Documenter: Ramiro Merino

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Council voted to approve the Facade Improvement Program, providing up to $25,000 in matching funds for the improvement of exterior appearances of commercial and retail properties in Reedley. 

  • The Council voted to adopt Resolution 2021-127, which allocates $150,000 of ARPA funding for future parklet activity, in anticipation of reconstructing certain parklets with permanent materials and making any necessary public infrastructure alterations to accommodate the permanent structures.

  • The Council voted to adopt Resolution No. 2021-117 amending the 2021-2022 Adopted Budget appropriating $1,341 in the General Fund from funds raised from fundraising activities and to cover the expenses associated with the Red Ribbon activities. 

Reedley City Council Board Members

  • Mary L. Fast, Mayor

  • Robert Beck, Mayor Pro Tem

  • Ray Soleno, Councilmember 

  • Anita Bentacourt, Councilmember

  • Matthew Tuttle, Councilmember 

The Scene

The Reedley City Council meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 by Mayor Pro Tem Robert Beck. The meeting was streamed live through Zoom. The meeting consisted of four of the five council members who were present, which included Mayor Pro Tem Robert Beck, Matthew Tuttle, Anita Bentacourt and Ray Soleno. Mayor Mary Fast participated in the meeting via Zoom. Other City staff present included Community Services Director Sarah Reid, City Engineer Marilu Morales, City Clerk Ruthie Greenwood, and Police Chief Joe Garza. Due to a recent increase in cases, the California Department of Public Health has mandated that everyone in California wear a mask in indoor public spaces and workplaces. The order is in effect December 15, 2021 to January 15, 2022. The Council members wore masks during the duration of the meeting. 

Public Comment

  • Erik Valencia, President and CEO of the Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce said “Thank you for the beautiful Christmas tree. We were able to have the Christmas in the Park event, along with the tree lighting. In July, the Chamber moved into a new office. The ability we have now is awesome. We had an opportunity to talk about outdoor dining options. We have our Holiday Mixer this Friday at 8 a.m. Come by, enjoy some coffee, some hot chocolate and meet our members.” City Clerk Ruthie Greenwood commented “The office is much larger than the last one and surprisingly they are actually saving money.” 

Consent Calendar

The Council unanimously approved all 11 items on the consent calendar as presented: 

  1. Approval of Minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of November 9, 2021

  2. Ratify the Authorization for the City Manager to Execute the Emergency Facilities and Land use Agreement with the USDA Forest Service

  3. Approve and Authorize City Manager to Execute a Clinical Laboratory Services Agreement with Shield T3, LLC for Covid-19 Testing Services

  4. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-117 Amending the 2021-2022 Adopted Budget Appropriating $1,341 in the General Fund to Cover the Expenses Associated with the Red Ribbon Activities 

  5. Adopt Resolution 2021-119 Declaring Listed Vehicles and Equipment as Surplus

  6. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-120, Approving the Continuation of the Development Impact Fee (DIF) Reduction Incentive Program 

  7. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-121, Accepting the Construction Improvements for Tract 6202 (Almond Grove), and Authorize the City Engineer to File a Notice of Completion with the County of Fresno Recorder’s Office

  8. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-122, Accepting the Construction Improvements for Reed Avenue Sidewalks from I to 8th Street and Authorize the City Engineer to File a Notice of Completion with the County of Fresno Recorder’s Office 

  9. Authorize Resolution No. 2021-123, Accepting the Construction Improvements for the Roadway Safety Signing Audit Project and Authorize the City Engineer to File a Notice of Completion with the County of Fresno Recorder’s Office

  10. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-124, Authorizing the City Manager to Execute All Agreements with the State Water Resources Control Board for the City of Reedley’s Wastewater Trunkline Upsizing Along Olson Avenue to WWTP Project 

