Mark your calendars!
Friday street sweeping and pile collection is changing to Monday.
Your first pick-up will be Jan. 2.
Please Note: City Hall will be closed from 12-23-16 thru 1-2-17.
Some project updates:
· The SR 128 Roundabout Project bids will go before the City Council on January 3 with a recommendation for rejection. Essentially, the bids came in about $700k over the engineers budget and the City simply does not have the funds to do the project. Staff will be talking with representatives from SACOG and other agencies to see if we can find other funds to go toward the project. Additionally, the engineers will be talking with contractors who bid the project to determine why there was such a huge discrepancy between the estimates and bids.
One reality of doing capital projects is a combination of the increased cost of materials and fewer contractors doing work these days. When the economy collapsed in 2008, so did many construction companies. As the economy has rebounded, the emergence of companies doing work has been especially slow. This means fewer companies which equals fewer bids and the competitiveness for projects is significantly lower, thus the contractors can bid higher which drives costs. Also smaller are the suppliers of materials which also increases costs. This all points to higher costs and dramatically fewer projects in our future.
· Staff is currently in the midst of developing our estimates on the costs of implementing the new Chromium 6 projects and operations. This includes a review of estimated project costs, estimates on operational aspects, debt service to pay for the massive capital expenditures and ultimately what the new rates will be for our customers. This is a high priority project and we will hopefully have some firm numbers in the coming months.
With CR6, a Judge has ordered the Department of Drinking water to provide an economic impact analysis of implementing the new regulations on consumers and water providers. The good news is that someone is finally sobering up and realizing that this is a massive cost and burden to both utilities and ultimately rate payers. The bad news is that the timing of the economic anaylsis may be too late to help everyone. We are still waiting to hear whether the Judge will suspend implementation of the new requirements pending the analysis.
In Winters, we see the requirement adding close to $120 per month ($1,440 annually) to customer bills, taking the monthly water rate for the most frugal water user to over $200 per month! Very low income in Winters is someone with a monthly income of approximately $750 per month. To follow the impact, that means that the water bill alone will now represent 26% of that low income persons monthly income. Deduct a very low income rent of about $350, $50 for sewer, $100 for other utilities (phone, electric or cable), that will leave $50 a month ($1.66 per day) for food, medicine and other expenses. I challenge everyone to try to live on $1.66 per day for the next month and see how you do!
Once we have our firm numbers, I plan on sending the Judge and the folks at the Department of Drinking Water the information for their economic study. Maybe they can compare which benefits more, having an MCL which is 90% lower than 49 states and the federal requirement, or forcing people to live on $1.66 per day. We will see……………….
· The traffic signal at Main/Grant is inching closer to a permit. The final plans are being dropped at Caltrans this afternoon and we are praying for a permit for the signal this Xmas.
· Walnut Park has been hydro-seeded and the recent rains have been a blessing for helping to establish the seeds. A little sunshine will go a long way toward encouraging the turf to grow. I recommend driving by the site to take a look with the caveat that you drive by in 3 years when the landscaping will start taking shape. This is going to be a beautiful park in the coming years.
· The Planning Commission took up two items on Tuesday, including approving a variance for side yard setback for a new home on Russell Street and modifying zoning definitions for second residential units to keep our zoning code compliant pursuant to some new legislation going into effect in January. We have a really good Planning Commission and they are doing well.
· Cannabis is a hot topic throughout Yolo County. The County is working on regulations regarding the regulation of cultivation in the rural areas. The other cities are looking at both distribution and sales. In Winters, we are waiting for the details of Proposition 64 to be released by the new State agency and will follow suit once those are in place. The City WILL be looking at the nuisance issues for personal grows in residential areas which is becoming a problem.
· December 3 was an epic night in Downtown Winters with the tree lighting, Second Annual Tractor Parade and the arrival of Santa. A big congratulations to the coordinators Megan Curry, Kathy and Wade Cowan, Carrie Green and a small but dedicated group of volunteers who pulled off an epic event. These folks really brought an incredible and memorable evening. AND, don’t forget all the farmers and ag folks who were the stars of the evening! A special thanks to the folks from Yolo Balloons for not burning down all the trees with their fiery display on the back of the Turkovich Float!
