... * What...heavy Snow Expected. Plan On Difficult Travel Conditions. Total Snow Accumulations Of 3 To 5 Inches, With Localized Amounts Up To 10 Inches, Are Still Expected. * Where...sierra Nevada Mountains From Yosemite To Kings Canyon ...Read More.
Effective: November 4, 2017 at 5:00amExpires: November 5, 2017 at 5:00pmTarget Area: Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon

Category Archives: City Manager’s Update

  • -

Friday Update on November 17 2017

All,

A few items this week:

·         Next week’s City Council Meeting will have only a couple items as we head into Thanksgiving Week. Commercial Cannabis Regulation, Street Closures and an amplified sound permit. The City Council Meeting will begin earlier at 5:30.

·         A really productive Planning Commission Meeting with the design review and approval for the Callahan Estates Subdivision. The project is really nice and the PC was very thorough in their review. Some modifications to some of the lot setbacks were continued to the December 12 meeting.

·         The Grant/Main traffic signal is fully operational. It is very “smart” with sensors for pedestrians, bikes and preemption devices for public safety.

·         The Roundabout Project saw a tremendous amount of progress for the one week of closure. Median Islands are in, sidewalks are poured and crossings are done. Grant Ave will be open all week during the Thanksgiving Holiday and we expect closures to resume the week of November 27.

·         Fencing for the Futsol Court is going up at City Park. This is turning out to be a really nice project! Lighting will go in within the coming weeks.

·         Congratulations to Police Officer Victor Barajas for completing his Field Training and he is now operating solo. His final day of training included a high speed chase through town!

·         Staff and the Winters Chamber met to discuss the December 2 Tractor Parade. We expect a very big turnout for the parade this year!

·         All are is invited to a free flu shot clinic Monday, December 4 from 3pm to 6pm at the Community Center, 201 Railroad Avenue in Winters. Everyone can benefit from a flu shot to prevent the illness that can lead to missed work or missed school days.  Prevention is especially important for young children and older adults.  Minimum age for this shot clinic is 4 years old.

·         Youth Basketball sign ups are under way at City Hall. It looks like we will have more than 350 players in the League!!

·         Both Winters Ranch Subdivision and the PG&E Training Facilities received their final inspections this week. Both are exceptional projects.

·         Winters Matriarch Bobbie Greenwood turns 100 years old on November 21. She is an absolute institution in the community and someone who has dedicated her life to Winters. From swimming, to the business community, schools and the AFS foreign exchange student program, she has impacted the lives of many from literally all over the world. Congrats to Bobbie and a toast to the next 100!

No Friday update during Thanksgiving. Have a GREAT holiday!

John


  • -

Friday Update on November 10 2017

All,

A couple of things:

  • Prepare for the week day closure of Grant Ave for the completion of the Roundabout Project. The closures starts this Monday, November 13 and will be from 8 a.m on Monday until 3 p.m. on Fridays (open on weekends) and could last for up 6 weeks. Detours will be set up, but plan alternate routes for your travels. This is not going to be easy, but a major project like this requires the closure.
  • Tell everyone to be aware that the Winters Police Department will have an enhanced “Distracted Driver Enforcement” this weekend. Put down the cell phones and the food and focus on driving your car. The citations are expensive and well deserved! Imagine seriously injuring someone because you are sending an LOL or a silly emoji.
  • I tell folks that the Winters Police typically gives out warnings to most residents. In the Distracted Driver Enforcement, do not expect the courtesy of a warning.
  • Outdoor cultivation of cannabis will be returning to the Planning Commission for further review after the City Council Public Hearing this past Tuesday. The entire issue is pretty dynamic and the final regulations have yet to even be released from the State on a multitude of issues surrounding the topic. Staff recommendation on the total prohibition of outdoor cultivation was definitely premature. The public hearing had a number of current cultivators presenting some really good suggestions and arguments on ways to allow personal cultivation without it becoming a nuisance. A nice group of people with reasonable approaches.
  • Congratulations to the Salmon Festival Committee on an incredible event. The salmon are coming up Putah Creek, so head on down to watch the spawn!

Finally, a shout out to the many men and women who have served our nation in military service on shores both foreign and domestic! Veteran’s Day is not just a day off, it is a chance to recognize those who have put service above themselves to protect the rights and liberties which make our nation the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.

Many of our veterans see things which leave indelible and un-eraseable images sketched into their minds which will last a lifetime. Some have suffered incredible wounds which have left them with disabilities which will be debilitating for their eitire lives. These former soldiers are amongst the most incredible hero’s amongst us who need more than just a day of recognition but, they need our help. The prevalence of “post traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) and the soaring rates of violence and suicide amongst our veterans is something which cannot be ignored. I don’t endorse any charities, but I encourage you to check out the information from the Wounded Warrior Project https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ to see what many of these veterans are experiencing and ways that we can all help them and their families.

I genuinely count the many blessings we have in our nation and am grateful for the life and liberties we are afforded because of the men and women who serve so that people around the world can live free. Thanks seems awfully hollow for the service many have provided, but it is meant with genuine sincerity.

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on November 3 2017

All,

A couple items this week:

  • The Second Annual Winters Salmon Festival will be held this Saturday, November 4 from 11:00 to 4:00 at Rotary Park in Downtown. The first of the fall run salmon are making their way up Putah Creek and it is time to celebrate! Lot’s of activities and information are planned for the entire family. For more information, go to http://www.cityofwinters.org/winters-salmon-festival/
  • November 11 is the Shrimp Feed at the Winters Fire Department. For Tickets, go to Wintersfire.org
  • The November 7 City Council Meeting will include the following:
    • Amendment to West Yost Agreement No. 027-17 for WWTF Influent Screen Design
    • Final Acceptance of Public Improvements for Hudson/Ogando Subdivision (Winters Ranch)
    • Adoption of Yolo Local Government Accountability and Transparency Program Statement
    • Public Hearing and Consideration of Zoning Code Amendments to Prohibit Outdoor Cultivation of Marijuana and Commercial Marijuana Uses
    • Capital Improvement Program Overview – Programs and Funding
    • Designation of City Council Members to Zoning Code Update Subcommittee
    • Consideration of Amendment to City Manager Employment Agreement
  • The Main/Grant Signal went through the preliminary to the final inspection by Caltrans on Thursday. A couple items need to be fixed over the next week, then it will be activated. Caltrans policy is that a new signal can only be activated Tues-Thurs, so it will be turned on either next week or the week after. Cross your fingers.
  • Starbucks is working through some issues with PG&E to get power and gas service into their location. This is causing some delays which could last well into December and probably not before Christmas!! Evidently the fires in Napa and Sonoma have required the relocation of personnel which is delaying many projects.
  • The City’s Wastewater Division will begin the cleaning of our sewer and storm drain lines next week. Look for the personnel throughout the town for the next month.
  • The community garden at Walnut Park will start this Saturday, November 4 beginning at 8:00. This will be a wonderful addition to the park and an incredible resource for the folks living in the neighborhood.
  • Staff is working on a proposal to seek the development which will create housing opportunities for teachers and other young professionals looking to move into Winters.

Saturday is the Winters AYSO Regional Soccer Tournament for the U10 and U12 divisions. Look for a lot of excitement and action at Waggoner School.

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on October 27, 2017

All,

A couple items this week:

· Staff is working as diligently as possible to get the Main/Grant Traffic Signal turned on. We have hit a couple snags on the technology and the back-up power supplies. We are getting calls about the project and are doing all we can at this point to gain activation. Once allowed, we will be turning the light on versus the idea of a Stop sign at the location on the interim.
· A Parking Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 2 at 5:30 in the Downstairs Conference Room at City Hall. We will be reviewing the report and recommendations from our consultant Kimley Horn.
· The City Park Playground is open for unlimited use! If you have not seen it, please go see an amazing structure.

Finally, we certainly got panned in social media this week about the roundabout! Lots of feedback and opinions, suggestions and characterizations which are sometimes not as fair as they should be (my favorite was being compared to the guys from Dumb and Dumber- nice).

The roundabout is the result of literally years of considerations to meet Caltrans standards for level of service on Highway 128. Under the old model, we would be installing (and operating) numerous traffic signals, widening the roadway to four lanes and watching congestion increase. The roundabout provides the opportunity to keep the majority of 128 through town as two lanes, keep traffic flowing, slow traffic (without stopping) and keep the main thoroughfare through town attractive. To learn about the entire plan, go to http://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/GrantAveCompleteStreetsConceptPlan.pdf .

