Here’s what you need to know:

  • Due to Omicron, Public Health Director Sara Bosse stated that cases are upswing of the case rate of 150. She expects an increase in “another week or two.”

  • NBS Principal Consultant Allan Highstreet pointed out that the use of capital reserves and (American Rescue Program Act) ARPA funding avoids significant water and sewer rate increases.

  • The Council (7-0) unanimously approved item D-1, which establishes a 2 percent tax for cannabis business owners.

The Scene

According to its website, the Madera City Council, a board of seven, is the elected legislative body of the City of Madera. There are six council districts. The district elects members of the City Council and the Mayor at large. Members of the City Council, including the Mayor, serve four-year terms.

The meeting was in-person on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, at 6 pm, yet accessible via YouTube.

Officials Present:

  • Mayor Santos Garcia 

  • Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans, District 4 

  • Councilmember Cece Gallegos,  District 1 

  • Councilmember Jose Rodriguez, District 2 

  • Councilmember Steve Montes, District 3 

  • Councilmember Elsa Mejia, District 5 

  • Councilmember Artemio Villegas, District 6

Others Present:

  • City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez, City Clerk Alicia Gonzales, City Attorney Hilda Cantu Montoy, and Public Health Director Sara Bosse, Financial Services Manager Anthony Forestiere, Director of Human Resource Wendy Silva, NBS Principal Consultant Allan Highstreet, Grants Administrator Marcela Zuniga, Greg Clumpner from NBS, Edward McIntyre, David McPherson from HdL, Rico Saldivar, Chief of Police Dino Lawson


Due to Omicron, Public Health Director Sara Bosse stated that cases are in an upswing of the case rate of 150. She expects an increase in “another week or two.”

She added that hospitals are overwhelmed, especially in Fresno, while Madera Community Hospital is faring. The department is concerned about staffing and testing capacities.

The department received a small allocation to meet gaps for people with “access” issues.

She advised residents who have symptoms to assume that they are COVID positive, stay at home for a minimum of 7-8 days, wait for symptoms to resolve, and come out of isolation.

Then, she recommended residents who have symptoms use the OptumServe site, while those asymptomatic can use the rapid test.

Lastly, she said that residents could order testing kits through

Anthony Forestiere introduced Marcela Zuniga as the new Grants Administrator.

A-1 Update on Water, Sewer, Storm Drainage and Solid Waste Rate Studies.

According to City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez, the City retained NBS to help prepare rate studies (also known as Proposition 218). Outside legal counsel peer-reviewed the water rate study.

The city is also preparing a Development Impact Fee (DIF) study (new construction)

Council previously directed staff to allocate $23 million, or 100% of American Rescue Plan Act funds, to infrastructure

  • $6 million for Water

  • $17 million for Wastewater

  • If not, rates would have seen significant increases.

In context, the 2015 Water Rate Study:

  • Create a minimum reserve fund by 2019/2020 (short by $2 million in 2015)

  • Assumed a $24 million debt issuance in 2019/2020 (which did not happen)

  • Previously operated at $540,000 deficit

  • At the time, the City did not adopt the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

  • The rate study incorporates the SGMA.

The 2015 study did not anticipate the following:

  • Significant increases in salaries in 2017

  • Significant increases in parts and supplies in 2017

  • Assumed that the reserves would partially pay for the water storage tank and the City would bond for the rest

These factors hampered some of the planned capital projects in the draft study.

The study did not assume that grant funds are guaranteed.

  • The city is exploring grant funding through the State for the water tank.

The study also assumes:

– General inflation rate of 3% annually

– Water supply, salaries, benefits, fuel, and electricity would increase 5% annually

The Study considers two options: uniform and a two-tier system. The City currently has a three-tier system.

The study assumed that reserves would pay the majority of the water tank.

The study stated a rate adjustment of 3% in the first year and no adjustments in future years.

Regarding wastewater, the City did not complete all projects anticipated in 2015.

The city did not anticipate the emergency $4 million repairs in 2018, nor was the Pecan Avenue repair. Thus, the City would defer some capital projects.

The City would have a deficit of $908,000 by 2026 if it made no adjustments.

The City will spend $17M in ARPA for the wastewater treatment plant, which will increase 5% annually for five years.

Since 1992, the City has charged a flat drainage fee of $2 per home. The studies propose an 8% increase annually through 2025 and 2026  to address localized flooding in Northeast Madera.

Regarding solid waste, SB 1383 will require that the City adjust rates.

The city has ongoing discussions with Mid Valley regarding rates while anticipating a 25 percent increase.

City transfers $602,000 to other departments, including:

  • Police: $21,000

  • Streets: $398,000

  • Graffiti abatement: $44,000

  • Code Enforcement: $19,000

  • Parks: $120,000

The solid waste study includes street sweeping.