There will not be a Friday Update next week!
Hanukkah begins next Saturday, Christmas is Sunday and New Year the following weekend. Who can believe it!!
I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season. Winters is a community which is blessed with beauty, wonderful people and a spirit which brings and incredible quality of life. As you gather with friends, families and neighbors, give thanks for all we have and pray for an incredible 2017.
I am providing the minute notes this week from our Management Staff Meeting to give a little insight into the doings of all of the City Departments. First, a couple highlights of things happening on the larger scale:
• We opened bids for the Walnut Roundabout today which had a construction budget of $800k. The bids came it at $1.4m which summarily stops the project. Caltrans took almost four years to review the project and the result was an almost 75% cost escalation. The City has spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to move this project through the Caltrans bureaucracy. A very frustrating day!
• Welcome back to Wade Cowan to the City Council. Wade will be sworn in at the December 20 meeting. The Council will then select the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.
• Congratulations to Maintenance Staff member Ricky Castro who received his Wastewater Treatment I license from the State Water Resources. This is a big step for Ricky and really adds to the credentials for our Public Works Department.
• The Fire Department is still accepting toys for the Toys for Tots Program. Items can be dropped off at the Fire Station.
Here are the staff meeting notes:
City Council Agendas:
December 6, 2016
• St. Anthony’s Parish Street Closure Request – December 11
• Grant Avenue/Walnut Lane Roundabout Cal Trans Master Agreement
• Construction Engineering for Roundabout Project – Laugenour & Meikle
• Construction Agreement w/Ample Electric – Shade Structure Electrical Work @ Walnut Park
• Project Budget Sheet for Water & Storm Drain Improvements – Hotel Winters LLC (DT Hotel)
• El Rio Villa Sewer Lift Station Pump Replacement was awarded
• Reclassification of Building Permit Technician to Management Analyst
• Recognition for Outgoing Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
• Wade Cowan was appointed to Fill City Council Vacancy
December 20, 2016
• Swear In New City Council Member Wade Cowan
• Main Street Signal Far Western Contract for Archaeological Services
• Roundabout Construction Award
• Selection of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore
• Waste Management Contract Renewal
• Sprayed weeds, burned off brush in the ponds, removed leaves and cleaned the storm drains before the rain started.
• Water pipe attached to the water tank behind the out-building at the Corp Yard was dug up and will be capped underground.
• Water heater at the Community Center will be replaced due to a water leak in the janitor’s closet. Don’t forget your permit!
• Urinal flush valve at Public Safety Facility leaks; repairs (expensive) are being considered.
• C & D (Construction & Demolition) ordinance is increasing from 50% to 65% of waste to be recycled in 2017.
• Fee Study and Cost Allocation Plan meetings began yesterday. Kristine has been very helpful.
• Working on getting the Financial Statements to the State Controllers Office.
• Hope to have the CAFR and Business License renewals out by Christmas.
• Attended Fire District Board meeting yesterday.
• Any change of address should be forwarded to Finance for payroll and the issuance of W-2’s.
• Working on policy changes and MOU’s.
• Making final PERS audit adjustment that involve MOU wording.
• Majority of employees want to change dental coverage to Guardian, which would be effective back to December 1st.
• Youth basketball sign ups have ended, with an increase of 60 kids from last year.
• Excused to attend a new legislation personnel law update webinar.
• Assisted with the parking count exercise last Friday; collected data for 400 parking spaces in the downtown, which lasted for 14 hours at 15-minute intervals.
• Conference call with Ethan, Lisa Baker and Domas re: property split & the senior development.
• Domas will finalize approval for a diagonal parking plan on E. Baker; City Engineer approved an 11-foot path of travel.
• Meeting with Senior Foundation Board today regarding the planned Senior Center.
• Chamber Board meeting tomorrow.
• Meeting tomorrow with Alan, Eric and Todd Tommeraason re: parking lot and alley improvement sequencing.
• Working with Ethan re: CHOC documents.
• Asphalt has been finished, path and sidewalk fixes and hydro-seeding has been completed at Walnut Park. Shade structure work will commence once Empire has completed their work. Striping is still needed.
