Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The Council (6-1) approved the proposed increase in water, sewer, and solid waste rates, with the exception of storm drainage rates which received a majority protest. 
  • The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute the Grant Offer for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Project No. 3-06-0144-034- with the Federal Aviation Administration for $1,172,875.
  • The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving the Agreement with WSP USA, Inc. for Phase 2 of the Madera Transit Plan: Outreach and Implementation in the amount of $87,391.24 
  • The Council (6-1) approved the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2022-2023 Action Plan final funding allocations and sub-recipient agreements, including an updated recommendation of allocated funds for McNally Park. 

The Scene

According to its website, the Madera City Council, a board of seven, is the elected legislative body of the City of Madera. 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, July. 20, 2022, at 6 p.m., 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
  • Jerry Greens, 
  • Cynthia Ordagon
  • Khalid Chowdry
  • Greg Smit 
  • Chris Mariscotti
  • Candy Tally
  • Henrica Aira 
  • Director of Program & Training at United Way Fresno and Madera Counties Rico Peralta

Discussions/Actions

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

B-1 Approve the City Council Minutes of 09/01/21, 02/16/22, 03/02/22, 03/16/22 

B-2 Informational Report on Register of Audited Demands for June 25, 2022, to July 8, 2022 

B-3 Informational Report on Personnel Activity

B-4 Contract Award for Request for Proposals (RFP) 202122-13 Account Collection Services to CB Services, Inc. 

Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Awarding the Contract to CB Business Services, Inc. for RFP 202122-13, Account Collection Services 

B-5 Agreement for Design Services for Olive Park Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Awarding a Contract under RFQ No. 202122-15 to O’Dell Engineering for design services for Olive Park and Approving a Consultant Services Agreement for $238,013 

B-6 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program 2022/23 Grant Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Authorizing Submission of an Application to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program for the Fiscal Year 2022/23 

B-7 Letter of Appreciation for Senator Caballero Recommendation: Letter of Appreciation to Senator Anna Caballero for her support for the Avenue 13 Sewer Rehabilitation Project 

The public hearings focused on the following:

C-1 Public Hearing Relating to Potential Increases in Water, Sewer, Storm Drainage, and Solid Waste Rates 

1) Conduct a public hearing to receive written protests and public testimony regarding proposed increases in proposed water, sewer, storm drainage, and solid waste rate adjustments

2) Direct staff to tally all valid written protests and report whether a majority protest of proposed water, sewer, and solid waste exists. 

3) Water, Sewer, and Solid Wastes: If a majority protest does not exist relative to water, sewer, and solid waste rates, adopt the following resolution(s): 

a. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Madera, California, Establishing Monthly Rates to be Charged for Water Furnished by the City for five years and Repealing Resolution 15-156 and all Other Resolutions in Conflict Herewith; and 

b. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Madera, California, Establishing Monthly Rates to be Charged for Sewer Furnished by the City and Repealing Resolution 15- 157 and All Other Resolutions in Conflict Herewith; and 

c. Resolution of the City Council of the City of Madera, California, Establishing Monthly Rates to be Charged for Solid Waste Services Furnished by the City and Repealing Resolution 13-76 and All Other Resolutions in Conflict herewith Direct staff to tally the storm drainage ballots and report the results. 

4) Storm Drainage: If most voters approve the adjustment to storm drainage rates, adopt the Resolution Establishing Monthly Rates to be Charged for Storm Drainage Service furnished by the City and Repealing Resolution 92-120 and All Other Resolutions in Conflict Herewith.

Council may recall that it previously allocated 100 percent of the American Rescue Plan Funds to the wastewater (sewer) and water enterprise funds

  • $16 million for sewer
  • $6 million to water

Note that Enterprise funds may not be transferable to other accounts.

Utility rate increases must adhere to Proposition 218 and require a public hearing and voting procedures before rates can be increased. The Council can set rates for up to 5 years.

The Proposition 218 process sets the ceiling for the proposed rates, but the Council may adopt lower rates.

Recent awards totaling $8.5 million for the Avenue 13 rehab project were not incorporated into the BS study, given that they were unknown at the time. 

Water rates will increase one percent in years 1 to 3 and no increases in years 4 to 5. The water rates are on a “flat rate” instead of a tier system.

A flat rate means that residents are charged according to the water they use. 

Wastewater rates will increase 5 percent each year. 

Drainage rates have not been adjusted since 1992 and are suggested to increase to 15 percent. 

In light of SB 1383 and the NBS Study, staff has been discussing Mid Valley Disposal to extend the agreement and comply with recent State Guidelines.

Overall, solid waste rates are projected to increase. 

Staff recommends lower rates than those in the NBS study for Year 1. 

Staff recommends that for Years 2-5, Council adopt those in the NBS study; however, staff will return with updated rates. 

Commercial accounts will experience the largest increases largely due to SB 1383 and new State Guidelines relative to recycling and monitoring. 

Street Sweeping will need to be monitored and adjusted in future years.

Staff is proposing nominal reserves in the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, significantly lower than recommended by NBS.