The study proposes a flat fee while the City conducts street sweeping based on the frontage.

Today, the City does not collect adequate funds with a shortfall of $261,000.

Afterward, NBS Principal Consultant Allan Highstreet provided further information about the various rate studies.

According to him, rate setting for enterprise funds is governed by Proposition 218

  • Limits authority of local government to impose taxes, assessments, fees, and charges. Requires voter approval for increases in these charges,

  • Charges are limited to the cost of providing the service and may not be imposed for general governmental services available to the public.

  • User charges for water, sewer, and solid waste are subject to a protest vote (protest votes must be 50 percent + 1 of the accounts).

  • User charges for storm drainage require an affirmative vote (more votes favor the increase than opposed).

Based on industry standards, the rate studies follow a three-step process of creating a financial plan, cost-of-service analysis, and rate design analysis.

The rate studies hope to follow the cost of service, ease of administration and understanding, and revenue stability.

The Water Enterprise Financial Plan estimates the consumer rates to recover from costs.

These costs include operation and maintenance (O&M), debt service, planned pay-as-you-go capital projects, and reaching reserve fund target balances.

The ARPA funding of $6M applied to Water Enterprise. Staff is also working on additional grant funding.

Rate revenue requirements = 0&M + debt service + capital – non rate revenues (licenses, fines, application fees, etc.).

He pointed out that the use of capital reserves and ARPA funding avoids significant water and sewer rate increases.

The study evaluated two options. Option 1 would put all customers on a uniform variable rate. Option 2 would put Residential (Single & Multi-family) on a two-tier inclining rate structure. Combine tiered rates for SFR and MFR.

The City applies ARPA funding of $16 million to Sewer Enterprise.

On solid waste, Greg Clumpner from NBS stated that the exact Proposition 218 requirements govern the rate-setting for solid waste as for water and sewer.

Solid waste rates are significantly different than water/sewer because services are contracted out (to Mid Valley Disposal) vs. City operations.

Mid Valley’s contract and other City overhead costs remain the basis for the rates.

SB 1383 costs are high and included as a 35% Surcharge

  • This surcharge collects about $2.0 million per year.

  • Final negotiations with Mid Valley will determine Solid Waste costs in the longer term.

Street sweeping costs have now joined into Solid Waste Rates. Thus, there is no longer separate billing for street sweeping.

Residential rates were collected and incorporated into the City’s Admin Fee.

•Total costs are approximate:

  • 70 percent for Mid Valley contract

  • 18 percent for Transfers Out & Interfund charges

  • 8 percent for Street Sweeping costs

  • 4 percent for City salaries and benefits

Cost-of-service analysis, provided by Mid Valley, assumes that:

  • Two-thirds (66%) of revenue should come from residential & about one-third (34%) from commercial. The 34% commercial revenue is 26% from commercial bins & 8% from other commercial services

  • Overall solid waste costs are 80% collection-related and 20% disposal-related

  • $28/ton is the estimated landfill disposal cost (tipping fees).

  • Mid Valley and City Staff reviewed the adjustments for container size and the number of pickups/ week.

The cost-of-service analysis lays out the annual revenue by customer class.

On residential, the basic service charge decreases by 20% (from $23.22 to $18.58/month)

The primary service charge includes the following additional costs:

  • Admin Fee of $2.33/month (Residential Customers only)

  • Street Sweeping charges of $1.54/month

  • AB 1383 Surcharge of $7,69/month (Single Family)

On commercial, the most common service charge (2 CY bin/1X week) increases by 182% (from $52.11 to $146,72/month)

Clumpner provided the following recommendations:

  1. Eliminate current differences between what the City pays Mid Valley for each type of service and what the City charges customers

  2. Complete contract negotiations with Mid Valley

  3. The proposed rates will collect more revenue than under a contract extension with Mid Valley (assumption from Staff)

  • If the proposed rates are adopted, the City can still implement lower rates later if needed.

On the various rate studies, the following steps for the City Council are:

  1. Staff will return to Counçil for formal action once the rate study is complete.

  2. Council approves Rate Studies and Proposed Rates.

  3. Start the Proposition 218 Process. Mail notices and set Public Hearing date (no sooner than 45 days after mailing).

  4. Rate Approval Will be Requested at Public Hearing if No Majority Protest.

  5. An affirmative vote of 50%+1 will be needed to pass storm drain rate increases.

Councilmember Rodriguez asked how rates in Madera compare with other nearby municipalities. Highstreet assured that the rates are similar across the valley.

City Manager Rodriguez maintained that uniform charges are cost-justified due to nominal differences.

First, the Council (7-0) unanimously approved items B-1 to B-12 of the consent agenda.