• DT Hotel mylar map has been recorded!
• Planning Commission agenda packet for the December 13th meeting is ready to go out.
• PG&E is moving along, although the rain has slowed them down just a bit.
• New homes at Winters Ranch are going well.
• Will be attending a Code Enforcement conference in Santa Clarita the week of January 23rd.
• Will be taking Dago out on code enforcement visits for bilingual services.
• Traffic control for tractor parade went well and the road closure was a good thing. City Manager would like to set a meeting with WPD and Megan, Kathy & Carrie from the Chamber for after action review and to draw up a memo re: Standard Operating Procedures, including a parking plan, off load plan, and route plan. Moving forward, all entries will need to submit a certificate of indemnification on behalf of the City. There is a need to coordinate with Mariani re: event parking.
• Car pursuit occurred on Monday morning. Driver was apprehended after a 55-minute chase.
• Police Department Fee Schedule meeting is scheduled for today.
• Drafted a general order for DUI cost recovery up to $12,000; details will go to the City Manager for final approval.
• Meeting with the school board tonight re: juvenile restorative project.
• Movie night in the Fire bay on Friday night – the movie will be Finding Dory!
• Regarding the upcoming Monticello multi-agency drill, proposing 2 days of training, with Solano County on one day and Yolo County on the other day. Winters Fire Dept. and CHP helicopters would be involved both days.
• Department is looking into values and replacement prices for W26 and W226 water tenders. A grant has been submitted, but is not likely (as per the Fire Chief.)
• Reviewing Emergency Medical Services contract w/EMS Services and the management of penalty funds (if the ambulance arrives late.)
• Pagers are being re-issued.
• Fire Department is preparing for movie night.
• Tractor parade went well, with 15 personnel assisting, including volunteers. There were 2 calls during the parade.
• TOYS FOR TOTS ALERT! Gift-wrapping will be done on 12/14 at 5:30 p.m. and gifts will be distributed on 12/24 from 9am-11am. Santa will be there too!
• PG&E gas line training will take place on 12/28.
• Police & Fire: check with personnel regarding radio upgrades and report any issues with dispatch.
• Attended a YECA board meeting yesterday.
• In light of the Oakland tragedy, code enforcement is a team effort. If anyone from any department sees something, it needs to be flagged. Gene will take the lead.
• Will meet with Police and Fire about mass casualty procedures and a training regimen, including a process for code enforcement issues that are found. Gene will take the lead.
John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager
Just a couple items of events this weekend which should suffice.
· The Winters Friends of the Library will be holding their annual Family Holiday Festival this Saturday at the Community Center from 10-2. This is the must do activity for kids of all ages.
· The Third Annual “Great American Piano Drop” will happen at 2:00 on Saturday out at Berryessa Brewing on Highway 128. The Downtown Piano will perform its last concert before being raised hundreds of feet (rough estimate) in the air and dropped to its final destiny. Last year it was thrown off the trestle bridge with this year being even better!!! Nothing better than really good beer and falling piano’s.
· The Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting and Tractor Parade will commence at 6:30. More than 50 tractors and the most tree lights ever.
· Winters Theatre Company will hold performances of “A Christmas Carol” at the Community Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A not miss!!!
· FFA is selling Christmas Trees at the Ag site from 9 a.m. until the are sold out.
Have a nice weekend and watch for the falling piano’s.
A little insight into some of those key (really important but not necessarily shiny) issues starting to shape up for 2017 and things we will be working on:
· Pension: One of the most important issues facing California cities is how organizations will meet the impending pension crisis as boomers are retiring and annual contribution begin climbing. Pension stabilization and funding will be one of the more significant issues to be dealt with and will be the focus of a council meeting at the start of 2017. Staff is working on a strategy to fund and lighten the impacts which includes recommendations to the City Council.
· Fees: From water and sewer to building and swimming, fees are under review from both sides of the equation (both up and down). Chromium 6 and State regulation will be front and center and it will not be pretty, especially for seniors and the lower income folks who get thrown in with everyone else but have proportionately higher impacts. Right now, we are looking at water increases of a minimum of $1,200 a year per residents. The economic impact will be close to $3 million from the Winters economy alone by this State mandate.
