Here’s what you need to know:
- City Manager John Holt presented the council with the city’s $298 million 2022-2023 annual budget showing a general fund emergency reserve at 22%. He said $27 million would be focused on investing in older Clovis neighborhoods on projects, including $7.5 million on affordable housing and new trails and parks.
- The Clovis City Council approved the city’s 2022-2023 annual action plan for the expenditure of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The city received a 6.6% decrease in funds from HUD, bringing its total available CDBG funds to $758,855 of which the majority will be spent on an alley reconstruction, the Gould Canal trail, housing rehabilitation grants and administration.
- The council approved seven items on the consent calendar, including supporting the Fresno County 2022 Homelessness Priorities, a list of projects funded by SB1 and the owner-occupied home rehabilitation loan program and first-time homebuyer and mortgage assistance loan program guidelines.
At the start of the meeting, three attendees were present via Webex and seven attendees were watching live via Youtube.
Clovis City Council Members:
Jose Flores, Mayor (also Chief of Police, State Center Community College District Police Department)
Lynne Ashbeck, Mayor Pro Tem (also Senior Vice President Community Engagement and Population Wellness, Valley Children’s Healthcare)
Vong Mouanoutoua, Council Member (also External Relations and Project Development Director, Community Medical Foundation)
Bob Whalen, Council Member (also Fresno County Deputy District Attorney and candidate for Fresno County Superior Court judge)
Drew Bessinger, Council Member (also Chief of Police, Fresno Yosemite International Airport)
Mouanoutoua led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Bessinger read a proclamation honoring the life and legacy of Daryle Lamonica. Family members of Lamonica were in council chambers and posed for a photo with the council. All the council members commented on his legacy and thanked his family for sharing him with them and the community.
Ashbeck read a proclamation celebrating State Farm’s 100-year anniversary. State Farm agents were in council chambers and took photos with the council.
Whalen presented a proclamation declaring May 15 to 21, 2022 as National Public Works Week. Two city public works employees spoke in council chambers, including Steve Mejia, president of the Clovis Public Works Employees Association. They played a video highlighting several city employees and the work they do. The council was invited to the Corporation Yard Wednesday at noon for a barbecue celebration.
From there, the meeting was open for public comment and no public comments were made. But they did note that some correspondence was received. City Manager John Holt said that he was requesting street sweeping after city cleanup on a private road, which they currently don’t provide. Holt said city staff would contact him.
- Approved minutes from the May 9 meeting.
- Approved an ordinance adding a section to the municipal code relating to campaign contribution limits to provide for electronic filing of campaign statements and statements of economic interests.
- Approved the owner-occupied home rehabilitation loan program and first-time homebuyer and mortgage assistance loan program guidelines.
- According to the agenda, the city obtained $5 million through the CalHome Program and $1 million from the HOME Program for owner-occupied home rehabilitation and first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance.
- Approved supporting the Fresno County 2022 Homelessness Priorities as adopted by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.
- Approved the purchase of a $96,197 per year maintenance and support contract for the city’s network/telecommunications equipment from Zones, Inc.
- Approved waiving the city’s usual purchasing requirements and authorized the purchase of the spare platform with spare pooled ondemand and amended the 2021-2022 transit budget to add $50,620 to do so.
- Approved a list of projects funded by SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act.
- According to the agenda, the project list is for eight street sections that have been called out in the 2022-2023 five-year community investment program.
- The estimated cost for the eight projects submitted for the SB1 list is $7.47 million.
- The council added an item to the agenda and then continued it to a date uncertain-a request to approve a site plan review for the construction of a new approximately 2,500 square foot visitor center for the Botanical Garden located at 945 N. Clovis Ave.
- They said it was noticed, but not on the agenda.
- Approved a request to amend the General Plan to redesignate approximately 2.51 acres from the Industrial classification to the Office classification for property located on the west side of N. Clovis Ave, immediately north of Highway 168.
- City Planner Dave Merchen presented the item.
- He said the site has remained vacant since the early 90s.
- He said there is a planned industrial area adjacent (Dry Creek Business Park) and was inadvertently extended onto the project site.
- Whalen asked why they were keeping the property south of the site as industrial.
- Merchen said that the property has different owners and there has not been a lot of coordination there yet.
- Whalen asked if the property owner could redesignate that property to office and if it could be city-generated.
- Merchen said the same logic would apply and the same zone was mapped incorrectly.
- Mouanoutoua asked about the nearby home and if it’s ever sold and developed, what would happen to it.
- He also asked if the other sites wanted to develop the site as industrial.
- Merchen said they will run into a similar consistency issue and they will need to be remedied.
- Ashbeck asked about the designation of office versus industrial.
- A resident named David White asked if traffic studies have been done in that area and how congested it gets especially on weekday mornings.
- He also asked if the homes in the area were already there when it was zoned and asked about how many stories the building would be and what homes would be impacted.
- Merchen said there is not a development project in progress yet, but he suspects they intend to in the near future. But no traffic study has been done yet.
- Whalen explained the General Plan designation and there would be another time in the process to weigh in on what actually goes there.
- White said he would withdraw his statement.
- The council then voted to approve.
- Approved the closure of an election on a rate increase in Landscape Maintenance District zones one and five. They received approximately 4,600 ballots and will be tabulated and declared on June 6.