  11. Consideration of Items Pertaining the Community Development Department 

    • (A) Adopt Resolution No. 2021-125 of the City Council of the City of Reedley Establishing a Salary and Benefit Schedule for Unrepresented Employees Reclassifying the Assistant and Associate Planner Position Classifications from Mid-Management to Non-Management

    • (B) Adopt Resolution No. 2021-126 of the City Council of the City of Reedley Adopting Master Salary Tables for all Employees of the City of Reedley Removing FLSA Exempt Status for the Assistant and Associate Planner Position Classifications 

Public Hearings

Consider Action Related to Annexation of Territory (Annexation No. 19) The City of Reedley Community Facilities District 2005-1 (Public Services) which includes the following: 

  1. Resolution 2021-128, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Reedley Annexing of Territory to a Community Facilities District, Authorizing the Levy of a Special Tax and Submitting Levy of Tax to Qualified Electors, City of Reedley Community Facilities District No. 2005-1

  2. Resolution 2021-129, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Reedley Declaring Results of a Special Annexation Election, Determining Validity of Prior Proceedings, and Directing Recording of Amended Notice of Special Tax Lien, City of Reedley Community Facilities District No. 2001-1 Annexation No. 19

“Since the requirement to annex into the CFO was imposed on all new development, development processed after November 2005 must be annexed into the existing CFO. To initiate the process for annexation of territory to a CFO, the City Council approved a Resolution of Intention for Annexation No. 19 on October 26, 2021. The Resolution of Intention set a public hearing for December 14, 2021. The Rate and Method of Apportionment (RMA) referred to in the ROI is the same as adopted by the City Council with the Resolution of Formation in 2005. The RMA provides, among other things, definitions of the special tax categories, identifies what properties will be taxed, and the maximum special tax.” The ballots were read, and there were 22 yes votes and 0 no votes. The Council approved the resolution on the annexation to the CFD. 

Administrative Business 

Approval of items pertaining to Downtown Improvements and Small Business Assistance

  1. Receive Update on the Status of Downtown Dining Parkets

  2. Call for a Joint Public Meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission to Consider Options for Permanent Dining Parkets

“On March 17, 2020, the Reedley City Council adopted Resolution No. 2020-017, proclaiming the existence of a local emergency (COVID-19); authorizing the City Manager, acting as the Director of Emergency Services, to take emergency actions in accordance with Reedley Municipal Code Section 2.8.4. Due to COVID-19 restrictions placed by the State of California, indoor activities for restaurants were first significantly impacted – and then ultimately restricted later in the 2020 calendar year. In September of that year, the Emergency Services Director authorized the placement of outdoor platforms, commonly referred to as “parklets,” fronting food service-related businesses in the downtown area, allowing those businesses who did not have private parking lots or adjacent lands to maintain outdoor dining areas. Following construction of said units in late-September and into October, and prior to use of the units, each user was required to enter into a user agreement with the City stipulating the term and responsibilities associated with use of the site; as well as provide insurance coverage for the area being utilized. Originally, 8 total parklets were placed, serving a total of 10 food service businesses. To date, 5 parklet units providing seating to 6 food service businesses remain.”

“Since original placement, and through today, staff has had consistent communication with the parklet users, downtown business owners and operators, the Reedley Chamber of Commerce, and the community at-large, in regards to the desired future of the parklets. The overwhelming majority of feedback has been positive, as the community and businesses feel the units have provided an additional level of service, aesthetic and activity to our downtown. The most common concern in regards to their placement and potential future is the impact that they have on parking. In addition to regular contact, staff also held two formal meetings in October and November of this year at the Chamber of Commerce with all parklet users, downtown business owners/operators, and interested general public, to garner additional feedback on the potential future of the parklets. While the general consensus amongst the group continues to be use of the facilities in a similar fashion to how they currently operate, staff intends to hold a special meeting in January with both the Planning Commission and City Council to formally discuss, and receive direction on, the future of the parklets.” 