· Streets: As one of the smallest cities in the Sacramento Region, we get very little revenue to put toward the maintenance of our streets and roads. Examining options for funding and maintenance strategy will be an important discussion.
· General Plan: The City’s current General Plan will reach our 2018 horizon date in just one year. Strategically discussing when and how updates will occur will be forthcoming.
· Economic Development: Capitalizing on the PG&E project, new hotels and advancements in local agriculture will be front and center. Also, strategically seeing how we support all sectors of business development will be looked at. The key will be increasing jobs, vitality for existing businesses and expansion of local opportunities. It will be an exciting time for Winters and something fun to work on.
· Emergency Preparedness: From Police and Fire to public works readiness, the City will be conducting extensive training for staff and volunteers on our response capabilities.
A couple items from this week:
· The opening and ribbon cutting of the Yolo Federal Credit Union branch in Winters was an exciting evening. The facility is absolutely incredible and will be a real asset to our community.
· The City Council approved the drilling of a pilot well hole which will include extensive geological analysis regarding Chromium 6. Costs are starting to mount and this State mandate will cost tens of millions. The $150k spent on the test well will look like a drop in the bucket when we are spending upwards of $40m. Crazy!
· City and WJUSD staff met to discuss the Summer Munchkin Program which provides summer care, enrichment and tutoring to a large number of students in our community. A really good meeting and City staff left impressed with the support from much of the WJUSD administration of the program.
· The USDA Rural Development Program was in town talking small business and agricultural funding opportunities. Literally a “gold mine” of programs in support of small business. Look for additions to the City website with the information and resource links. Better than good!!
· Winters High English teacher extraordinaire Matt Biers Ariel has a new novel out called Light the Fire. It is about high school. He will be doing a reading as a fund raiser for Winters Friends of the Library on December 8, at the library at 7:00 PM. The book is available on Amazon. I have my copy already and so far, it is a great read!!
· Salmon are slowly starting to return up Putah Creek. Go down and check them out!!!!!!!!!
Finally, as most on my distribution know, there is no Friday Update during the Thanksgiving Holiday week. The reason is everyone turns on their “out of office” with their email and the responses (sometimes up to 2000 hammers my email).
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and count your blessings for the incredible community we live and work in. Winters is a beautiful, safe and caring town where kindness and neighborly support still exists. Do something nice for someone and show some love. It’s what the holidays are really about (really!!).
First, gratitude and appreciation to all of our Veterans! Freedom around the world is because of your service to the world! Our nation is the leader of a free world, and it is because of those who have served and sacrificed! Thank you!
For those outside City Hall, I thought I would share the notes from our management staff meeting which consists of all City Department and Division Heads. A little insight into things going on in each Department.
City Council Agendas:
November 15, 2016
· Holiday Tree Lighting & Tractor Parade Street Closure & Parade Permit–Saturday, December 3
· Presentation by Solano Community College Superintendent/President Celia Esposito-Noy
· Seed Money for Winters Community Dinner
· Approval of Sole Sourcing Well #9 Pilot Hole Drilling
· Filling a City Council Vacancy and Appointing a Councilmember to Serve as Mayor
December 6, 2016
· Bond Refinancing – Successor Agency
· Waste Management Contract
· Funding Application to State Revolving Loan Program for Chrom 6
· Appointment to Fill City Council Vacancy
· Jim & Ricky will be cleaning sewer lines and storm drains on the south side of Grant Avenue.
· Water valve installed on hydrant on Mermod and finished lateral service to the Old Catholic Church on Main Street.
· Measured footsall court w/Dago.
· Did a walk-through and signed off on the public works portion of Yolo Federal Credit Union.
· Staff will be erecting wall for outdoor showers at the swimming pool next week.
· Bob & Ramiro will be attending emergency operations training in Woodland next week.
· Crew will split in two and alternately attend open trench training.
· Bob & Ramiro will be taking their T1 and T2 tests, respectively.
· Weeds coming up through the park are being sprayed at Walnut Park; Sal is also pruning and cleaning the dog park area.
· The roundabout is out to bid; bids are due by 12/1.
· First Salmon Festival was successful with 300-400 people attending.
