The Aug. 4 City Council teleconference meeting had in-depth discussions on the Fairway Oaks Project, which included the annexation of the county island, including Cornell Road. The 39.5-acre island lies south of Glendale Avenue, west of Highway 99, northwest of Dry Creek and northeast of Creekside II. Council approved the map but the annexation for the county island was tabled until the Sept. 15 meeting.

Benjamin and Sharon Mendoza had their comments read during the public hearing. The couple has lived on Cornell Road since 2015 when they moved from Elk Grove.

“The annexation project will bring unwanted traffic to our street,” Mendoza said. “The adding of 163 homes at the end of our street will make it a disaster to try to get out of the neighborhood. Also, opening up our street to the new home traffic also opens us up to more foot traffic, more opportunities for theft and trespassing on our property.

Wendy and Reed Blevins and Dale and LaRonda Templeton also added their comments to the public hearing, asking for a written agreement assuring the residents that Cornell Road will remain a 20-foot road with a bicycle and walking trail, and opting for city water and sewage will be the property owners’ prerogative.

Councilmembers Paige Lampson and Shawn Farmer recused themselves since they live in close proximity to the project. However, Farmer did participate with a public comment and asked Council to take time in deciding on the annexation.

“I grew up in this neighborhood,” Farmer said. “I don’t oppose the project but I do have some specific concerns. Outlets of the projects (can be) Glendale and Ranch as the two. Leave Chase Drive as a dead end. It would serve no purpose to extend it. If we are going to approve this project, we should leave Cornell Road alone, as a compromise.”

Addison Covert spoke on behalf of the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District and compared funding for proposed schools as a three-legged stool. He said the state doesn’t extend enough money for school projects.

“The developer fees are just a portion of the cost and some from the state,” Covert said. “The third is not available currently. The school district will meet Friday on the Simmerhorn Project, to make sure school construction will be fully funded.”

Reminding Councilmembers that the school district’s request is a familiar one, Galt Community Development Director Chris Erias said the school district always sends a letter regarding developer fees to cover schools, regardless of the project. His concern was that projects are not handled the same and hoped the school district could find a way to have a level playing field for each.

“You can approve the map with the stipulation that the developer work with the school district, make sure there’s funding,” Erias said.

After a lengthy discussion between the three remaining Councilmembers, they ultimately agreed to approve the map; however, the annexation portion will be tabled until next month.

Council unanimously approved an added assessment to the Northeast Lighting and Landscaping District (LLD), the Westside LLD and the Galt #3 LLD. Homeowners in the Northeast LLD will pay assessments between $50 and $300 per year to maintain the public places, according to City Engineer Bill Forrest.

City Council also approved the hiring of Lorenzo Hines Jr. to be the next city manager. Hines will begin his new job Aug. 31 with the starting salary of $195,000 per year and a monthly car allowance of $300.

“It’s an honor to serve as your next city manager,” Hines said. “I look forward to working with the city and staff and to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.”