It was a packed agenda for the June 16 teleconference meeting of the Galt City Council. In addition to hearing multiple presentations from local nonprofits and the Galt Youth Commission, Councilmembers approved the formation of a Community Facilities District (CFD), a new way finding program, a consultant contract, administration position changes, and two members for the Measure R Oversight Committee, as well as assigned two councilmembers to review possible new guidelines for city leaders. Good news was also given to the Councilmembers – the Galt pool will be opening for the summer.
Galt City Council voted unanimously on the formation of a CFD for Dry Creek Oaks Senior Development at their teleconference meeting on June 16. Landowner Ryan Voorhees had the only vote and he voted “yes”. Only new homes in new developments will be required to pay taxes on the CFDs.
The city proposed the formation of new CFDs in May to avoid the problems associated with the Lighting and Landscape Districts, which have lacked enough funds to cover costs for maintenance, and the city has had to draw from the general fund to keep up with costs. Each new housing development will now have a CFD and the special taxes attached.
The new CFDs will come with a set of three new taxes called Tax A, Tax B and Tax C to cover impact costs associated with police protection, maintenance and lighting of parks, parkways, streets, roads and open spaces, as well as flood and storm protection, and fire and emergency services, to name just a few. Single-family homeowners will pay a maximum tax of $1,182 per year, and multifamily homeowners will pay a maximum of $840 per year. Should the cost of these services rise in coming years, the city may increase the taxes a modest percentage.
Interim City Manager Tom Haglund asked council to approve a new job description of Assistant City Clerk to replace the former Executive City Clerk position, previously held by Donna Settles, which has been vacant since she retired. The Executive City Clerk Position paid just over $8,900 per month. The Assistant City Clerk position will pay just over $6,000 per month for a yearly savings of $141,000 per year. Tina Hubert accepted the position and thanked council for the opportunity. The motion was approved 5-0.
Amy Mendes, economic development director, gave a presentation on the new signage for the city.
“There will be 30 new signs to eliminate the clutter of different signage,” Mendes said, “and help visitors find their way to places of interest.”
Funding for the way finding signage came from the county transportation fund and a $19,000 contribution from Supervisor Don Nottoli from his discretionary fund. The color pallet for the new signage is red, blue and gray with the Galt “G” logo raised to add interest. Fabrication of the signage was done by Studio L’Image of San Francisco. The Galt City Public Works Department will do the installation in the upcoming fiscal year.
Haglund gave an update on the COVID-19 county ordinances stating, on June 12, the go-ahead was given to move further into Stage 3, which will allow the city to open the aquatics center. Parks and Recreation Director Armando Solis said they plan to open up the Tony Gora Aquatics Center on July 1 but there will be stricter guidelines, including no “in and out” privileges, no water exercise classes and a limit of 273 people in the pool area at one time.
“Waterslides will be off limits, no food or drink and no parties will be allowed,” Solis said. “There will be open swim from 2 to 8 p.m. daily and only one session of swim lessons. We’re ready to tackle this problem and get the pool open.”
Haglund added that county guidelines would be enforced, including training the staff on COVID-19 protocols, and lifeguards will have to be re-certified.
Guidelines for councilmembers
Haglund introduced the agenda item of possible procedural guidelines for councilmembers, commissioners and committee members, which Vice Mayor Lozano had requested at a previous meeting. Lozano had prepared possible changes and additions to the current guidelines, which was included in the council packet for each councilmember to review.
“I think we all agree to have acceptable conduct while meeting and in public,” Lozano said. “This is not intended to point fingers. I think the guidelines should be reviewed once a year.”
Councilmember Shawn Farmer said many of the revisions “go without saying”, such as “council members will come to meetings prepared.”
Councilmember Curt Campion said the revisions all looked appropriate.
“I don’t think we’re going to make decisions tonight,” Campion said. “I suggest a couple of councilmembers get together to go over these.”
Lozano and Farmer agreed to meeting in coming weeks to discuss the revisions.
Public Works Director Michael Selling asked council to approve a consultant contract award to PSOMAS Planning and Management for $360,000 to create plans for Phase II of Walker Park. Selling explained they needed to move the project forward to retain the $1.77 million grant, which has a time limit. The consultant will supply three different plans for bathrooms, ball fields and parking additions.
Lozano asked if staff members could complete the plans, and Selling replied, “No.” He explained they were all on other projects and did not have the expertise to do the work.
Council approved the motion 5-0.
Council also discussed the four empty seats on the Measure R Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee. Four people applied for the seats, Jay Vandenberg, Tony Lara, Tina Talamontes (returning) and Terry Cooley.
Councilmember Paige Lampson suggested more time be given for others to apply, due to the unprecedented times of holding meetings virtually. Council agreed and appointed Tony Lara who had applied very early in the year and Tina Talamontes who will retain her seat. The city will accept other applications over the next two weeks.