· Working with group for bond refunding, which is being submitted today to the Department of Finance.
· Draft financial statement is ready to review.
· May need to get a quote from the HDL property tax division.
· PG&E property will remain on the county tax rolls until the doors are open. Once open, it will then go into the state utilities pool, where we will see a lower assessment value.
· Working with FEMA on a grant.
· Putting together a 2017 training calendar. Will contact department heads for feedback and to schedule monthly lunchtime training.
· Youth basketball signups are under way.
· Will meet with After School & Munchkin program coordinators, who will then meet with the school district next week to discuss some issues.
· Employee internal newsletter will be starting, which will contain stories, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
· Working with Ethan on the new marijuana issue from the Human Resources side; updated smoking ordinance generalizes “smoking.”
· Request to Bargaining Units to tie up uniform and holiday pay language; sick leave can be addressed after 9/30/17.
· Attended a Parking Committee data collection meeting; tentative date to collect the parking committee data is 12/9.
· Met with Align Capital on Monday re: Workforce Development. Working with SCC President Celia Esposito-Noy and WHS Principal Nicole Reyherme on employer job spreadsheets as an organizational tool to identify positions available. Also looking at apprenticeships with businesses. Over 100 jobs will be available once the downtown hotel is completed (Buckhorn & hotel)
· Dan & John gave a Blue Mountain Terrace presentation to the Winters Senior Foundation yesterday, resulting in some minor changes.
· Conference call w/Domas scheduled for today regarding revised funding strategies and the split of the property.
· YFCU Grand Opening/Chamber Mixer on 11/14.
· New City Councilmember orientation re: Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Center on 11/15.
· Yolo County Sector Working Group meeting on 11/16.
· Person reported living out of his vehicle at the end of Dutton Street.
· Chamber Board meeting taking place in Council Chambers this morning.
· Piano drop is scheduled for Saturday, November 26th @ Berryessa Brewing.
· Planning Commission approved Jordan’s garage, Winters Healthcare item, and Wingard’s Lot Line Adjustment.
· Planning Commission training is needed; they are seeing themselves as regulatory.
· Finalized YFCU with a couple of minor adjustments needed – will be monitored by Gene.
· Architect for City Hall remodel will get something to Gene by the end of the week. Will move forward with non-permit work.
· Kristine will be out of the office on Tuesday afternoon attending training; office will be closed.
· A duplex (two units) is being constructed as one house on the old Catholic Church property.
· A Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for YFCU.
· Will give mylar maps for hotel civics to Alan for signatures.
· Winters Highlands tract with 2-story homes is going well; smallest ones are 1,800 sq. ft.
· Department was on stand-by for mutual aid for Davis for post-election protests.
· Repeat offender 16 year-old cited for possession of marijuana for sale resulted in family being evicted from apartment by property owners.
· Department is performing aggressive community outreach, including visits to Waggoner, Bilingual Story Time, Girl Scout Challenge, and movies in the fire bay with night shift.
· Took a tour of YFCU last Friday, provided education and security input re: robbery awareness. Will attend school board meeting to discuss restorative justice.
· Active shooter scenario is approaching.
· Officer Hermosillo/Winters PD Canine Unit is working with the Fairfield Canine Unit.
· In-House roll call training tonight, which defines tactics and includes a taser update.
· Received information for FEMA’s ICS-400 Advance Command & Complex Incidents Training with Yolo County on March 29-30, 2017. Will contact YEMSA to sign up (due by 1/27/17)
· Processing future reserve to serve in the DA’s High Tech Crime Unit.
· Putting together a regional, multi-agency swift water and creek rescue training exercise for this winter.
· Annual Shrimp Feed on Saturday (cocktails @ 5pm, dinner @ 6pm)
· Draft marijuana ordinance has gone to the City Manager, Police Chief and Planning Department, which addresses commercial marijuana activities in addition to outdoor grows. City of Davis currently has a moratorium in order to figure it out, but are taxing it.
· Working with Alan on the speed limits, which aren’t an issue right now. When speed surveys are completed in a couple of years, we will look at it again.
· Development Agreement for Dry Creek/Catholic Church property in Planning for review and to the developer.
· Working with Shelly re: reimbursement agreement and inter fund agreement re: Chrom 6.
