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.
- 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.