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update for October 20 2017

All,

A couple items this week:

·         The City Council directed that administration for Winters Fire be done internally versus through the Fire Administration Services Agreement with the City of Dixon. In many ways, the Winters/Dixon Agreement has provided many benefits, mostly with the development of our staff in being ready to re-take the reins of running the department. I will be working on an overall transition strategy which I will share in the coming weeks!

·         Staff provided some of the final environmental review information for the Marriot Hotel financing folks and the project is expected to be funded and plans submitted in the near future. This is a critical project to support PG&E and our many visitors!

·         Downtown Hotel is expected to submit plans within the next few days to commence construction. Keeping our fingers crossed.

·         November 1 will be the start of salmon spawning in Putah Creek. The “boards” near the Sacramento Delta will be removed and we should see salmon begin the final migration into our creek. Last year, over 2000 salmon returned. It is amazing.

·         The Salmon Festival will be on Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 11:00 to 4:00. Last years event was wonderful and this years event will hopefully see the arrival of the guests of honor in the creek.

·         Staff is hitting some bumps on the Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments Project. Stay tuned……….

·         Last weeks disastrous fires in Napa and Sonoma had the City’s Emergency Management System ramping up. Behind the scenes, there was a ton happening, including contingencies for mass evacuations which would have sent a ton of people our way. I will share that we had business and property owners who helped the City immeasurably with our contingency planning in the event that we got slammed with thousands of Napa evacuees. A special recognition for the folks at Mariani Nut, Vintage Paving and the Dioscese of Sacramento who really stepped up in our preparedness efforts.

·         On a “tip”, we were contacted by local television crews about the “City Manager” cancelling the American Red Cross to set up an evacuation shelter last week. The answer to that question was yes for a number of important reasons: first, we were never requested to set up a shelter by any authorities from Solano or Napa and the request to the Red Cross was very premature; second, Yolo County OES and member cities have our own Mass Care and Shelter Division which we use versus the Red Cross; Third, an evacuation Shelter had already been established at Solano Community College for those being evacuated; fourth, a 3 minute drive around town found we had no evacuees in town in need of assistance; and finally, the idea that we would divert precious resources away from those in need would have been irresponsible. Given the massive fires in our hills the past 4 summers and local evacuations, we have become keenly aware of how to evacuate and care for people.

·         Emergency Management is a collaborative effort which often involves City, County and State Agencies. People often wonder how literally thousands of fire personnel “suddenly” appear for major fires or incidents. Its all based on a very well established network of agencies which have planned how response can occur and resources are allocated. No one agency can respond in comparison to many.

·         During our evaluation of evacuees, I ran into some folks who were evacuated from Lake Berryessa having dinner at the Round Table Pizza. I asked if they need help and the indicated they had just booked rooms at a hotel in Woodland. Nice folks in what had to be a horrible situation.

·         In the event of a disaster, the City of Winters, Winters Fire and Winters Police Facebook Pages will be our main source for pushing information. We will also partner with the Winters Express and their social media. To control “rumors” check our social media to get the real scoop!

·         To get text and call notification for disasters, emergencies and alerts sent directly to you, go to www.yolo-alert.org and register/download the alert app. Its actually pretty cool!

·         The Winters High Football Game versus Willows is a fundraiser to help those impacted by the fires in Napa and Sonoma. Donations will be taken at the gate for both JV and Varsity. Come out to the game and support both WHS and help raise funds for out neighbors across the hills.

Finally, the City was given an incredible gift with the construction of the new playground at City Park. Enough thanks and gratitude will never do justice to the efforts and the results of Project Playground and their Coordinating Committee!

The playground is now emblematic of the commitment to our youth, but also the culture of Winters where neighbors, friends and people who have never met come together to accomplish something great!

The size and scope of the actual playground structure is way beyond anything the City of Winters could ever afford. The combination of volunteer labor and the fundraising to make it happen put it amongst the nicest structures in town. Generations of children and their parents now have amazing place to explore and develop in our town!

The volunteer effort was special and something I will cherish for my entire life. Over the course of about 8 days, I watched folks with tremendous construction skill (the red shirts) work alongside those without (me and many others) to build a miracle before our eyes. The work was hard, but the determination and spirit was motivating and caring. At each meal (we ate pretty well on the project) people who did not know each other became a unified team and our community became a highly effective unit in the playground construction. The spirit was infectious and we were able to watch folks want to do more and more each day. Before last week, I bet a lot of people never used a router, but most are now pretty proficient!

There were a number of folks who were at the build every day, giving 12 hours, leaving tired, but showing up at 7:00 the next morning ready to get back at it. For the many who showed up on any of the days, I watched 110% effort and a lot of hustle!

The real “gift” was the perpetuation of the “Winters Spirit” of neighbors coming together in a volunteer spirit to make our town better. We really are a special place and this project was a spectacular occasion to show people why we are an incredible place to live, raise our families and call this community our “home”.

Mentioning names is tough, but without question we all need to especially thank Project Playground Co-Chairs Emarie VanGalio and Moyra Barsotti for their commitment to making this project spectacular! They thought BIG and more than delivered for our community. I will share that they were incredible to work with on the “business” side of things and they more than delivered when it came time for making it happen. Their efforts were impressive and the results show!

One of my favorite quotes is ……………… “Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible”.

Project Playground did an Excellent job and is owed a tremendous sense of gratitude for an incredible gift.

Well done!!

Have a nice weekend.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


  • -

Friday Update on October 6 2017

All,

This weeks update is more a push and a highlight of an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the Winters Community by participating in the playground build next week at City Park. The Project Playground folks are on the verge of what many communities have tried but few have accomplish, a community/volunteer build of a new playground structure.

Sign up for the Playground Build:

 

The build starts on Monday. Here is a link to the site to sign up and volunteer. http://www.projectplaygroundwinters.com/the-build/ It legitimately is an opportunity for people to make a genuine and lasting positive impact on the community and the lives of generations of children by helping build an incredible community asset. Think of it as your personnel contribution and sweat equity to the joy and happiness of thousands for years to come.

Winters is an incredible place to raise your children. We have some pretty simple but amazing facilities where children create their memories of a lifetime. These include the baseball diamond at City Park, the Playground, the Community Center Stage and our Community Library. Each of these assets were “community builds” of sorts by resident stepping up to do their share in making a lasting impression.

There are few opportunities in life where you can affect “generations to come” and the build of this playground is one of them. I feel blessed to know many folks in Winters who help shape the lives of children through similar acts. A couple examples of people and projects so many of us know:

  • First, it is essential to recognize the entire group who built the first playground. These folk built a structure  which lasted for almost 30 years and helped establish a volunteer soul and ethic for our town. They are amazing folks who give back to this day. (I will share that when we went to tear the “old” structure down, it was like trying to take down El Capitan. It put up a mighty fight and we continually laughed that for something which was about to fall down, it did not go quietly!)
  • Carol Scianna from the City Staff and the Winters Friends of the Library (WoL) change the lives of our kids through literacy and library programs. WFoL was one of the largest fundraisers for the playground project which will produce a new “community stage” from which the Winters Shakespeare Workshop is held each summer giving young people a chance to play classic medieval roles and broaden their theatrical horizons. Andrew Fridae and Nora Carey who now own and run The Palms Playhouse got their start in the Shakespeare Workshop and Andrew is now a Director with the same program. A great example of investment coming full circle.
  • Mary Lou Linvill and for years Denise Cottrell along with many others who facilitate the Winters Shakespeare Workshop. As parents we create those nuggets of opportunity which educate, challenge and provide the chance for youth to build confidence and life skills which benefit them for their entire lives. The program continues to this day and entertains and inspires us.
  • The Little League Diamond at City Park was a community build facilitated by local contractor and parent Monte Molina and the entire LL Board. It is a special place where literally thousands of children have played ball.
  • Winters AYSO Soccer is going on 40 years providing activity for children almost year round. Bill Davis is our most tenured member having started in about 1982 and gives up every Saturday to referee. My personal referee mentor and friend is Al Pederson who is an absolute role model of commitment to our youth. Al leads the instruction and coaching of our mostly teenage referee core by helping teach not only how to ref a soccer game, but in helping build confidence and leadership skills of these young folks in what can often be a difficult situation. Neither Bill nor Al have had kids in the program for at least the past 15 years, but they keep on investing because I know it is important to them.
  • Eric and Laura Lucero helped start and run the Winters Junior Warrior Football program which is the feeder program for Winters High School. Eric is an incredible coach and has made life changing impressions on young folks. Its impressive to see parents/adults of young kids coming up to Eric and calling him “coach”.  Its got to feel good.
  • Woody and Rebecca Fridae are literally institutions in our Winters Schools through the development of the Angel Island and Camp Loma Mar “experiences” they have developed for 5th and 6th grade students. They both achieved a point where children of past students are in their programs. Imagine the ability for kids to share and connect with their parents on glorious memories spent in common experiences with the same people.
  • My friends Kurt Balasak and Jill Aguiar and the Winters Education Foundation are doing amazing things in support of our teachers and the benefit to our children. Not only through funding, but through bona fide programs which enrich our schools.
  • Winters Theatre Company founded in part by Germaine and  the late Howard Hupe (and their cast of hundreds) gives children of all ages their opportunity to start community theatre. I can remember my daughter starting as a very nervous “fairy” and seeing her confidence bloom to a now confident woman. As both educators and entertainers, the impression is amazing.
  • Since moving to Winters, my wife Kathy and I have lived community involvement through many efforts. I will share that our most enriching have been through those which affect our kids. Whether through the Winters Schools, AYSO, Winters Fire, Girl Scouts, Rotary and others the positive impacts on our lives is ten-fold to those I think we have affected. I have exclusively reffed AYSO Soccer over the years because of the positive personal impacts I feel recreational soccer gives to kids versus competitive. All of it is magical and very rewarding. It really is sweet!

