A couple items this week:
· A very productive City Council Meeting this week. The Council approved the height increase for the Marriot Hotel, adopted both the sign and noise ordinance updates, approved consultants moving forward for the Senior Apartment Project and gave themselves a lot of liaison assignments. The Council was busy and have a lot on their plates.
· The City will see our new Police Chief, John Miller begin work on Monday, July 25. We will swear him in Monday morning but are in the planning stages for a transition ceremony in the coming weeks. If you see Chief Miller around, welcome him to our town.
· The City will say goodbye next week to Fire Chief Aaron McAlister who will be taking the position of Assistant Fire Chief for Contra Costa Fire Protection District. Chief McAlister leaves an incredible legacy with Winters Fire, bringing 24/7 service, developing our reserve firefighter program, bringing in almost $3 million in grants for new equipment and expanded training. The most significant accomplishment was his efforts to bring enhanced emergency medical services (ambulance) to Winters. He led the effort to take on the State bureaucracy and the result was the creation of the Yolo County Emergency Services Agency and the location of ambulance service in Winters. Under the leadership of Chief McAlister, we dealt with two of the largest fires in the history of Winters (Monticello and Wragg Fires) and have expanded the qualification and capabilities of our entire department. Winters Fire is blessed with an incredible history of volunteers and fire chiefs who laid a solid foundation for the department. Chief McAlister can easily be considered the Chief who moved the Department into a more modern era. We appreciate all he has done for Winters and wish him the best in his new position.
· The City will also say goodbye to Chief Joseph Kreins who has served as interim police chief for the past 6 months. Under Chief Kreins, we have seen a very thorough audit of the Police Department, a comprehensive staffing re-organization and some incredible leadership training for our officers. The officers will tell you that Chief Kreins is “a cops cop” and I will tell you that he is an absolute dream for a City Manager. He did an incredible job and we appreciate his service.
· The PG&E Gas Operations Technical Training Center is really moving and we can get ready to see the buildings coming out of the ground. Click HERE for a complete update on this amazing project. I had a chance to walk the project with the City’s inspection team and the construction manager for DPR Construction, Ian Bollinick this week and it is very impressive. I have never seen such a well run operation and a focus on getting things done. An absolutely first class operation!
· It looks like the Grant Ave/Walnut Lane Roundabout is moving forwarded. Final plans and maps have been recorded with Caltrans and the encroachment permit will follow. The project will be out to bid and hopefully we will see construction move forward in the fall. The bureaucracy of Caltrans is immense and it is a miracle that we have reached this point! Good news!!
· The traffic signal for the intersection of Grant Ave/Main St is in design and for an encroachment permit with Caltrans. Look for this project and light to be installed sometime after the first of the year. This is a bit more simple than the roundabout, so hopefully we will see things go a bit quicker.
· Tell everyone with abandoned, inoperable or unlicensed vehicles that they either need to store them someplace or be prepared to get a citation. The Police Department has been giving warning citation throughout town to vehicles on the street and on private properties for those unregistered. The citations going out now are “warnings” but please be prepared for “real” citations in the coming weeks.
· The Putah Creek Phase III project will be stalled for another year. The impending litigation from the Winters Friends of Putah Creek and obstacles put up to finalize permits simply will not allow construction within the tight window we have to do the restoration project. Look for all of this to start up next year!
· The City is accepting applications for the Planning Commission. Click HERE for an application. The deadline for applications is on Monday, July 25 by 5:00.
Thanks and have a nice weekend.