City Hall

The Civic Minute: what’s happening at Citrus Heights City Hall? (Aug. 9)

Proposed mandatory rental inspections. Public hearings. Grant funding increase. $416,000 contract. Infrastructure project. Those are some of the topics on schedule for the Citrus Heights City Council’s Aug. 9 meeting.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s included in the 190-page agenda packet, followed by vote highlights from the most recent council meeting:

Agenda Items of Note:

  • Mariposa Safe Routes To School, phase 4. The city council will consider approving a $416,462 contract with Bennett Engineering to provide pre-construction services and public outreach for the final phase of a major infrastructure project, known as the Mariposa Avenue Safe Routes to School project. According to a staff report, Phase 4 of the grant-funded project will cost $2.6 million and will complete the bicycle and pedestrian network on a roughly 1,500-foot section of Mariposa Avenue, from Northeast Circle to Madison Avenue. The project includes installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, bike lanes, street lighting, and traffic signal upgrades at Madison Avenue and Mariposa.
  • Public Hearing: Assessment Districts. Roughly 100 pages of the agenda packet are devoted to three agenda items, all related to routine public hearings required for annual updates to various landscape and lighting assessment districts in the city. Assessment districts are areas with special fees tacked on to property taxes for certain parcels in the city to cover specific maintenance of areas associated with those parcels. Several areas have experienced shortfalls in recent years and future changes have been discussed to address those shortfalls.
  • Public Hearing: Block Grant Increase. The city council will hold a public hearing regarding an amendment to how a federal grant will be used, in light of the city receiving notice that the grant will be roughly $696,000 instead of the anticipated $589,000. The additional $107,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding is proposed by staff to go towards administrative costs and citywide accessibility projects. Previously approved allocations from the funds to eight area nonprofits remain unchanged.
  • $500k Rental Housing Inspection Unit. The council will consider a recommendation from the city’s police chief to create a new ordinance and fee structure for a new “Rental Housing Inspection Unit.” As reported previously by The Sentinel, the ordinance would subject nearly 15,000 rental homes and apartments in Citrus Heights to mandatory inspections, in a move officials say is needed to prevent blight and ensure rental properties are appropriately maintained inside and out. According to a staff report, the program is projected to cost around a half-million dollars per year, funded through new annual fees to be paid by rental owners. Related story: Citrus Heights considering $500k proposal for mandatory rental inspections
  • Department Report. The council will hear a report on the Citrus Heights Police Department’s newly formed Youth And Family Services Unit.

The city council meeting will convene at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2018, at 6360 Fountain Square Drive. The full agenda packet can be viewed by clicking here.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE JULY 26th COUNCIL MEETING:

Present: Mayor Steve Miller, Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins, Bret Daniels, Albert Fox, Jeff Slowey
Absent: Bruins left the meeting early.
Meeting length: 1 hr. 25 min.

QUOTABLE: “Let’s be honest, these are private homes here that are benefiting from landscaping around their area, and it just irks me that the rest of the city is having to subsidize them because the homeowners who are directly benefiting don’t see the benefit and won’t pay it themselves.” — Councilman Jeff Slowey, commenting on two assessment district’s with shortfalls where the city is chipping in funds to compensate for the lack.

  • Mariposa Safe Routes To School, Phase 3 (Approved, 5-0). The council approved a $211,000 contract with Ghiradelli Associates to provide construction management, inspection and material testing for phase 3 of the Mariposa Safe Routes to School infrastructure project that was approved in April. The $1.8 million third phase of the project will construct curb, gutter, sidewalk, bike lanes, curb access ramps and eight street lights on the east side of Mariposa Avenue, between Northridge Drive and Eastgate Avenue. It will also construct curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements along the north side of Farmgate Avenue, from Mariposa Avenue to Our Way.
  • Local History Book (Approved, 5-0).The council unanimously approved a $10,000 History & Arts Grant for the creation of a Citrus Heights incorporation book. The proposal was submitted by Bill Van Duker, who played an active role in the city’s incorporation process, along with Miranda Culp, who will be paid to write the book and conduct research. Applicants said the book is not intended for commercial purposes and will be available for free as an e-book, or through on-demand copies printed at cost by All Star Printing, a local printing company owned by Van Duker.
  • State legislation (Approved, 3-1). The council approved a proposal to allow the city manager to submit letters of support or opposition on behalf of the city regarding state legislation where the League of California Cities has deemed the legislation a “high priority,” but there is not sufficient time to obtain city council direction. According to a staff report, the city manager will only be authorized to take such action if the legislation is “consistent with previously adopted policies and principles” of the city council and is also legislation where the League has requested written letters to be submitted. Mayor Steve Miller, as well as Councilmen Jeff Slowey and Al Fox voted in favor of the resolution. Councilman Bret Daniels voted against the resolution, and Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins was not present for the vote. The resolution will sunset on Dec. 31, 2019, unless extended by the council. One resident, David Warren, spoke against the proposal during the meeting. (See full document)

Related: Three more residents pull papers to run for Citrus Heights City Council