  1. Approve a City of Reedley Facade Improvement Program, Providing up to $25,000 in Matching Funds for Select Commercial and Retail Property Improvements, and Grant the City Manager Authority to Implement Program Guidelines, including Promulgation of Non-Substantive Program Rules Not Emurated

“During the public outreach sessions for the parklets, several property owners inquired about any City incentives for improving their property and/or making ADA accessibility improvements. It was brought to the attention of staff that Kingsburg and other surrounding cities have successful Facade Improvement Programs. At one time, the City of Reedley did have a Facade Improvement Program, but when the Redevelopment Agencies were dissolved by the State in 2010, the program was cancelled. Staff researched the past program and the other city programs, including talking with Kingsburg staff about that City’s Facade Improvement Program, which was mentioned as an effective one. The Improvement Programs have acted as a catalyst for business owners to improve their property, and are generally considered to be successful in the eyes of the cities contacted. Since the City of Reedley’s past program was complex and difficult to process, City staff decided not to utilize the former Reedley Program, but used the guidelines and criteria from other cities to guide the development of this new program. The purpose of a Facade Improvement Program is to improve the exterior appearance of the commercial and retail properties in Reedley, beginning in the Downtown core where other improvements are currently being made, and eventually expand the program to all commercial corridors in Reedley. The Program will provide 50% matching funds, up to a maximum of $25,000, to reimburse property owners for improvements such as replacing signage, awnings and canopies; upgrading exterior lighting, landscaping, and pedestrian/ADA access; painting, replacement of windows, doors, and other exterior renovations. The goal is to remove and renovate aged and deteriorated building elements that property owners might not otherwise replace, if funding were not available. New construction projects, or projects for buildings that are in a state of deterioration beyond repair, would not be eligible for this program.” The Council approved the Facade Improvement Program, which will provide up to $25,000 in matching funds for select commercial and retail property improvements. 

  1. Adopt Resolution 2021-127 Amending the 2021-2022 Adopted Budget to Appropriate $150,000 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for Assistance to Small Businesses in the Form of a Facade Improvement Program

“All parklet activity has been funded solely through Federal and State COVID support monies, with no impact to the City’s local funding sources. Similar funding strategies for any actions with the parklets, as directed by City Council at the appropriate time, are anticipated. The City Council has approved a $150,000 allocation of ARPA funding for future parklet activity, in anticipation of reconstructing certain parklets with permanent materials and making any necessary public infrastructure alterations to accommodate the permanent structures. If the Council determines that permanent parklets are not to be constructed, the $150,000 will be available for other eligible ARPA-related activities.” The Council voted to adopt Resolution 2021-127 Amending the 2021-22 adopted budget to appropriate $150,000 in coronavirus State and local fiscal recovery funds under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

Approve and Authorize the City Manager to Sign Documents Related to Utilizing Professional Services to Recruit a City Building Official

“The City has experienced difficulty over the last four months in attracting qualified applicants for the vacant City Building Official position through its usual recruitment channels. The Community Services Department is currently contracting with 4Leaf, Inc. for these critical building inspection services. The consulting firm is struggling to provide the City with enough hours, due to the high demand for these services from all of its clients. The cost of utilizing a consultant to provide these services far exceeds the cost of a full-time City position. After discussions with multiple agencies, professional associations and trade groups, it was clear to staff that this is a nationwide issue for qualified building professionals, inspectors and related specialties. Qualified building inspectors are in short supply, and agencies up and down the State are struggling to fill public service positions such as this and in other critical areas like administration, finance/accounting, planning and maintenance, to name a few. As a further example of the challenges, several of Reedley’s neighboring cities currently contract out for building inspection services. The City has not utilized the services of a professional recruiting firm in the past decade; this is not a routine and customary practice of the City. Utilizing a recruiter offers several advantages, namely their extensive client networks, marketing expertise, and ability to reach people who may not be looking for a new job. While the cost to hire a recruiter generally exceeds the cost of doing a recruitment in-house, the City is spending far more money to contract with a professional firm for building official services, and will ultimately save money if a suitable candidate can be found to fill the City position. Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager to engage a firm for recruitment services. The recruitment process can take 14-16 weeks, and staff would like to begin the process as soon as proposals are received from the firms, and the most appropriate firm is selected. Since the next City Council meeting is not until January 11, staff is requesting the authorization now, without having a draft Agreement to provide to the Council.” The Council voted to approve and authorize the City Manager to sign documents related to utilizing professional services to recruit a City Building official. 