City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez stated that the City is behind in infrastructure. 

In the public comment, Jerry Greens said the rate increase was “unacceptable.”

Cynthia Ordagon urged the Council and staff to be efficient. 

Khalid Chowdry suggested the City pick up blue garbage on alternate weeks and  pointed out the rate increase as “unconstitutional.” 

Greg Smit urged the Council to plan long-term.

Chris Mariscotti said an increase in sewer rates would hurt the restaurant industry. 

Candy Tally stated that “putting off” the rate increases will hurt the City.

City Manager Rodriguez pointed out a reserve in each fund and proposed a lower reserve on Solid Waste since MidValley will cover it. 

Henrica Aira suggested the Council have a citizen’s hotline. 

Based on the tally from 16,685 notices, the City received 26 protests on the proposed water rates, 37 protests on the proposed sewer rates, 31 protests on the proposed solid waste rates, 285 yes votes, and 1443 no votes over the proposed storm drainage rates.

The majority protested against the proposed storm drainage rates, while no majority protested against the proposed water, sewer, and solid waste rates. 

The Council (6-1) approved the proposed increase in water, sewer, and solid waste rates, except storm drainage rates which received a majority protest. Councilmember Mejia voted no. 

C-2 Public hearing to approve the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2022-2023 Action Plan final funding allocations and sub-recipient agreements, including an updated recommendation of allocated funds towards McNally Park 

Recommendation: Conduct a public hearing to receive final public input on the 2022/2023 Action Plan and: 

1) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($5,000) with Madera Coalition for Community Justice; and 

2) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($32,500) with Madera Rescue Mission; and 

3) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($35,400) with O.L.I.V.E. Charitable Organization; and 

4) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($10,000) with Pequeños Empresarios; and 

5) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($34,000) with Madera Coalition for Community Justice; and 

6) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($21,401.50) with the City of Madera, Parks & Community Services; and 

7) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($20,000) with Community Action Partnership of Madera County, Inc.; and 

8) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for services ($25,000) with the City of Madera Engineering Department; and 

9) Approving a Subrecipient Agreement for Services ($25,000) with the City of Madera Public Works Department (Report by Kingsley Okereke) 

The council may receive input from the public and the Block Grant Commission (CBG) on how to utilize the $982,010 of CDBG 2022- 2023 Action Plan funding.

The hearing allows Council the opportunity to make final determinations for allocations.

The Council (6-1) approved the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2022-2023 Action Plan final funding allocations and sub-recipient agreements, including an updated recommendation of allocated funds for McNally Park. Councilmember Gallegos voted no. 

C-3 Public Hearing to Consider Declaration of Nuisances and Abatement Order for Overgrown Weeds 

Recommendation: Conduct a Public Hearing to consider any objections to the proposed removal of overgrown weeds and adopt a resolution ordering the abatement of weed nuisances in the City.

The Weed Abatement Program aims to prevent fire hazards created by vegetative growth and the accumulation of combustible debris through voluntary abatement. 

The Weed Abatement Program is strictly for vacant lots to ensure that excess weeds and brush don’t become a fire hazard to surrounding properties.

Properties not in compliance will be subject to enforcement and decreased by a City contractor at the owner’s expense.

Fenced properties or properties with structures are not part of the Weed Abatement Program. 

However, if the property has dry, overgrown vegetation will be addressed as a public nuisance.

The Weed Abatement Program is important since it prevents fires, protects the health and safety of the public, keeps rights-of-way accessible, prevents damages to abutting properties, discourages illegal dumping, and reduces blight in our city.

The Weed Abatement process involves research, inspections, issuance of the 45-day notice, re-inspections, public hearings, reduction, and cost recovery. 

Properties that have undergone the Weed Abatement process are:

  • Vacant Parcel 008-142-034 of Parkhar Singh Dev. Co. Inc.
  • 1417 East Yosemite Avenue APN: 008-143-023 by Bertha Delgado
  • Vacant Parcels 011-074-013, 011-074-014, 011-074-016, 011-074-017, 011-074-018, and 011-074-019 of Moises Romero
  • 724 South A Street APN: 011-123-006 and 728 South A Street APN:011-123-007 by Helen Woods
  • 1101 South A Street APN:011-233-009 by Manuel Mendoza Inc.
  • Vacant Parcel 004-101-016 by Henry Junior Garcia (TE)
  • 121 North N Street APN:010-072-010 by Ohan Ohan
  • 1007 Emily Way APN: 012-253-002, Vacant Parcel 012-260-003, 1034 Barnett Way APN:012-270-002, and 1004 Barnett Way APN: 012-270-001 by RAI 1999 Family LTD PTP

The Council (7-0) adopted a Declaration of Nuisances and Abatement Order for Overgrown Weeds. 

Under Petitions, Bids, Resolutions, Ordinances, And Agreements:

D-1 Designation of a Stakeholder Group to Participate in a High Road Transition Collaborative for the Community Economic Resiliency Fund Program (CERF)

CERF is a program funded by the state that establishes 13 regions statewide to create

economic plans. 

