Santa Paula City Council: Water-wastewater study, role of Planning Commission agenized

November 15, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

A long awaited study addressing current and future fees and other issues related to wastewater and water, a potential grant from the developer of East Area 1 and 2 to strengthen weakened police staffing and an examination of the city’s panel that overlooks land use issues will be featured at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The November 18 meeting will start at 6 p.m. with a closed session for the council to have a conference with City Manager Jaime Fontes, the labor negotiator for unrepresented executive management employees.

The council will also address existing litigation and the ongoing arbitration with Santa Paula Water LLC, the partnership owner-operator of the wastewater treatment plant, regarding chloride levels that could put the city under the state water quality gun.

The meeting will resume in open session at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 970 E. Ventura St.

Time Warner Cable Channel 10 will broadcast the meeting live and replay per schedule; the session will also be live-streamed on the city’s website and archived for viewing on demand.

The council will have a presentation from Patricia Olivares of the Ventura County Probation Department who will offer an update on state mandated realignment and its impacts.

First up on the agenda will be a presentation by Police Chief Steve McLean of actions taken during his first 100 days heading up the SPPD since he joined the city July 1.

The council will also consider a proposal for a $250,000 grant from Limoneira Co. that the city must match that would allow the SPPD to hire up to three more officers for a stipulated three-year period. Thereafter according to Fontes report, the city would be on their own to fund the positions.

The fund would hire an additional two to three officers to supplement the city’s authorized force of 28 officers to bring the total up to 30 to 31. The council will also consider the purchase of two inspection vehicles used by Building & Safety, an expenditure of more than $65,000 but one already almost fully covered by fines and fees collected by the department

Planning Director Janna Minsk will offer an update on the Planning Commission roles and responsibilities, a report requested by Mayor Ralph Fernandez after his choice, Planning Commissioner Marilyn Appleby, an architect, was not reappointed by a council majority for a second term. 

The council will also consider ordering a long awaited study that some citizens believed was already in progress regarding water and wastewater rates and fees; calculating the controversial wastewater processing fee, a charge separate from the basic sewer bill; the city’s water and sewer connection fees and “potential impacts of future acquisition” of the city’s wastewater treatment plant which is privately owned and operated.

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