Discussion on Storage unit Garage Sale Activities 

“Storage unit providers are requesting allowance for sales of private property to take place at storage units, allowing renters to conduct ‘estate sale’ or ‘garage sale’ styled activities as opposed to having to relocate an item or items in order to sell, offered as a convenience to customers, does not include auctioning or liquidation activities, desired for a set time period (for example, set weekends, etc.). Some challenges include current definitions within the Municipal Code either do not align with the requested activities, or are not present, many definitions are dated, or no longer current with common trends, requests and practices. The opportunities include current programs and policies in place that can provide a solid foundation for a new program to accommodate the request.”

  • “Garage Sale” (Section 3-5-3) defined as: items of personal property, which are offered for sale to the general public from a person’s garage, paito, driveway, or similar private property setting.”

  • “Estate Sale” is not defined within the Municipal Code, but typically consists of sale or auction to dispose of a substantial portion of the materials owned by a person, and currently stored within a home-type setup; sales/auction activities conducted by a professional or firm, for a percentage of the revenues.

  • “Itinerant Vendor” (Section 3-2-11-8) defined as: hawker, solicitor, merchandiser, salesperson, peddler, or vendor, who hires, leases or occupies any hotel or motel room or other room, doorway, vacant lot, building or other place for less than 90 days associated with business activities.

The Council discussed their concerns for this. “We need to amend the code no matter what we do. We have not reviewed parking, safety, and RV’s being used”, said Councilmember Tuttle. Police Chief Joe Garza said “We have seen sales happening while driving by storage units. In my experience, I have only seen a few people at these sales at a time.” Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Robert Beck asked “Are we liable for this if fights break up, if property is stolen or vandalized? How about the access codes? Now a lot of people will have access codes to enter the storage unit that didn’t have it before. I think we need to take a step back and look at what other nearby cities are doing and what their policies are.” Councilmember Ray Soleno asked “Do we want to put city resources and staff and look into this or do we not think it is necessary to look into?” The Council agreed for the city staff to review and update the codes and present them to the Council at a future Council meeting. 

Receive Information & Reports

The Council received the 2020-21 Audited City Financial Statements and the Reedley Airport Commission Minutes of Regular Meeting on September 16, 2021. 

Council Reports

  • Councilmember Robert Beck: “I attended the tree lighting and we received a lot of great comments. The kids were having a good time. I too would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.”

  • Councilmember Ray Soleno: “Thank you everyone for your work. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” 

  • Councilmember Matthew Tuttle: “Thank you city staff. The parade was good. Merry Christmas everyone.”

  • Mayor Mary Fast: “I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe New year.” 

Staff Reports

  • City Clerk Ruthie Green: “We attended the Coalinga Luncheon. The City of Reedley received the “Most Ready Award” for SB 1380. We were compliant on day one of the code being enforced. The education process will start soon on what waste needs to be removed from the trash bins. Mid Valley is responsible for food recovery. Covid numbers are increasing statewide. Interestingly, the Fresno County numbers are going down. The mandate on masks being worn indoors is being enforced tomorrow again and will last four weeks. 2,400 bills were presented to the Governor this year and about 700 passed.”

  • Sara Reid: ”We did not get awarded the Camacho Park Grant.” 

Closed Session

The Council went to Closed Session at 9:11 p.m. 


The Council resumed from the closed session at 9:23 p.m. With no further discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Robert Beck adjourned the City Council meeting at 9:23 p.m.

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