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Friday Update for September 1, 2017

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Friday Update for September 1, 2017


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.




  • 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.


  • 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

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