And I could go on for pages……………………………

I am convinced that the common thread which makes Winters an incredibly special place is our children and the generations of folks who have made their lives here. At Rotary yesterday, high school English teacher Matt Biers talked about how Winters kids are “really good citizens and nice people”. So much of that comes from the examples and values that we as parents and adults instill in them through our actions. Our actions as adults create the atmosphere and culture which makes good citizens.

October 10-15 is OUR opportunity to perpetuate the soul of our community and set an example for the next generations by helping build a new community playground. We are doing something which most communities cannot accomplish by an all volunteer build. It’s YOUR chance to put a positive mark on our town by contributing to a monument which brings an entire compilation of pride, joy, happiness, kindness and community commitment into a place where generations of children will play.

I hope to see you out there!

John


  • -

Friday Update on September 29 2017

All,

Both really REALLY good stuff this week with some tougher elements worked in.

First the good stuff…………..

  • The Festival de la Communidad (aka Carnitas Festival) is this Saturday, September 30 beginning at 5:00 at the Community Center. The carnitas competition, food, music and dancing make this one of the highlights of the year. Come on out with your family and friends for an incredible night of food and culture!!
  • The opening of the PG&E Gas Operations Technical Training Facility and the initiation of a “world class” vocational training center will rank amongst the top occurrences of the year. Having PG&E President and COO Nick Stavropoulos and his team here to open the doors in our community was an amazing day on many fronts.
  • Congrats to the PG&E team who built the project. The folks from DPR Construction (Ian Bollnick and Bill Hill and ALL the Subs) who built the project and the PG&E Project Management team including Tom Crowley and Sabib Larijani. The DPR team really was like bringing the New England Patriots to town with their professionalism and excellence. Well done to all.
  • A HUGE shout out to the entire City team and key members of our community who worked diligently behind the scenes to bring this project to fruition. Enough cannot be said for the City Council members (past and present), Planning Commission and some key folks from within the business community (Buckhorn) and the McClish Family for all their efforts in the review and approval of the project.
  • A special recognition to City Building Official Gene Ashdown and the folks at Four Leaf for their processing and inspection of the construction of the facility. Also to the engineering and public works team for their efforts. Eric Lucero, Carol Scianna and City Engineer Alan Mitchell. Good job to everyone.
  • The traffic light went live last Friday at Grant/PG&E Way.
  • The traffic light at Grant/Main Street was paved this week and is awaiting striping and a part for the traffic controller cabinet. Look for that light to go live over the next 10 days!
  • Walnut Lane Roundabout is beginning to take shape. The storm drain and other utilities are in on the south side of Grant and we can expect that street sections will begin to emerge. They will then switch to the north side of Grant for the roadway construction. Winters own Vintage Paving is the contractor and is doing a fine job thus far.
  • Staff and Councilmembers Harold Anderson and Bill Biasi attended the Yolo Cannabis Summit on Wednesday afternoon. The meeting including Lori Ajax the California Cannabis Czar, representatives from city of Sacramento and Sonoma County, a UCD Ag economist and representatives from the California Cannabis Growers Association. The meeting was really good and the highlight was the fact that the State, the economist and the Industry Growers seem to agree on many aspects of the legalization of marijuana. A couple terms you need to be aware of:
    • Track and Trace- Purveyors of legal marijuana products will need to establish where the product comes from and where it goes and have the ability to survive audits by both the State and localities.
    • Infusion- This is when product comes from outside of the permitted channels (cartels or off the system providers).
    • Permitting- The State will begin accepting applications after January 1, 2018 when they are required to have the regulations in place. Permits will be granted based on local permitting, thus State permits will flow to purveyors which have legally been granted permits within the cities and counties.
    • Taxation of Legal Marijuana will be extremely high, adding almost $1,000 per pound.
    • Yolo County is viewed as a State leader in this arena. I attended a meeting with Yolo County Ag Commissioner John Young a week ago and left impressed. His office seems to be on top of the issue.
    • The UCD Ag Economist predicts that the economic impact to Yolo County will be about $29 million a year with tax revenue to the localities resulting in the $3m range (based on present values of marijuana which is about $3,500 a pound). Universally, the economist and even the industry association folks are predicting that more than half of the marijuana grown in California will remain “outside the permitting” and on the black market.
    • The guy from the California Cannabis Growers Association was both credible and interesting to listen to.
    • In Winters, our zoning prohibits both the manufacture and dispensaries within our City limits. Look for this item at an upcoming Planning Commission Meeting where we will discuss outdoor cultivation. Staff recommendation will be to prohibit outdoor grows based on the nuisance aspect due to odor. We have nothing against people growing weed, just do it in an enclosed environment so as not to disturb the neighbors.
  • I will share that I downloaded (for my professional research) the com phone app to find out where you can purchase marijuana and was blown away by the availability near the meeting location in Davis. When people say access and availability is easy, they are not kidding!!!
  • The Downtown Hotel is awaiting the final submittal of construction drawings for the hotel building.
  • The City’s Development Review Committee will be meeting with Crowne Communities on Tuesday, October 3 to review designs for homes in the new subdivision.
  • Chevron remodel plans are out the door and they can begin construction at any time. This will be a really nice project!

Now some of the tough stuff:

  • We had predicted in our Fiscal Year 2016-17 that the permits for the Downtown Hotel, Freeway Hotel and Blue Mountain Terrace Apartments would have been pulled and under construction. The failure of these projects to move forward blew a $180k hole in our general fund budget ($4.5m). Additionally other revenues were short, so we realized roughly a $300k deficit in the fiscal year. This is just a tough reality when we know these projects will eventually result in huge revenues to the City. To compensate, we are reducing budgets in the current fiscal year to replenish reserves and live more within our means. We pride ourselves on being pretty accurate in our revenue predictions, but this year was just tough. Next year will be better!
  • The Shared Fire Administration Services Agreement with the City of Dixon is up at the end of the month. I will be meeting with Dixon to discuss the direction of where things are going.
  • The Parking Committee finally received the draft consultants report which will be discussed at an upcoming Parking Committee Meeting.

Last items:

  • Tonight is Homecoming for Winters High School. Varsity will kick off at 7:30 against Bret Harte High School.
  • The Public Safety Faire is next Saturday, October 7 from 10-2 at the Public Safety Facility. An incredible event for parents and kids.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on September 22 2017

All,

A couple items:

·         Mayor Wade Cowan and I met with the financing team for the Freeway Hotel Project this week. The group included two banks and a financier from North Carolina. Overall, they LOVED Winters and enjoy what the City is doing. A real good day.

·         The Blue Mountain Terrace Apartment Project was the main topic of discussion on Monday morning. We looked at a variety of means for closing the financing gap, some value engineering for both the senior center and the apartments along with some timing issues related to various grants..

·         The October 3 City Council Meeting will include an item centering on street projects for the spending of SB 1 gas tax funds.

·         City Staff is getting a number of inquiries from people regarding scheduling events at the Downtown Hotel. We have contacted the developer regarding a contact for the marketing and reservations for the hotel.

·         PG&E Grand Opening is on Wednesday, September 27. Lots of Winters participation, including Terry Sheets singing the national anthem and our VFW Post handling the flag ceremony. PG&E is looking forward to a huge attendance, then having the folks all come into Downtown for lunch. The event should be spectacular.

Winters High is playing against a top 10 opponent tonight in Christian Brothers from Sacramento. Go Warriors.

Thanks,

John


  • -

Friday Update on September 16 2017

All,

A couple items this week:

·         The slab is 2/3 poured for the Downtown Hotel with the final pour scheduled for Monday. Good news and things are proceeding on this project.