The Central San Joaquin Valley Region includes Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties. 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution to designate a member to serve as a stakeholder for the High Road Transition Collaborative for the Central Valley Community Economic Resiliency Fund Program (CERF). The Council will discuss the naming of the member later. 

D-2 Designation of a Voting Delegate and Alternates for the League of California Cities 2022 Annual Conference 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution to designate Councilmember Gallegos as voting delegate and Councilmember Mejia and Montes as two alternates for the 2022 League of California Cities Annual Business Meeting. 

D-3 Calling for and Giving Notice of the Holding of a General Municipal Election to be held on November 8, 2022, for the Election of Council Members for Districts 1, 3, and 5; and requesting that the Madera County Clerk Render Specified Election Services 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution calling for and requesting consolidation of the City’s general election with the Statewide election on November 8, 2022, for the election of Council Members for Districts 1, 3, and 5 and that the Madera County Clerk render specified election services relating to the conduct of the election. 

Members of the City Council serve four-year terms.

The term of office for Members elected to serve Districts 1, 3, and 5 are scheduled to expire at the first Council meeting in December of this year.

Under California Elections Code $10,403, the City must file a resolution with the County Board of Supervisors at least 88 days before the election date, by August 12, 2022.

The resolution calls for and requests consolidation of the City’s general election, with the state-wide election being held on November 8, 2022, and the Madera County Clerk will conduct the election.

The cost for election services for the three Council seats is estimated to be $120,000. 

The amount is included in the adopted budget for the Fiscal Year 2022/23; however, should the cost exceed the estimated amounts, staff will prepare a budget amendment.

D-4 Provide an Update on the Progress of the Madera Transit Plan and Request Approval to enter into a Phase 2 Agreement with WSP USA, Inc. 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving the Agreement with WSP USA, Inc. for Phase 2 of the Madera Transit Plan: Outreach and Implementation in the amount of $87,391.24 

On June 18, 2020, the City was awarded $100,000 through the Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant for the development of the Madera Transit Plan. 

On April 21, 2021, Council adopted a resolution approving the agreement with WSP USA for the transit consulting services to develop the Madera Transit Plan.

The MP includes:

  • The development of Transit Service Design Standards
  • The evaluation of all fixed routes systems and efficiencies
  • The redesigning and restructuring of Madera Metro’s Fixed Route Transit Service

The MP will assist the City in offering transit services that are efficient and desirable.

The MTP will include redesigning and restructuring its three fixed routes, updated schedules, improved headway times, reduced miles traveled, and extended service boundaries and hours of operation.

The MTP will be delivered in two key phases.

  • Phase One consists of the research and development of guidelines and principles, standardized practices to assist the City Transit System, and recommendations for the redesigning and restructuring the City’s transit system.
  • Phase Two involves the continued redesigning and restructuring through public outreach, community engagement, and the implementation of Madera Metro’s newly designed fixed route system. 

Staff is proposing to extend the agreement with WSP USA, Inc through Sole Source Procurement for the delivery of Phase Two.

Under the City’s Finance Department Procurement Guidelines, Sole Source Procurement is a purchase accomplished through solicitation or acceptance of a proposal from only one source; or if competition is determined inadequate after solicitation of several sources. 

Sole Source Procurement would allow WSP USA, Inc. to simultaneously carry out both phases of the project with a delivery date of April 2023.

The alternative would be to release a new RFP after completing Phase One and complete the required procurement process.

This alternative would substantially delay the delivery of an efficient transit system as the procurement process could take up to six months.

D-5 Grant Offer for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute the Grant Offer for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Project No. 3-06-0144-034- with the Federal Aviation Administration for $1,172,875.

Administrative reports centered on: 

E-1 Discussion and Direction regarding a proposed Temporary Sewer Lift Station to serve the Villages at Almond Grove 

The City approved Village D; as part of the approval, the Developer must construct the Road 23 sewer trunk main.

A recent analysis determined that the existing Westberry sewer main has an excess capacity (up to 491 homes). 

The developer requests authorization to connect to the Westberry main until the Road 23 trunk main is constructed.

Today’s utility rates do not contemplate a Lift Station at this location. 

The developer is requesting to construct a Temporary Lift Station until they install the Road 23 trunk main. 

The cost to install and abandon the Temporary Lift Station would be paid for by the Developer. 

The developer proposes creating a special Community Facilities District (CFD) for ongoing maintenance. 

CFD would only apply to the 491 single-family homes and would be attached to the property tax, not the ratepayer. 

CFD is estimated to be $44 per year per home, regardless of whether a home is developed. Buyers would be notified at the time of purchase. 

Council (7-0) directed staff to seek direction to engage the developer and notify the developer to seek alternatives.

Councilmember Gallegos is concerned about the cost to residents when the lift station malfunctions.

Councilmember Rodriguez urged the developer to disclose information to the ratepayers. 

Council (7-0) directed staff to seek direction to engage the developer and notify the developer to seek alternatives.

The meeting ended at 10:26 pm. On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, the next meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. on YouTube

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at Documenters-admin@fresnoland.org with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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