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.
Cost of Services (User Fee) Study
CITY OF WINTERS, CALIFORNIA
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A couple insights:
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.
The Yolo HCP/NCCP is a comprehensive, county-wide plan to provide for the conservation of 12 sensitive species “covered species”) and the natural communities and agricultural land on which they depend. The Plan will provide a streamlined permitting process to address the effects of a range of future anticipated public and private activities (“covered activities”) on these 12 species. The Plan area encompasses the entire area of Yolo County, approximately 653,549 acres, and includes conservation activities outside of Yolo County within an additional 1,174 acres along Putah Creek in Solano County.
Lot’s going on, so here goes:
City Council Agendas:
June 6, 2017
- Initiation of Weed Abatement Proceedings
- Amend Landfill Monitoring Services with Wallace Kuhl
- Amplified Sound Permit Application for St. Anthony’s Fiesta on 6/17/17
- Project Acceptance: Walnut Park Phase 2 Improvements
- Contract with Hdl for Sales Tax Services
- Consultant Contract with Hansford Economic Consulting
- Proclamation for Retired Mail Carrier Richard Pitts
- Approval of City-Wide Maintenance Assessment District FY 17/18
- TEFRA Public Hearing & Approval of Conduit Financing for the Blue Mountain Terrace Sr. Apts. Affordable Housing Project
- Intergovernmental Agreement w/Yolo County for Senior Services Funded from CDBG Grant
- Large Lot Parcel Map for Callahan Estates Subdivision to Divide Existing Parcel into 2 New Lots
- Cost Allocation Plan
- Voting Delegate & Alternates for the League of California Cities Annual Conference
June 20, 2017
- Planning Commission Appointments
- Contract Amendment with Wood Rodgers re: North Area Flood Hazard
- Update on Well 6
- Draft Storm Water Management Plan
- Callahan Phase 1 Final Map & Public Improvement Agreement
- On Call Contract with Geo-Tech
- Waste Management Rates Public Hearing and Contract
- Walnut Lane Roundabout Award
July 18, 2017
- Affordable Housing Plan for Olive Grove
- Olive Grove Subdivision Map
- Creekside Estates Development Agreement
- Building Fees
Other Items of Interest:
· Staff met regarding issues involving annexation and general plan issues last week. We are working to develop an overall process for looking at the annexation of land within the existing general plan area as well as updates to key master plans and an economic analysis for the City on a long range basis. Plans DO NOT include looking at annexation outside of the current general plan area.
· A key issue in the City are some locations which generate multiple Police calls. The City Attorney is working on an update to the municipal code to make addresses subject to repeated Police calls subject to code enforcement and nuisance citations.
- Fire Department will start live burn and wildland refresher training this Saturday and go through the end of the month in the north area of the City. They will burn during the day on the weekends and at night on the weekdays.
- Officer Jose Hermosillo was among over 200 officers from across Northern California honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for their efforts in identifying, enforcing and deterring intoxicated driving. Officer Hermosillo led the WPD in DUI arrests in 2016, arresting a total of 10 intoxicated drivers in the City of Winters and marks the second MADD award Officer Hermosillo has received.
· The start of construction for Main/Grant signal will commence on Monday, June 12. This is a four month project, mostly due to new requirements from Caltrans. They required a new type of traffic pole which has a 16 week order window. This means that most of the work on the signal will be completed by August, then the project will sit for the next 3 months until the pole arrives. Government requirements at its best!
· I had a chance to take a walk through the PG&E Gas Operations Technical Training Facility. It really is the most advanced vocational training facility in the world and I will tell you that it is better than advertised. The commitment to excellence is on display inside the building which I would describe as amazing! They expect most of the construction will be completed by August. A truly amazing facility which will be a benchmark for utilities around the world. The partnership between PG&E and the City in making this facility a reality in Winters is a real feat! Well done.
- Waiting for re-submittal of plans for the Downtown Hotel for the 3rd plan check. The building site can be re-graded anytime without a permit, which needs to be taken down 6” and compacted again.
- The final comments for Starbucks are expected today and will in turn be submitted electronically to Bureau Veritas. If received today, permits can be issued by the end of next week. As per architect, they plan to open before the end of August.
- Chevron gas & car wash are in plan check. Applicant said the marketing package and financing package are being wrapped up and they are updating plans for Title 24. Hope to receive the submittal package by August.
· Staff and Councilmember Bill Biasi met with the Chamber and local business folks to work on Economic Development Strategy. Key topics include the re-establishment of an Economic Advisory Committee and Chamber/City Collaboration. Overall a good meeting which will hopefully bring recommendations to the City Council in July.
· Fireworks will be on the Monday, July 3. Why?? Mostly to avoid the need to bid for licensed folks to come and shoot the show. We save a tremendous amount by doing the show on the third because there are a lot more pyro technicians available than on the fourth. In the past, the City was blessed with Fire Chiefs Scott Dozier and Dave Kidder who had their pyro licenses and shot the show for free. We are now in a position to hire outside “shooters” and it is really expensive. The costs we save from doing it on the third go into a longer and better show. Plus, folks have an opportunity to go to other shows on the fourth and we get more people coming into Winters to see our show on the third.
Finally, if you know CPR and want to expand your ability to save a life, download the Pulsepoint mobile app on your smart phone. Click HERE to go to their website. With the app, you will be notified if your CPR skills are needed within 300 feet from you in an emergency. The app has an automatic locator of AED (Defibrillators) and you can even get fire calls on your phone for any and all fire agencies you want to follow.
Pulsepoint is connected with Yolo Emergency Communications and you are literally notified of cardiac events at the same time as first responders. Its an incredible resource and I recommend you get it.
Have a nice weekend.
Yolo County EMS Agency brings lifesaving technology to Yolo County via integrated mobile app
Yolo County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Agency and Yolo County fire departments have joined with the PulsePoint Foundation to bring life-saving technology to the region via PulsePoint. The mobile app is designed to increase citizen awareness of cardiac events beyond the traditional “witnessed” area and engage them in potentially life-saving CPR.
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to the chain of survival, which requires: (1) early recognition of the emergency and phoning 911 for EMS, (2) early bystander CPR, (3) early delivery of a shock via a defibrillator if indicated and (4) early advanced life support and post-resuscitation care delivered by healthcare providers. Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly. For every minute that passes without a cardiac arrest victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent. After only 10 minutes the chances of survival are minimal.
Connected with the Yolo County Emergency 911 Dispatch Center and the UC Davis/City of Davis Dispatch Center, the PulsePoint app alerts CPR-trained bystanders when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs in a public place within a quarter-mile of their immediate vicinity. Users will be able to quickly find the victim and begin CPR immediately while waiting for EMS to arrive. The app also gives detailed instructions and locations of nearby automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).
Kristin Weivoda of the Yolo County EMS Agency added: “I highly encourage all Yolo County residents not only to download this life saving mobile app but also to become CPR certified and learn a skill that could one day save a life.”
The PulsePoint app can be downloaded for free on any mobile device. Additionally there is a PulsePoint AED app, which allows the public to register locations of publicly accessible AEDs. For more information on the PulsePoint apps, visit: http://www.pulsepoint.org/pulsepointrespond/.