B-1 Approve the City Council Minutes of May 19, 2021

B-2 Informational Report on Register of Audited Demands December 4, 2021, to January 7, 2022 (Report by Anthony Forestiere)

B-3 Informational Report on Personnel Activity (Report by Wendy Silva)

B-4 Amendments to Lease Agreements at the Madera Intermodal Transit Center

1) Resolution Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Lease Agreement between the City and Madera Cab Company for the use of office space at the Intermodal Transit Center

2) Resolution Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Lease Agreement between the City and Greyhound for the use of the Intermodal Transit Center (Report by Anthony Forestiere)

B-5 Actions Related to Successor Agency Annual Budget Reporting to the Department of Finance (Action on this item by the Successor Agency)

1) Resolution Adopting the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) Representing Period of July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, for the City of Madera as the Successor Agency of the Former Redevelopment Agency

2) Resolution Approving the Administrative Budget for the City of Madera as the Successor Agency of the former Madera Redevelopment Agency of the City of Madera for the Period of July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023 (Report by Anthony Forestiere)

B-6 Resolution Approving Assignment of Third Amended Lease Agreement from Madera Aviation Group, LLC to CA Pacific Investments LLC (Report by Daniel Foss)

B-7 Resolution Approving the Airport Rescue Grant Agreement for $59,000 with the Federal Aviation Administration (Report by Daniel Foss)

B-8 Amendment to the Application for Transportation Development Act (TDA) – Local Transportation Funds (LTF) and State Transit Assistance (STA) Funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021/22

Adopt a Resolution Approving the Amendment to the Applications for TDA– LTF and STA Funds for 2021/22 and Authorizing the City Engineer to Execute and Submit the Applications to the Madera County Transportation Commission (MCTC) (Report by Keith Helmuth)

B-9 Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Howard Road and Granada Drive

1) Acceptance of Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Howard Road and Granada Drive, City Project No. TS-17

2) The Recording of Notice of Completion

3) The Release of Retention 35 days after Recording of the Notice of Completion (Report by Keith Helmuth)

B-10 Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Howard Road and Westberry Boulevard

1) Acceptance of Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Howard Road and Westberry Boulevard, City Project No. TS-19

2) The Recording of Notice of Completion

 3) The release of retention 35 days after the recording of the Notice of Completion (Report by Keith Helmuth)

B-11 Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon at the Intersection of Stadium Road and Gary Lane, CDBG No. B18MC060053, City Project No. TS-29

1) Acceptance of Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon at the Intersection of Stadium Road and Gary Lane, CDBG No. B18MC060053, City Project No. TS-29

2) The Recording of Notice of Completion

3) The release of retention 35 days after the recording of the Notice of Completion (Report by Keith Helmuth)

B-12 Resolution Authorizing Submission of the Clean California Local Grant Program Funds Application for the Fresno River Project (Report by Arnoldo Rodriguez).

The public hearings focused on the following:

C-1 Public Hearing regarding Annexation No. 10 (Omni Subdivision) into Community Facilities District 2005-1 and Related Actions (reported by County Manager Gary Conte)

The CFD 2005-1 levied an annual special tax to finance police protection services, fire protection and suppression services, park maintenance, and storm drainage system operation and maintenance.

CFD 2005-1 fund the gap between the revenue generated by new development and the cost of delivering the services desired.

The initial annual assessment was $311 for a single-family home, growing to $499.48 in 2021/22.

Tax is deposited into the General Fund since impacts are specific to the General Fund.

Utilization of the tax is purposefully broad, such that “the City may finance any services or facilities permitted under the Act.”

The city approved Annexation No. 10 Omni Subdivision (TSM 2018-07) on February 12, 2019. The annexation involves 61 single-family lots

TSM conditions require annexation into CFD 2005-01

Council Approved Resolution 21-170 Declaring the City’s Intention to Authorize the Annexation of Territory into CFD No. 2005-01.

The Council also set the Date of Special Election for January 19, 2022

Recommendations for the item comprises:

1) Adopting a Resolution Authorizing the Annexation of Territory (Omni Subdivision) to Community Facilities District (CFD) 2005-1 (Annexation No. 10) and Authorizing the Levy of a Special Tax and Submitting the Levy of Tax to the Qualified Electors

2) Adopting a Resolution Calling a Special Election and Submitting to the Voters of Annexation No. 10 of the City’s CFD 2005-1 Propositions Regarding the Annual Levy of Special Taxes within Annexation No. 10 to Finance Police Protection Services, Fire Protection, and Suppression Services, Park Maintenance, and Storm Drainage System Operation and Maintenance Within the District

3) Conducting a Special Election of the Qualified Electors of Annexation No. 10 of the City’s CFD 2005-1 and Declaration and Certification of Results Thereof

4) Adopting a Resolution Making Certain Findings, Certifying Results of an Election and Adding Annexation No. 10 to CFD 2005-1.