·         Winters Fire returned this week from a ten day deployment to fires throughout the State. They went to the Topaz near Tahoe and the Mission Fire near Fresno. Our staff works really hard on these incidents and does amazing things to help people. They represent our community really well where ever they go.

·         The cabinet with the controller for the Grant/Main Traffic Signal is ready for pick up and we may see the signal working before the end of the month. This project has been a roller coaster going from behind schedule, significant delays to now way ahead of schedule. Good news!

·         The draft report and recommendations from the consultant on the Downtown Parking Study is due next week. Staff is doing the final parking survey today and data will be to the consultant for the initial draft.

·         The Wooden Playground at City Park is but a huge pile of lumber. We have preserved some elements of the structure for future re-use. Kudos to the Public Works crew for some really hard work. For a structure that was “falling down”, it was a tank to try and take apart.

·         Project Playground is on their push for volunteers for the re-build October 10-15. They have 3 shifts each day from 7:30 am- Noon, 12-5 and 5-9 pm. To sign up, go here http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4fa5aa23a4f49-build

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on September 8 2017

For a short week, lots happening:

·         The Main/Grant Traffic Signal went from a major issue causing a huge delay to being a couple weeks ahead of schedule in about a day. Expect that the signal will be lit and operational by the end of September. Overall, good news.

·         The City Park Playground is officially “closed” in preparation for the demolition and re-build. The party in the park was a huge success and a wonderful way for the playground to have its last hurrah of children playing. Look for the removal of the playground over the next two weeks in preparation for the new build.

·         Project Playground is an all volunteer effort which needs people to sign up for the October 10-15 build. To sign up, go to

·         http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4fa5aa23a4f49-build

·         They are also looking for some park captains for the week of the build. Please respond to this message or call Moyra Barsotti 530-392-6264. This is a critical part to the success of our build so please consider giving your time.

·         Downtown Hotel is getting ready for the pour of the slab. I get to watch the entire project and I will tell you they are making progress. Look for the slab over the next week.

·         Winters JUSD had a nice groundbreaking this week for the first building at Winters High School. A nice event prior to open house. The entire team at the District is working hard to improve the facilities at each of the school sites. The new building will house both science and culinary classrooms. It very exciting to see the progress being made.

·         This is the first weekend of soccer!!!!

Finally a shout out and a plug for the work done by the past and now current folks involved with the construction of the City Playground. They truly represent what makes our community special and the deepest values which make Winters…..Winters.

At last nights “Party  in the Park” we saw the reunion of many of the folks who organized and built the current structure back in 1989. These were folks (similar to Bobbie Greenwood and the town pool) who set a goal to build a very special playground to benefit the children of our community. They fundraised, organized, then designed and built a fabulous play structure. It is the definition of people coming together in a unified manner to do something of meaning. The result was something which has benefitted generations of children over the past 28 years!

I don’t dare try and name off all the folks who I know were involved (they know who they are) by I will tell you that they are some of the most generous and giving people I have ever met in my life. They have been deeply involved in the Winters Community in many facets and are the soul of why we have such an incredible place to live and raise our families. They put the town before self interest and invest their time and resources for something bigger than themselves. To say the community should be grateful to them is an understatement.

(I will share that the day before I interviewed to be the City Manager in Winters in 2001, my wife Kathy and I took our kids to the park and they thought it was the greatest playground they had ever seen. I read the plaque about the community coming together to build it and I was amazed. I remember asking our City Attorney John Wallace if the story was true and he told me that it represented what Winters is all about. John was right!)

The folks with Project Playground have taken on the huge task of replacing an iconic park through a similar process, having raised more than $400k, led a design process which professional planners would be challenged by and they are on the cusp of replicating a community effort which few can pull off, a second community build. Most communities just punt it to the city government to do because that is the easy way. Nope, not this group, they are digging deep and working harder to give the people of Winters a chance to do something bigger than themselves which will again, benefit the next few generations.

Project Playground is special and the build is an opportunity of a lifetime. This is a chance for you to come together with your neighbors, friends and future friends to build something for others. Take a couple days off work, come to the park and work side by side with others for the benefit of families and children. The result of your labor will not just be a structure, but more importantly, the joy and memories of childhood for thousands of kids and their families as they attack and climb until they are exhausted. They will go home tired with the goal of coming back the next day to do it all again.

The Project Playground team is that next generation who are perpetuating the values of Winters that great things for communities happen when the town works together on a common goal. This is your chance to not only help others, but a chance for you to do something for yourself by building something great.

Sign up, get your friends, neighbors and family to sign up. Make it a party!http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4fa5aa23a4f49-build

Have a nice weekend.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


  • -

Friday Update for September 1, 2017

All,

I mentioned a very comprehensive update of the City, so here it is. I have covered all of our Departments and the various main projects occurring in town. We have a lot going on, so we have tried to hit the highlights and areas of interest.

In the coming weeks, I will be featuring specific departments for an in depth look at what is happening.
 

City Highlights memo for August, 2017

 

Key Projects Update:

  • PG&E Gas Operations Technical Training Center (GOTTC) will officially open on September 27 with a grand opening.
  • Starbucks is coming out of the ground and things are looking up for a fall opening.
  • Grant/PG&E Way Traffic Signal is installed and should be operational within a few weeks. The Granite Construction, DPR and PG&E Teams did an amazing job.
  • Grant/Main Traffic Signal has moved to the south side of the street. Expect the poles to be delivered and installed in October.
  • Grant/Walnut Lane Roundabout will see construction start on the south side, then move to the north, then to the center. Expect closure one it is moved to the center for up to 4 weeks. So far, so good on this project.
  • Downtown Hotel is moving along with the foundation poured and the slab coming next. The construction side of the project is working really well at this point.
  • Walnut Park is 98% completed with monument signs and the community garden yet to be installed. Look for a grand opening in the next month.
  • Stone’s Throw has completed their rough grading and is moving toward the installation of utilities. The grading team did a miraculous job!
  • Callahan Estates has begun the rough grading for Phase I and is in the process of installing storm and sewer pipe.
  • Green waste and organics implementation is not going well. The first run had almost 40% trash in the load, requiring the entire load to be landfilled versus composted and recycled. We have determined that more education needs to happen so people know not to throw trash in the green waste container!

 

City Manager’s Office:

 

Key Projects in the City Manager’s Office includes:

  • Helping move key economic development projects forward including projects at the freeway, Downtown and the completion of the PG&E Project;
  • In August, Staff met with Caltrans to clear up a number of issues related to the Grant/Main Signal, Grant/Walnut Roundabout, Grant/PG&E Signal and ongoing relations. A very productive meeting and a renewal of a commitment from both agencies to work together in the future.
  • Downtown Parking Plan is in the final stages. The Consultant will be delivering draft recommendations the first week of September and the parking Committee will meet to review and refine the final report, a second public workshop (including the City Council and Planning Commission) will occur in early October, then the final plan will be presented for adoption in November.
  • Preparation for the FY 18-19 and 19-20 Fiscal Year Budgets is well under way. Current focus is on preparation for capital programs and infrastructure, public safety services, utility rates and senior services.
  • Working on regional issues including animal control, the many Joint Powers Agencies and such topics as cannabis and broadband.
  • Succession Planning is a key issue at City Hall in an effort to retain valuable information and continuity in the future.
  • Code Enforcement with updates to various municipal code sections to strengthen the ability of public safety to deal with problem residences.
  • General Plan Update– Working on a plan to refresh many of the key master plans and elements of the City’s key planning document.

 

Planning:

 

  • A comprehensive review and update of the City’s Zoning Code is under way. Many of the definitions and references are very antiquated and confusing. Staff is working on an update which will include the development of a subcommittee including members of the City Council and Planning Commission to review, prior to a comprehensive workshop with both boards.
  • Staff is working with property owners on updates for the North Area Storm Drainage Plan and on the potential for an annexation request. These are huge projects which will require the City to look at many other planning issues.

 

Administrative Services:

  • Memorandums of Understanding MOU – Labor negotiations with all bargaining groups will be being held over the next month
  • CalPERS Health Open Enrollment begins Sept. 11th and ends Oct. 6th – Will be meeting with employees to discuss plans and options
  • Personnel Rules and Regulations – working on drafting new Personnel Rules in order to establish a uniform procedure for dealing with personnel matters
  • Intranet – to provide a vehicle for communication similar to the world wide web that is pertinent to the City of Winters.  Helping employees find the information they need easily.
  • Recognition Policy – Establish a mechanism for employers to recognize employee’s achievements to the organization

 

Housing and Economic Development:

  • Walnut Park is in the final stages towards completion.  Monument signs are under production and will be installed at the east and west entrances to the park.
  • Community Garden #2– Meetings have been held with various local groups building towards community participation in finishing the build out of the community garden.  Among the groups expected to participate are the Rotary Club of Winters, the HAC, FFA, and residents of the Almondwood and Orchard Village apartments.
  • Downtown Hotel construction is underway, with construction of the foundation and civil work occurring. Plan check is in progress for the building plans. In the near term, staff will be meeting with the developer to discuss Abbey Street improvements (Mike Olivas is working on Ashok Patel’s participation).
  • Blue Mountain Terrace Senior apartments and the senior center are progressing, with the developer’s senior management meeting today (Tuesday, August 29) to review and discuss the new revised cost estimates.  City staff expects to receive those updated cost estimates later this week.  Upon receipt of those cost estimates, staff will work with YCH staff to develop and submit a pre-application to USDA RD for gap financing (in the form of a loan).
  • HCD (state) HOME staff is resisting Winters using an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for grant administration for the Blue Mountain Terrace HOME grant.  Staff and YCH are working with state staff to resolve this issue.  After we work through the issue with HCD, it is likely staff will bring a HOME specific IGA to City Council for review/approval.
  • The delivery of Senior Services (via an IGA with Yolo County) is on temporary hiatus as the consultant (Sheila Allen) is away on a previously planned European vacation, with an expected return date of September 11th.
  • Staff will begin the preparation of a comprehensive report on Affordable Housing in Winters which will identify all of the units throughout the City, quantify important goals and include a workshop with the City Council and the Planning Commission on the challenges associated with addressing one of the most important issues in California.

Police Department:

Chief John Miller recently completed his first year as Winters Police Chief. Organizationally, the Department is as strong as ever, but is dealing with changes in personnel due to persons taking jobs with other agencies. Key highlights happening now include:

  • Sergeant Recruitment. Currently conducting recruitment to permanently replace vacancy currently be filled by Sgt. Kelly Schroder as a 960 hour employee. Position should be filled by end of October.
  • Automatic Electronic Defibrillators will be deployed in the coming months in Winters. With assistance of WFD, WPD will be receiving 6 AED’s for patrol vehicles. This will allow us to better serve the community as we are often on-scene to medical emergencies.
  • K9 program. Ofc. Jose Hermosillo still seeking innovative funding sources to launch a K9 program. Yocha De he tribe may be providing grant opportunity.
  • Juvenile Restorative Justice Still  working with the WJUSD to launch a re-vamped youth diversion program paid by WPD  through grant and supported by Yolo Conflict Resolution Center.
  • Updating technology. Currently conducting test and evaluations, as well as seeking funding, for  new body cams, Automated License Plate Reader’s, and a new Records Management (RMS) system.

Financial Management:

  • Closing out the FY 16-17 and preparing the year end reports in preparation for the annual audit.
  • Staff is facilitating meetings and data information for the AB1600 update for the City’s Impact Fee Program
  • Completing the update of the Building Permit fees in the building permit system
  • Getting  ready to prepare an Request for Proposals  for an update to the Water and Sewer rate study
  • Preparing for the audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report preparation

Public Works:

The Department is busy with preparation for the busiest time of the year, where the City transitions to preparation for winter, implementation of the lasts projects from summer and preparation for key maintenance of facilities. Key highlights happening now are:

  • Futsal Court construction at City Park. Look for paving in September and completion toward the end of October.
  • Working with Project Playground for the construction of a new play structure at City Park. This will include the demolition and removal of the existing structure build, assistance with site preparation, coordination of the build and the relocation of the current tot structure to Valley Oak Park.
  • Preparing street projects and submittals to the State for the new gas tax funds which will begin in November. This includes an update to the City’s pavement management index, identification of a 5 year maintenance program and establishing a financing strategy for future budgets.
  • Developing and revisiting capital maintenance programs for all facilities including parks, streets, accessibility, water, wastewater and sewer, storm drainage management and City buildings.
  • Continually Striping streets and pavement. The never ending project.
  • Working on the implementation of new infrastructure in the under construction subdivisions. This includes the development of sewer and storm drainage lift stations, water, sewer and storm drain lines and park development.
  • Implementation of the annual sewer collection system maintenance program in October.
  • Transition Plan (ADA) and accessibility improvement City-wide.

Building:

  • PG&E Welding Lab is on Schedule. A temporary certificate of occupancy has been issued and they are well on track for the final.
  • Classes are  currently being held in PG&E T&D and Learning Center
  • Underground plumbing and electrical being installed Winters Hotel
  • Starbucks exterior wall up framing
  • Winters Ranch moving along toward completion with the final 10 units.
  • Yolo Traders close to final

City Attorney:

  • Preparing a revised ordinance that will update the City’s Municipal Code sections related to Marijuana cultivation.  The proposed ordinance will continue to prohibit commercial and industrial cultivation and processing of marijuana in the City, and limit personal cultivation to medical use and the amount allowed to be cultivated for personal, non-medical use under state law.  The proposed ordinance will also prohibit the outdoor cultivation of marijuana, whether for medical or non-medical use.  We plan to take this to the Planning Commission in September, and the City Council in October.
  • Working with the School District and Homes by Towne to resolve issues related to dedication of street right of way and public utility easement from the School District to the City.  This issue appears to be resolved, and will go to the District Board and City Council in September.
  • Consult on legal issues related to the Project Playground project as they arise.  Preparing documents to allow for the acceptance of the final playground when it is complete.
  • Consulting with Environmental Management and SCWA on the Agreements needed to access property adjacent to Putah Creek for continued clean up/improvement work.
  • Working with Financial Management ly to clarify the process for determination of property tax related to the PG&E GOTTC.

Environmental Services:

  • Waste Management –Green waste/ Organics  roll out for residential and  newly added commercial accounts.  Staff is working to get the word out on new WM services and collection dates.
  • Dealing with issues related to the contamination of the green waste bins with garbage.
  • Residents leaving green waste on the street for extended time rather than prior to the new monthly pick up dates. Ultimately, this may lead to an ordinance limiting the time green waste can be deposited in the street.
  • Roundabout is project is moving along, currently travel lanes have been narrowed to facilitate construction on the south side of the street. Lane closures won’t be happening for several weeks. Vehicles are advised to slow to 25 Mph in construction zone.
  • Grant/Main Signal Project is also moving along sidewalks on the north side are near completion.  Delivery of the Signal pole will be in October, but the rest of the project should be completed within a 4 week window.
  • Influent Wastewater screen design- staff is working with design team to complete design for new influent bar screen for the waste water treatment facility, the addition of this equipment will increase capacity on existing East Street Pump Station. The bar screen helps remove debris from the sewer ponds which helps in the processing of the water and reduces damage to wastewater equipment.
  • 2nd annual Salmon Festival November 4th– planning for another great festival to be held at Rotary Park 11-4, a great way to celebrate the return of the Salmon and all of the restoration efforts in the Winters Nature Park

Fire Department:

  • Wildland Training continues with Live Burns. We continue to rotate personnel through utilizing fire engines and personnel during Mobile Fire Attack. Our personnel are using the different fire apparatus we have, as well as understanding the different types of basic wildland strategy options available to company officers – Direct Attack, Indirect Attack and Pincer Attack using mobile fire attack. The fire captains also get the opportunity to fine tune their Size-up skills which describe fire conditions and give commands during training scenarios, in a real life situation, utilizing Incident Command System (ICS)
  • AB1600 Fees –We are working with the other city departments to identify impacts of future city growth potential, from identified building projects, and trying to determine appropriate equipment levels needed to meet the future impacts.
  • Incident Action Plan development (IAP) – We are working with our local stakeholders and emergency partners to provide a standardized way to coordinate public safety at our many local events. We have begun talks with our local law agencies and introduced them to our statewide ICS forms used for IAP’s.
  • Fire Prevention  continues on an almost daily basis. Fire prevention includes residential fire escape plans, building plan reviews for fire protection, new construction inspections, juvenile fire setter programs and a variety of public education outreach – including CPR training. Recently, we have partnered with Cal Fire and Cal Trans to work on Hwy 128 corridor fire hazard reduction. We have had wildland fires in the same area four (4) years in a row, and we recognize the need to work together to reduce this risk along the heavily travelled state highway.
  • AED at Schools – We are working with the schools to install Automated External Defibrillators (AED). These devices greatly increase the survivability of persons having a heart attack with bystanders assistance.

 OES – The State of California Office of Emergency Services (OES) provides a fire engine to the City for participation in the Statewide Master Mutual Aid Agreement. We have deployed “OES 333” to several fires outside of our county and provide one of the highest levels of all-risk emergency services in the nation. The members of Winters Fire Department staff the vehicle for up to 14 days during each deployment. Staff are currently on the Topaz Fire.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


  • -

Friday Update on August 18 2017

All,

A couple important items this week:

·         Construction on the Grant/Walnut Lane Roundabout begins this Monday. The good news is that closure of Grant will be postponed until the end of September. The contractor and engineering teams are working hard to limit closure by working beginning work on the south side and keeping lanes open. Overall, really good news!

·         Project Playground and the re-build of the City Park Playground is inside 60 days to construction October 10-15. They need volunteers to being signing up now. Go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4fa5aa23a4f49-build to sign up.

·         The Downtown Hotel foundation elements were poured this morning. The project is moving forward and they are hoping for a 2018 opening!

This has been an absolutely crazy week. Look for an expanded Friday Update next week.

John


  • -

Friday Update on August 4 2017

All,

·         The Main/Grant Traffic Signal Project has been delayed for the past three weeks due to Caltrans delays (their engineering review and approval of a modification took 3 weeks) and a recent stoppage by the Caltrans Inspector. The project timing was supposed to have the improvements completed before the start of school. The route to school is absolutely a mess at the intersection and will require us to take measures to get children through. Expect delays in the morning through this intersection and find an alternate route if possible. We are working to find a solution and will be meeting with Caltrans Headquarters as soon as they will grant us an audience!

·         Watch for a lot of weed abatement work along Grant Ave in the coming weeks. As the Grant/Timbercrest Signal Project comes to a close, we will prepare to get things cleaned up as PG&E prepares to open.

·         Staff is working on a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) for the City streets. This involves rating the overall condition and folding the results into an overall maintenance program.

·         On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Board conducted a public hearing and consideration of the elimination of the 10 parts per billion (ppb) limit on Chromium 6. The good news is the removed the new limit. The bad news is they authorized a re-set of the limit and for the Division of Drinking Water to begin working on it. The administrative law judge who has been overseeing the CR6 issue has mandated that they consider the economic impacts of implementation of a new standard. Hopefully that will be taken into consideration and they will give us a call on the impacts related to our community. The annual cost to rate payers is approximately $900m which would be removed from the economy at the 10ppb.

·         I had a chance to speak before the Board and share the impacts on Winters. I will share that I prepped like I have never prepped for a presentation to cram a lot of information into a short period of time which is easy to understand and effective. I actually practiced as I drove through traffic on an effective delivery! I think they would have passed it even without my words of wisdom, but I felt good about having a chance to represent our community.

·         Kudos to two staff members who really delivered big at the City Council Meeting the other evening:

·         Carol Scianna our Environmental Services Manager worked with Kurt Balasak and the folks at Wallace Kuhl on the development of a preliminary storm drainage master plan to address and prevent pollution in our storm system. The plan is very well developed and is a foundational plan which will benefit the City dearly in the future. Protecting and developing the Winters environment is an important part of Carol’s position and she does an incredible job at it. This particular project relates to keeping Putah Creek clean of pollution and I would give her and the Wallace Kuhl team an A+.

·         Shelley Gunby is our Director of Financial Management. She presented a Comprehensive Fee Update for Building, Planning, Public Works, Fire and Recreation fees. While nobody likes the City charging higher fees on anything, she took a very balanced and empirical approach to gaining needed reimbursement of City costs while protecting the consumer at the same time. Building Fees will see 7% increase, Planning Fees are charged at cost, Public Works and Fire see an 80% reimbursement and Recreation is mostly a low reimbursement item with the big increase being the pool swim cost from $1 to $2.

·         Finance also addressed property tax liens for delinquent water/sewer and trash service bills. Our staff are not the reason for people not paying their bills, but they sure do take the brunt of the anxiety people bring when it comes to the liens. As with any business, the City expects people to pay their bills owed for services and I appreciate the staff for dealing with our customers in a professional and tactful manner even when some folks are not particularly kind.

·         The Winters Theatre Company, Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce and others will be hosting a memorial for Howard Hupe this Sunday, August 6 at 4:30 at the Community Center.

Finally, the bounty of our harvest is really coming in now. I was out this morning getting some figs from my new neighbor Cole Ogando’s trees (Sierra and Kadota varieties) and I realize what heaven it is around here to have some of the most delicious food amongst us. Here are some of my hot picks on where to get the bounty:

·         K&J Fruit Stand (Gaddini Road)- Fresh stone fruits, dried, multiple varieties of melons, honey, preserves and heirloom tomatoes, garlic and limes. My favorite is the 4/$1 corn which you can eat raw but get there early before it is gone.

·         Warrens OMRF (Old Mans Retirement Fund) on Russell Blvd just east of El Rio Villa. Stone fruits and fresh tomatoes. Seriously, you will re-consider the hassle of your own garden with these tomatoes!

·         Road 31- Covell/Road 98 Fruit Stand in Davis- Typically I would not recommend leaving the greater Winters area, but this is worth it. Drive on about a quarter mile east of Rd 98 and it is on the right hand side (if they flag is up they are open). Four cewheel across and ditch and up a dirt driveway. Your food of choice in one item Strawberries!! They grow multiple varieties throughout the year and they are incredible. Buy a full flat, eat a ton and freeze the rest!

·         Capay Valley– Take a drive to Cache Creek and stop at the variety of farm stands along Highway 16. Just past the casino in Guinda is a farm stand. The growers in Capay are some of the highest quality and innovative anywhere.

·         Manas Ranch– Highway 16 in Esparto- Fresh pork and lamb are the items. If they have sausage, get that!

Have a nice weekend!

John


  • -

Friday Update on July 28 2017

All,

Just a few items this week:

·         City Council Meeting has a number of public hearings including an update to City Fees (Public Hearing), delinquent utility and trash bills going on the tax liens, a review of the FY 2016-17 Budget (bad news), a presentation on the Draft Yolo Conservancy EIR/EIS, a Draft Storm Water Management Plan, Creekside Estates Development Agreement (second reading), Futsol Court Painting and Rates for Commercial Organic Waste pick-up.

·         Staff met with the Yolo County Tax Assessor. The City saw a 9.35% increase in the overall assessed valuation of the City. Much of this is due to the Winters Ranch Subdivision and sales of existing homes. Good news is the increased valuation of the City, the bad news is our financial projections are generally really good so maybe not such a great bump in overall revenues beyond our projections. We will see………..

·         Downtown Hotel foundation is under construction.

·         Both Chevron and Starbucks are under way. Look for things to move quickly on those projects.

·         Congratulations to Project Playground on getting really close to their fundraising goal. There is still time to make donations, purchase fence posts and sign up for the big project. Go to www.projectplaygroundwinters.com for more information.

·         A memorial dinner and program in honor of Howard Hupe will be held on Sunday, August 6 beginning at 4:30 at the Community Center. Dinner and a program will be held for those who want to come honor Howard and his contributions to the Winters Community.

Thanks and have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on July 21 2017

All,

A couple items this week:

·         The pre-construction meeting for the Grant Ave Roundabout was held on Thursday. The project start date is August 14 and the total construction time is 80 days. The project will include work time shutdowns of Grant Ave with a detour during much of the project. The roadway will re-open during peak drive times and overnight and weekends. Look for more publicity as we get closer to the project.

·         Winters Fire personnel are on the Detweiler Fire near Yosemite. As of this writing, the fire was at 70,000 acres. Our staff are currently on a 24 hour shift near Maricopa protecting structures.

·         The Winters Friends of Putah Creek have filed a lawsuit against the Solano County Water Agency and the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee on the project environmental impact report for restoration activities for the creek. The EIR and the proposed projects are to provide ecological restoration activities, public access, removal of invasive plants and to improve the overall habitat and water quality. The EIR and project has been part of an extensive public process with key stakeholders, world renowned environmental experts from UC Davis and both public and private property owners.

·         The July 25 Planning Commission Meeting will have a couple items, including selection of a new Chairperson, design review for the Stone’s Throw (formerly Winters Highlands) subdivision, a study session regarding the Dry Creek setback requirements and the appointment of a representative to the City’s Affordable Housing Steering Committee.

Finally, Winters took a huge hit with week with the passing of two community icons; Howard Hupe and Dale Brewer.

I profiled the accomplishments of Howard and Germaine Hupe a few weeks ago. Howard was truly a man of service to Winters in so many ways. His services are as follows:

Tuesday, July 25th – Vigil and Rosary at Smith Funeral Home in Davis.  Friends are welcome from 6-7 for a viewing followed by a short service from 7-7:45.

