Documented by Matthew Carnero-Macias
Here’s what you need to know
- The total budget for the Reedley Olson Ave. Trunk Line Upsizing Along Olson Avenue to Wastewater Treatment Plant and Headworks Improvement Project will cost about $4.27 million, including in funding construction, construction management, materials testing, construction staking and contingencies. It’s funded by the California State Water Resources Control Board, sewer capital, fire development impact fees (DIF), law enforcement DIF and storm drain DIF.
- During staff updates, City Manager Nicole Zieba announced she and staff decided to remove the Zoom chat feature during council meetings, ultimately taking away the opportunity for participants to engage remotely and share comments. She cited other cities have dealt with numerous chat threads wherein offensive and inappropriate comments were made. “We will still have Zoom, people can still watch what we do, but we will no longer accept public comment via Zoom,” she said. “Legally we do not have to.” Zieba informed the council the public may continue to make comments in-person and ahead of meetings via mail.
- Following the public hearing, the council approved Ordinance No. 2023-009, granting an extension and renewal of an urgency ordinance temporarily placing a moratorium on the establishment of any new uses concerning warehousing or laboratories with biosafety levels 2 through 4. The motion demonstrates the council’s due diligence and commitment to General Plan 2030, which states the city will “protect the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens through the
implementation of land use plans, policies and programs to meet the needs of its community.” The response is to a recent incident in which the code enforcement officer discovered an illicit operation, underscoring the need for amending zoning regulations for businesses that may deal in infectious substances or biological storage and research.
- What is the public’s opinion of the removal of the Zoom chat feature during council meetings? How will the decision affect public participation? With other cities cited as examples, what are the examples in Reedley? To what degree are Zoom participants using profanity and obscenities during Reedley City Council meetings?
The Reedley City Council convened for its regular meeting on Oct. 10.
Council members present were: Mayor Anita Betancourt of District 5, Matthew Tuttle of District 1, Mary Fast of District 2, Suzanne Byers of District 3 and Scott Friesen of District 4.
This meeting was held without any public comments.
- The council unanimously approved the consent agenda, which included seven items:
- 3. Approval of minutes of the regular council meeting of september 26, 2023
- 4. Approve and authorize the city manager to sign an assignment and assumption of lease associated with the airport ground lease agreement between the city of reedley and ito packing co. inc
- 5. Approve and authorize the city manager to sign a commercial proposal and sales agreement with adt commercial to provide alarm services for the reedley community center
- 6. Adopt resolution 2023-075, accepting the construction
- Improvements and wellhead remote treatment facility project for municipal Water Well 12 and authorizing the public works director to file a notice of completion with the Fresno County recorder’s office
- 7. Adopt resolution 2023-076 amending the 2023-24 adopted budget, appropriating $9,552 in the general fund for a donation received from the Reedley Police Officers Association for special response team equipment – (Police Department)
- 8. Consider the following items (a) and (b) for the Reedley Olson Avenue Trunk Line Upsizing along Olson Avenue to Wastewater Treatment Plant and Headworks Improvement Project:
- a. Adopt budget resolution 2023-077 amending the fiscal year 2023-2024 budget to appropriate available funds in the amount of almost $4.5 million for the project.
- b. Adopt resolution 2023-078 awarding a construction contract to the W.M. Lyles Co. for the project.
- 9. Adopt resolution 2023-079 granting authority to the city manager or her designee to enter into a professional services agreement with Nv5 Inc. for construction management services for the project.
“We realized there was nothing addressing medical laboratories or laboratories that were research and development labs that deal with infectious substances to humans,” said City Manager Nicole R. Zieba during the public hearing. “We wanted to work some changes into our zoning code.”
“We feel like this is now happening more and more to cities and we do not want to have profanity, obscenities and we certainly do not want to have anti-semitic comments on our archive for the public,” said City Manager Nicole R. Zieba during her staff report on removing the chat feature in Zoom.
“We were the first city to turn in our draft and the first city to get back something from Housing and Community Department,” said Mary Fast during her report on the Reedley Housing Element update.
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