- Assistant Public Utilities Director Glenn Eastes presented the item.
- Increase of $21.00 to existing annual rate, from $78.50 to $99.50.
- They sent out 11,241 ballots in zone one and 3,652 to zone five.
- They had approximately 4,600 ballots returned, as expected.
- Results will be declared on June 6.
- A resident in the area said that it was shocking that they hadn’t had a rate increase since 2004, but the climate is tough right now. “I’m all for it, I just think the timing is bad, it could’ve been done three, four, five years ago when the economy was booming,” he said.
- He said that he received a notice in his bi-monthly utility bill and that they want him to rinse containers clean before recycling.
- Flores said that was a state requirement. Eastes said it’s language that has been there for a while.
- Resident Paul Williams also commented. He said he supports the rate increase because he uses all the bike trails and appreciates nice parks.
- “I think it’s long overdue and I don’t think I’m going to miss $21,” he said.
- Approved adoption of the 2022-2023 annual action plan for the expenditure of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
- Management Analyst Claudia Cazares presented the item.
- She said there was a change that was different from the staff report and she would share a handout with the council members.
- She said they found out on Friday they received a 6.6% decrease
- She said they received one public comment on their facebook page that requested the funds be used toward adult special needs activities.
- HUD requires the city to adopt the action plan for identifying projects for the expenditure of CDBG funds.
- A total of $758,855 in CDBG funds is available for 2022-2023:
- $125,000 for housing rehabilitation
- $200,000 Brookhaven/Rosebrook alley reconstruction
- $134,255 Gould Canal Trail between Peach and Minnewawa Avenues
- $55,000 for microenterprise
- $104,282 for area-based policing (code enforcement)
- $139,771 administration
- Mouanoutoua said that Clovis is always left out and Fresno gets more money.
- “I would just encourage that you be a major part of those discussions,” he said and urged her to get involved in Fresno’s projects because they need to work together.
- He also asked if there were any plans for additional Habitat for Humanity homes or Self Help Enterprises affordable homes.
- Cazares said they will be discussing additional funding for home repairs and low income home purchases using state funding.
- Cazares said she’s now a board member on the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care.
- Bessinger said he is glad to see the Gould Canal trail on the list because it is an area of town that is underserved by parks.
- Whalen asked about the trail and exactly how it runs. He said maybe the county can help connect it and use their CDBG.
- Management Analyst Claudia Cazares presented the item.
- Reviewed the city’s 2022-2023 annual budget, which totals $297.5 million, and five-year capital improvement program.
- City Manager Holt presented the budget:
- The emergency reserve is being maintained at 22% or $21 million set aside for unforeseen emergencies.
- Holt said individual department presentations will be on June 13 and it will be approved then.
- Whalen asked about city staffing and what the appropriate level is.
- Holt said the data is from 2021 and he will take a closer look at it.
- Mouanoutoua asked if the projections were made with the current inflation rate.
- Finance Director Jay Schengel said they projected a 3.66% increase in most expenditures. But they didn’t include enough to cover the current rate of inflation.
- Schengel said it is controlled by department budget limitations.
- Ashbeck said that what scares her is that they can’t keep up.
- “The challenge now is sustainability,” she said.
- Resident Paul Williams said that it’s refreshing that they are planning to add more officers.
- “I’m of the opinion that the war on law enforcement started in 2008 and we need to stay consistent on the lawlessness that’s out there,” he said.
- City Manager Holt presented the budget:
- Approved a letter of support for SB1410 providing policy direction recommending reduction of VMT applicability in environmental reviews.
- City Manager John Holt presented the item.
- According to the agenda, the bill would reduce VMT applicability in environmental reviews, reducing challenges to developing housing and job-generating projects in areas of planned growth in Clovis.
- Holt said it was amended on Friday and it “kind of killed the deal.” He said nothing will be done until the implementation study is done.
Flores then opened the meeting for city manager comments:
- Holt said there is a mayor’s breakfast on Thursday.
- He said the transient occupancy tax will come back before council on June 6.
Flores then opened the meeting for council comments:
- Mouanoutoua said he went to a prayer breakfast. Also, the opening of Provost & Pritchard and a new Mountain Mike’s Pizzeria.
- He also said they approved the local choice funding allocation in the Measure C committee.
- “I think the citizens of Clovis are best looked after because you are helping us make the best decisions,” he said.
- Whalen said the trail counter is still broken and has been broken for months. He said he thought there was an issue with price and that if they can expedite the repair, he thought it would be good for the community to see that it’s not broken anymore.
- Holt said the manufacturer is in Canada and the actual part they need is in France.
- Bessinger said that as a member of the air board he would be sending a letter of opposition to AB2550, which is going to “create a situation where now community-based groups are forced into the process and now get a seat at the table.” “It just creates another level of bureaucracy and I think it’s actually going to be harmful,” he said.
- Ashbeck said regarding Measure C 30-year funding builds in a better citizens oversight committee.
- He said the funding for active transportation is still important and it’s considerable over the 30 year period.
- Measure C Renewal Committee Chair Ashbeck said there is a question about not doing it in 2022, but that she thinks the polling is better than it was in 2006.
- “I think more time is just more time, I don’t know that we’d get any better in two years,” she said.
The meeting adjourned at 8:04 p.m. The next Clovis City Council meeting is June 6 with the budget adoption to follow on June 13.
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