Wednesday, July 26th – Funeral at St. James gym in Davis at 10 am.  Military Burial at Davis Cemetery at 11 am.  Reception from 1-4 at the Winters Community Center with a light lunch and open mic.

A Winters community celebration for Howard is being planned for sometime in August. Stay tuned.

Dale Brewer passed suddenly and unexpectedly over the past weekend. Dale was a lifelong resident of Winters and worked as the janitor at Winters High School for over 45 years. Dale impacted the lives of generations of students, teachers and administrators. To imagine someone who watched the development of 45 graduating classes from Winters High is an incredible feat. Dale was both a character and a genuinely nice person.

Services for Dale will be Saturday, July 29 at 11 a.m. at the Trinity Baptist Church in Vacaville.

John


  • -

Friday Update on July 14 2017

All,

A couple items:

·         The July 18 City Council Agenda includes the Olive Grove Subdivision and Affordable Housing Plan, recommendation on the formation of an Economic Development Advisory Committee, Creekside Estates Development Agreement, an update from the Police Department, Site Preparation for the Futsal Court, and contracts for design of a bar screen and monitoring services for the wastewater treatment facility.

·         Attached is the June Activity Report (pdf) for the Winters Police Department

·         Construction has commenced on the foundation for the Hotel Winters. This is really good news!

·         The City’s Design Review Committee (DRC) met with representatives of“Stone’s Throw” (former Winters Highlands) for the preliminary review of the  design elements for Phase I of the project. Generally a good meeting! The design review before the City Council is scheduled for July 25.

·         The Phase III Putah Creek Project has been hit by another delay from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the issuance of the permit to commence the project. This will further delay the project which now looks like it will happen in 2018.

·         Get ready for the Yolo Conservancy Habitat Conservation Plan on the August 1 City Council Agenda. A really good article in the Winters Express this week on the details, but in summary it addresses multiple species and mitigation for all of Yolo County. The environmental impact report on it is massive, so I am working on a short version to send out prior to the meeting.

Finally, a very real issue in town are people doing home improvement work without building permits. This affects the City both from a financial standpoint but mostly from a safety standpoint.

Many of the “do it yourself” television shows which show folks buying and flipping houses, doing massive renovations, tearing out walls or just running down to the local hardware store and changing things out are now creating issues which should give us all caution. In the past month, we now have numerous properties which have been “caught” blatantly doing work without the benefit of plans and permits. Some of the work is extensive and structural in nature.

One of the toughest jobs in city government is being a building inspector. Much like a law enforcement officer, the building inspector is responsible for enforcing State regulations which are meant to protect us. Getting caught doing something is never pleasant and when it comes to a house, it can be downright dangerous. The “inspector” can be pretty unpopular, but I would argue that they are one of the most important positions in the City.

With a permit for work, both the homeowner and future owner of a home will know a couple basic things; including that there were plans for the project, the person doing the work is qualified,  the materials used were proper, the improvement was inspected and meets the building code and a level of quality assurance that when it was finished it was safe. Without a permit, there is no guarantee on any of this, especially the safe part.

Recently, we have a combination of issues happening which are not right. Specifically, people simply lying about what is occurring at the home to hide work either done or under construction. People also lie about who did the work. An example is someone claimed that they “did all of the electrical work” in a home but when asked a very basic electrical question could not answer it (they obviously had “someone else” do the work). In another case, a property owner “just remembered” that they also moved the entire staircase over when demolishing some walls.

Imagine buying one of those houses from the televisions shows where they flip the house in couple of days with a quickie remodel. What quality of work do you think you are getting? What about the quality of work for someone doing electrical improvements without the benefit of a licensed contractor? Buying a home requires disclosure of non-permitted work. How many of these house flippers doing work without permits are then going to immediately disclose all of the improvements recently done to prospective buyers? When the house burns down from a fire caused by faulty electrical and someone loses all of their belongings or someone is injured or dies, who should be responsible?

If someone is willing to not get a permit to save a couple dollars or feels it is an inconvenience, where else did they shortcut the project?  What about the electrical panel size and who calculated whether the existing panel was sufficient? If no permit, do you really think the panel was calculated?

If you see someone doing work without a permit, please call and report it to the City’s Building Division. All calls are confidential.

Some things are just silly!

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on July 7 2017

All,

A couple of items:

·         Positas and Golden Bear Estates are re-opened from the evacuation which occurred from the fire last night. Enough cannot be said for the public safety folks who facilitated the notification and the patience of the folks who live there. It is not easy for anyone.

·         The fire last night showed that doing something four years in a row aids in the effectiveness of response. Winters Fire, Cal Fire and our neighboring jurisdictions got on to a fast moving fire and did an amazing job of protecting homes and residents of Positas and Golden Bear Estates. The Napa-Sonoma Unit for Cal Fire moved in and did an incredible job with the help of a lot of aircraft, bulldozers and personnel.

·         Winters Fire worked through the night. As the first unit on the blaze, Grass 26 spent almost 24 hours on the hill dealing with some of the most significant aspects. Engine 26 took the lead in protecting structures in Golden Bear. I know our crews were exhausted, but, again, they protected and represented our community well.

·         We are told they will start moving dirt on the Downtown Hotel next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

·         Starbucks has their building permit, the Chevron sign is coming down and grading has commenced, so things are moving.

·         Look for a lot of grading next week for the Callahan and Winters Highlands subdivisions in the northwest section of town.

·         If you are watching the Major League Baseball All Star Game next week, look for Brad Mills, the brother in law of our own Nanci Mills who will be coaching the American League All Stars. Brad is the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians and will be sitting in for Terry Francona, the Indians Head Coach who is out with an injury.

Finally, thoughts and prayers need to go out to Howard Hupe who has been laid up in the hospital for the past week.

Howard and Germaine Hupe are absolute icons of the Winters Community and will go down in the history of our town as two of its greatest citizens! Few have contributed as much to Winters as Howard and Germaine. Ironically, they live in Davis.

Both were long time staff at Winters High School, with Howard in the counseling office and Germaine teaching literature. Their impact on literally generations of Winters students in positioning them for life and success is amazing. They were also  the long time coordinators of the AFS student exchange program, where they worked with another Winters icon, Bobbie Greenwood, in sharing our community with the world.

Howard and Germaine are founding members of the Winters Theatre Company and were integral players in the development of the Community Center and its stage. The hundreds of plays, actors and actresses and the thousands of attendees have benefitted immensely from what they have brought us. One can only imagine the thousands of days and hours spent in the preparation and performance all in the name of entertaining us.

Howard is a long time member of the Chamber of Commerce Board and is arguably the #1 advocate for Winters business. He is someone to always be counted upon to represent the Chamber and town within the region. Few have worked even a fraction as hard as Howard in “making things happen” to advance the Winters brand. I can personally attest that Howard is a key player in the renaissance of Downtown Winters and the current vitality it is experiencing. Howard and Germaine are authors of the Walking Tour Guide to Historic Winters!

Howard and Germaine are past Citizens of the Year. They both have served many years as the “masters of ceremony” in the presentations to many other citizens of the year. They always provide an entertaining biography of the recipient through an often comical and mostly self effacing presentation. Always kind and generous, but funny, always funny!

Howard is an active member of the Rotary Club of Winters.

When Huell Howser came to town, we picked Howard to be the spokesperson for the City in the interview. Huell eventually interviewed a bunch of folks (including me, Dave Fleming and John Pickerel), but Howard is the star of the video. His baritone voice talking about the history of Winters made us relevant and special. To see Howard and Huell (and the rest of us) click HERE.

Writing any type of testimonial for people like Howard and Germaine is a risk because I know I am leaving so much out. So I apologize for all which is missing!

When you consider the legacy that people may want to make of their lives, Howard and Germaine Hupe have certainly made a mark on Winters. From educating our children and guiding their success, sharing us with the world and enriching the lives of many families,  to entertaining us and then leading the renaissance of our businesses and Downtown Winters, few can claim what Howard and Germaine have done for our town. They are genuinely two of the most unselfish and giving people I think I have ever met in my life.

Let’s root for Howard to gain his health. He’s a pretty tough guy, so keep good thoughts for him.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


  • -

Friday Update on June 30 2017

All,

A couple items this week:

·         The fireworks show will be this Monday, July 3 2017 at Dr. Sellers Field. Gates will open at 6:00 and the show will start when it is nice and dark! Admission is a donation of at least $1 per person. More is appreciated. Entertainment will include music by Winters own DJ Barnett Entertainment (Troy Barnett), fun on the football field, etc. Bring a blanket and a soccer chair and enjoy the best Winters fireworks show of the year!