· Working with Carol re: Waste Management agreement.
· Measure D passed with 70% of the vote. School district should start moving on the first phase of the plan. No CEQA has been completed yet and City will offer assistance where needed.
· Staff Pie Making Exercise: Wednesday, November 23rd @ 3pm at the Fire Station kitchen.
· Holiday Breakfast on Thursday, December 22nd
Notes on the election:
· The passage of Measure D for the Winters JUSD is a big deal for the community! The investment of almost $32 million from Measures D and R will be significant.
· The passage of Proposition 57 will ultimately see 16,000 people previously in prison released and on the streets of California. It’s tough to do time in prison now and police will become the social and mental health workers of the world now. Its amazing that raping an unconscious person, assault with a deadly weapon, hostage taking and domestic violence and hate crimes are considered “non’violent” and are not crimes which would keep someone in prison.
· Possession of heroin, date rape drugs, methamphetamine and cocaine are now misdemeanors! Things which were once crimes are not considered such anymore and will have a significant impact on the culture of California. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
· The passage of Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana will put most of the issues related to marijuana to bed in relation to use and possession. In Winters, the issues will surround outdoor cultivation which we will address through the nuisance ordinance (there is a reason why they call it skunk weed!)
· The election of Bill Dodd to the State Senate will enable the City to continue what has been a solid relationship with someone who has been helping the City on a number of key legislative issues.
Finally, the election of Cecilia Aguiar Curry to the Assembly is not only good for Winters, but really important for the State of California. As Mayor and City Councilmember, Cecilia has shown how she is an extremely effective leader who will represent many constituent bases in the District and people throughout California. She is bright, charismatic and someone who works for what is the best solution on critical issues. The State Legislature can use the pragmatism which Cecilia will bring. In an era where partisanship has made the public cynical about the political process, there is no doubt that Cecilia will transcend party politics to do what is best for all Californians, which will be refreshing.
There are a lot of mixed emotions in losing someone of Cecilia’s caliber to a higher office, but all of us need to rejoice and show pride that the values which come from someone from Winters will now have influence in Sacramento. We need to be proud that a Winters High grad will bring small town influence to the leadership of the greatest state in our union. Cecilia always stressed “getting Winters at the table”. If there is anyone who can get and keep California at the Federal table, it will be her!
Cecilia’s last City Council Meeting will be on December 5. Not a time to be sad in losing an incredible Mayor, but a time to celebrate someone moving on to do incredible things on a bigger stage!
Have a nice weekend.
The Winters Community Pool is Closed for the Season!
11/10/16 Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee Meeting Agenda
A couple items……..
This Saturday, it is all about the inaugural Salmon Festival in Downtown Winters. Click HERE for the website and the following are the particulars:
Time: 10:00 – 4:00
Where: Downtown Winters- Rotary Park
Enjoy: Local Food and Local Music
Field Trips: Free Shuttle to Lake Solano
Activities: Face and Fish Painting, Trout Derby, Fly Casting, Raffle, Silent Auction and More!
Learn: About our salmon and projects to restore Putah Creek spawning areas.
A couple more items going on…………….
· The Walnut Lane Roundabout is finally out to bid. Carol.Scianna@cityofwinters.org is the project manager for any questions or information.
· The main items at the City Council included approval of doing a refinancing/refunding of redevelopment bonds, adoption of the Nuisance Ordinance and a Zoning Text Amendment and the re-transfer of the Railroad Ave Parking Lot from the Redevelopment Agency back to the City.
· Walnut Park will see they hydro seeding of the turf next week. The park looks absolutely beautiful!!
· The Relay for Life was a HUGE success this past weekend. Congratulations to the 35 teams which participated and special accolades to the coordinators including Cheryl Moore, Reana Laevelle, Tracy Jensen and Emily Donlevy! The battle to find a cure for cancer will be won with people like this leading the fight one community and one step at a time. The Winters Relay has raised almost $33,000 from this year’s efforts. Great job!!
Winters Warriors play Pierce High tonight for a place in the Northern Section Playoffs at Dr. Sellars Field. 5:30 JV and 7:30 Varsity. Go Warriors!!
John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager