Galt City Council approved a list of 17 events that will receive fee waivers between July 2019 and May 2020 after a report from Special Events Manager Jackie Garcia at the regular meeting on April 16 at City Hall. Food Truck Mania, Galt Balloon Festival, Galt Sesquicentennial, Ag’s Farm to Fork Dinner, and the Community Dinner hosted by Galt Sunrise Rotary are among the events approved for fee waivers.
Vice Mayor Shawn Farmer asked staff if there was a financial cap on how much the city was allowed to help events. After being told that there was not a set amount overall, Farmer reminded his fellow council members that in subsequent years, if more events are presented, the city may not be able to assist all the events.
Councilman Rich Lozano said he believes in helping worthy organizations but also had some words of caution.
“I absolutely believe we have a responsibility to support these organizations,” Lozano said. “They are the fabric of what holds the community together … I don’t want to lose the thought that we’re going to have to have some fiscal responsibility as a community … It wasn’t too long ago that we had a financial report from Ms. Tyson that we’ll be running out of money in three years. We’ll have to be prepared to make hard choices.”
Councilman Paul Sandhu agreed as well and reiterated that in following years the list of events could become much longer and thus too expensive.
“What is the cost of these events, $22,000?” asked Sandhu. “Of course, we’d like to help them whenever we can. These events mean a lot to me.”
Parks and Recreation Director Armando Solis’ said the $22,000 was only estimates of what the city would be out for the events. The amounts could change according to service needs.
Community Development Director Chris Erias asked council to approve expanding the infill properties that would be eligible for up to a 75 percent reduction in city fees usually charged for roads and parks. The properties must be five acres or less to be eligible.
“We’d be essentially changing the boundaries on the northeast side of the city, mostly along Ayers Lane,” said Erias, who was presenting for an absent Economic Development Director Amie Mendes. “It’s a way to help get rid of eye-sore properties, nuisance properties.”
Farmer asked Erias if there had been any interest in any of the properties or even someone who had taken advantage of the reduced rate.
“Absolutely,” Erias said. “The Trailridge expansion wouldn’t have happened without the infill program. The owner could not have afforded the expansion without it.”
Council approved the expanded infill map 5-0.
Erias also told council that his department is working on changing Carillion Boulevard to make it safer. Two public meetings have taken place with varying degrees of interest. Another public meeting will be held May 9 at the next Galt Planning Commission meeting, the details to be advertised citywide. One plan would be to pare down the lanes to just two and add roundabouts. The final plan will be presented to the Planning Commission and then to City Council after public hearings.