·         Construction continues on the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. The project includes improvements on the north side of Grant to Taylor Street with sidewalk and gutter work. Look for the majority of the intersection work to be completed by late July and the signals to be installed in October.

·         June 30 represents the end of the City’s 2016-17 Fiscal Year. This has been a really tough year because many of the projects we projected pulling building permits did not occur. The City has a two year budget which means we will bring budget adjustments for the next year which will reduce some projected positions in public safety. Hopefully, we will see the commercial projects take flight in 2017-18 and revenues will equalize. I will share that it has been the toughest financial year for the City since the real estate crash of 2008. We will get through it, but we will need to tighten our belt a bit!!

·         Fire season is upon us. Watch for more training burns in the north part of town and the real stuff starting to pop up throughout the region..

Finally, I attended the memorial service today for Gary Bertagnolli, the owner of Eagle Drug and the town Pharmacist for many years. I knew Gary as most did through prescriptions and in my case, the Rotary Club of Winters.

As I sat in St. Anthony’s Church, I reflected on the fact that in small towns, there are many people with special titles, who know each other within the roles they provide for our community. At the service were the mayor and councilmembers, banker, newspaper publisher, butcher, doctor, principal, police chief, chair of the cemetery board, Rotary President, Grocery Store Owner, eye doctor, hardware store owner, pre-school teacher, farmers, ranchers and yes, the city manager. At Gary’s service, literally all the key folks representing various interests turned out to pay their respects for the town pharmacist. Food was provided by El Pueblo, a key local business.

The service was short but beautiful. Gary’s daughter gave a wonderful eulogy of a man who will be missed very much by us all. Gary knew the personal secrets of many and was probably more up on the travails of folks than any priest or rabbi. He was kind, a confidant and most importantly, a GREAT resident of Winters.

We all have roles in the town of Winters. It really is one big fraternity of people working toward the common goal of making a quality community. Today we were reminded of the importance of squeezing our loved ones a little harder and telling them we love them a little more often.

Have a safe and sane Independence Day Weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on June 23 2017

All,

A couple notes for this week:

·         Construction continues on the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. Staff met with Caltrans on a couple issues, most importantly the traffic control requirements. We are hoping for an approved change which will allow two lanes of traffic to eliminate the stoppage occurring now. We also have a request modify the Caltrans work restrictions which have significantly reduced the work day. Both of these changes will expedite the project and reduce the overall costs.

·         The City Council awarded the construction contract for Grant/Walnut Roundabout Project to Vintage Paving of Winters, CA. Project documents are in the works and we can expect to see construction activities begin somewhere near the end of July to the beginning of August.

·         The roundabout will include daily closures (8 a.m.-3 p.m) of Grant Ave with a detour. This will help expedite the project. It will create a big headache for a bit, but will help expedite the project. Kind of like tearing the band aid off all at once. It will sting for a bit, but then it will be done.

·         Look for grading to begin for the subdivisions located in the north area near Shirley Rominger School. The grading is set to commence the second week of July and will go for a 45 day period. Lot’s of dust and dirt to fly, so get ready.

·         A big congratulations to Winters Police Chief John Miller who received a $9,800 scholarship from the California Police Chiefs Association to attend an Executive Leadership Institute for Police Executives to be held at the Peter Drucker Management School at Claremont College. This is a huge honor and an incredible professional and personal development opportunity for the Chief!

·         The City of Winters has been awarded grant funding for the installation of two high capacity vehicle charging stations adjacent to the Community Center. Elliot Landes of the City Staff submitted the grant and obtained the award. Reason #6 to justify why you need to run out and purchase a Tesla! Well done, Elliot!

·         Last Friday, a Vacaville Police chase ended in town with the arrest of 3 suspects in an armed robbery from Vacaville. The arrest was made mostly from the K9 officer who located two of the suspects hiding in a back yard! The lesson learned is when you see the K9 car, surrender or you get to be the guy (or gal) from the video wrestling the police dog without the advantage of that big padded suit! Ouch!!!

·         June 23 is the Fourth Friday. Good food, cold drinks on a hot day and the ambiance of Downtown. I plan on being there and highly recommend it.

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update for June 16 2017

All,

A couple insights:

  • This weeks City Council Meeting includes a contract for a revised Storm Drain Master Plan, Sound Permit for the Friends of the Library Concert Series, award of bid for the Walnut/Grant roundabout, the final Public Hearing on Weed Abatement and the Public Hearing on trash rates. Also on the agenda will be appointments to the Planning Commission.
  • The Main/Grant Traffic signal is now in full swing. We are trying to work through restrictions put on the project as far as work hours (7:00-2:00). This has put a burden on the entire team (contractor, inspectors and engineering). The goal is to get the majority of the work wrapped up by the end of July (before school begins).
  • This weeks Planning Commission included approval of an affordable housing plan for the Olive Grove subdivision on Hemenway and a revised development agreement for the Creekside Estates subdivision on Grant Ave.
  • Kudo’s and thanks to Kate Frazier on her last meeting as Chair of the Planning Commission. Kate has been an extremely valuable member of the PC and deserves a thanks for her community service over the last four years!
  • Lot’s of smoke in the air with Winters Fire doing training burns in the north area of the City. Looks for more in the coming weeks, with a pretty good burn near the Wastewater Ponds.
  • Staff is receiving a ton of calls from the marijuana industry who seem to be canvassing the entire State. I have taken three calls this week. My response is pretty simple… we are watching what the State is doing in relation to Prop 64; we have a moratorium on dispensaries in town; and if they can come into the industrially zoned area and solve the flood zone issue, we might be willing to talk (they usually hang up right after I explain the flood zone issue). Bottom line, we have a few issues related to marijuana (residential outdoor cultivation) and we intend to deal with that, but otherwise, we are going to look to the State for guidance in relation to recreational use, sales, etc.
  • Building Permits are IMPORTANT!!! A running joke amongst many is the idea that anything done on a weekend or holiday does not require a building permit. That line was given to me by a Winters resident I ran into coming out of one of the big box hardware stores with a water heater one Saturday morning! A couple things people need to consider:
    • An unpermitted improvement which causes damage to your home is most likely not covered by your homeowners insurance and zero’s out warranties for the item installed. When that water line blows and floods a home, it could be an issue! Remember, insurance companies send inspectors out to “assess” the damage and they know the codes pretty well and can spot issues.
    • If/When a home is sold, it is the law that you disclose any and all improvements made to the home without the value of a permit. If you disclose or fail to disclose something during the escrow process, you can be assured that it will require inspection, permit and a correction.
    • If you get caught doing an improvement, the fees charged can be either double or triple. In the case of walls, the inspector will most likely require that the walls be opened up to view any electrical and plumbing which may be hidden.
    • A licensed contractor doing an improvement without a permit will be turned into the State Contractors License Board and can lose or have an action taken against their license.
    • Finally, while that uncle or the friend of a friend seems like a good person and tells you they can help save you a couple bucks, 100% of the responsibility is on the homeowner and they know that! Lack of a permit and life/safety issues all fall to the homeowner.
    • If someone is doing a project, come by City Hall and just ask what you need to do to make it all legal.
  • At the library…………Summer Reading Program runs until August 29. All ages are welcome to participate, everyone receives an a gift at sign-up. There are also fun programs every week at the library. Students who read over the summer on average increase their reading level by about half a grade, while students that don’t read slide back in their reading skills.
  • Guitarfest is next weekend (June 23-24). Concerts, displays and sales. For the schedule and ticket information, click
  • Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar Curry will be buying everyone a cup of coffee at Steady Eddies in Downtown Winters from 10:00 to Noon on Friday, June 16. Come visit with Winters most accessible State Legislator to both share concerns and learn about what is happening under the dome in our State Capitol.

Finally, those Capitol Police Officers who were providing the security detail for the congressional representatives who were fired upon while practicing softball are genuine hero’s. They put themselves in the line of fire and battled at close range with someone who had superior firearms capacity in the name of saving the lives of many. Those officers, some of whom were wounded, placed themselves in harms way with incredible bravery and courage. Light a candle for those wounded in this attack and give thanks every day to the men and women of our nations law enforcement who protect our security every day!

Have a nice weekend.

John


Search:

Department Links:

-City Clerk

-City Council

-City Council Agendas

-City Manager

-City Manager's Update

-Economic Advisory Committee*

-Future Leaders*

-Hispanic Advisory Committee*

-Personnel

-Planning Commission

-Putah Creek Committee

-Administrative Forms and Reports

-Website Posting Requirements


Note: to view online City documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer. Click to visit Adobe's download page (external website).