The Council (7-0) unanimously passed resolutions #1 and 2 of C-1 and Annexation No. 10 to CFD 2005-1.

Regarding petitions, bids, resolutions, ordinances, and agreements, the Council centered on the following:

D-1 Establishment of Cannabis Business Tax Rates Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Setting the Cannabis Business Tax Rates for Various Types of Commercial Business Permits (Report by Arnoldo Rodriguez)

In November 2020, voters approved Measure R establishing a ceiling for a Cannabis Business Tax.

Voters established the maximums, but Council may confirm rates lower than maximums.

The council may also raise/lower the tax rates from time to time by resolution. Staff recommends 2 percent.

Staff reached out to nearby cities on their cannabis tax rates.

The cannabis retail tax ranges between 4 percent in Fresno) and 10 percent in Coalinga.

Also, cultivation varies with some charge per square foot and others by percentage.

In a written public comment, Edward McIntyre urges Council to consider startup cannabis business owners by having a 1-2 percent tax.

Councilmember Rodriguez asked about the competitive edge that Madera has to offer to cannabis business owners.

David McPherson from HdL clarified that rates are competitive and attractive.

The Council (7-0) unanimously approved item D-1, which establishes a 2 percent tax for cannabis business owners.

The administrative reports focused on the following:

E-1 Request by the Greater Madera Kiwanis to assist in the 4th of July Community Event

Historically, the City has hosted the 4th of July Firework Show at the Municipal Golf Course, which the City hosts and includes a golf tournament.

Due to budget constraints and COVID-19, last did so in 2017.

The parks’ budget was slightly less than $60,000, including $25,000 for firework displays.

The Kiwanis Club approached the City to host the 4th of July celebration.

1) Adopt a Resolution Waiving the Fees to Cover the Costs of Police Services for $2,869.

Areas as potentially requiring assistance are:

  • Developing promotional material

  • Transporting spectators

  • Identifying and contacting firework display companies

  • Designating City staff to carry out kid-related activities

  • Program development

  • Yet to be determined financial assistance

2) Provide direction on the City’s involvement in the Community Event.

Chief of Police Dino Lawson hopes that the event would lessen the incidence of illegal fireworks.

The Council (7-0) unanimously approved the E-1.

E-2 Seek Direction Regarding the 2022 Regular City Council Meeting Schedule

The item is a follow-up to the December 15, 2021 item Council approved the Calendar item presented

Staff inadvertently recommended canceling the November 2 meeting due to the election.

Staff recognized that November 2 would not interfere with the election date and remain on the 2022 Council Meeting Calendar.

Other items staff took into consideration:

  • Holidays

  • League of CA Cities Trainings

  • School calendars, including Madera High, Madera South, MLK, TJ, and Desmond schools

  • Some schools have planned graduations; others do not

  • Currently, schools schedule graduations for June 2 and 3.

E-3 Remote City Council Meetings Under Brown Act Requirements (AB 361)

The workshop is a follow-up to the Nov. 3, 2021, item

  • Council elected to return to in-person meetings consistent with the Brown Act vs. online meetings

AB 361 allows the City to meet if approved by the Council remotely; 30-day increments.

The Brown Act permits remote meetings.

  • The schedule must be posted 72 hours in advance.

  • The agenda must identify each teleconference location, and the site shall be accessible to the public.

  • A quorum of the legislative body members shall participate from within the City.

AB 361 permits remote meetings

  • The schedule must be posted 72 hours in advance.

  • Agendas are not required to identify teleconference locations

  • Teleconference locations do not have to be accessible to the public

  • A quorum is not needed for members of the legislative body to participate from within the City.

1) Council would decide to allow Public Meetings by the City Council and All Boards, Commissions, and Standing Committees of the City with the remote meeting requirements set forth by the Brown Act

2) Council to decide to Adopt a Resolution Authorizing Remote Teleconference Public Meetings by the City Council and All Boards, Commissions, and Standing Committees of the City under Assembly Bill 361 for 30 Days.

City Attorney Hilda Montoy and City Mayor Garcia said that AB 361 provides flexibility in City Council meetings.

The Council (6-1) voted item E-3. Meanwhile, Councilmember Gallegos voted no.

Lastly, councilmember reports, announcements, future agenda items include:

F-1 Report Regarding Current Elective Mayor Process

The council may consider the report and determine whether or not it wishes to modify or repeal the current process for the election of the Mayor at large.

The Council may take no action on this item.

The meeting ended at 9:37 pm. On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, the next regular meeting will be at 6:00 pm on YouTube.

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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