Staff recommended that council approve appropriations of $1.7 million earmarked for the Walker Park Phase II project at the Nov. 19 meeting at City Hall. Vice Mayor Shawn Farmer asked for Interim City Manager Tom Haglund to clarify for the public that the money would not come from the general fund but was made possible by efforts of Assemblyman Jim Cooper from state funding.
According to Haglund and Parks and Recreation Director Armando Solis, the state funds will pay for infrastructure items like roadways, restrooms and possibly additional parking.
The Phase II project includes additional ball fields (baseball and softball) and a maintenance building. Funds to build parks are generated through developers’ fees; however, funds to maintain parks are in short supply. Once additional funds are acquired for maintenance, Phase II could be completed.
Treasurer Shaun Farrell gave his quarterly report on city funds. He said the city invests in safe investments offered through federal programs such as Freddie Mac and Fannie May, which the government can call back if they are not making enough money. That scenario did happen and the City of Galt was reimbursed for their investments.
“The federal reserve then lowered interest rates four times,” Farrell said. “But the LAF (Liquidity Adjustment Facility) lags behind so the city made $426,000 by the end of September. Just don’t expect as much in the near future. It was the most interest we’ve made in 10 years.”
City Council also approved the funds needed for the Galt Police Department to purchase four new vehicles and eight in-vehicle tablets. These funds will come from Measure R and Fund 38, both restricted for use by the police department.
Haglund presented a recommendation that the Galt Community of Character Coalition be formally recognized by the city in order to be placed on the agenda for its awards presentations. Council passed the motion of the same by 4-0, with Council member Curt Campion absent.
Chief Tod Sockman told council that complaints had come in again about the homeless population just across Dry Creek on San Joaquin County property.
“We do have the authority to deal with this problem, and we are,” Sockman said. “It’s a big challenge, but we are doing the best we can.”
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Jay Vandenberg voiced his concerns over the rising costs of the sports programs.
“I believe recent increases are not fair,” Vandenberg said. “Galt doesn’t offer a wide variety of programs. We need to have them as good as we can.”
He went on to say that Lodi’s fees are much more reasonable.
“The very least we can do is lower the cost comparable to other cities,” Vandenberg said.
In closing, Solis said his department is now accepting applications for Lighting the Night floats, and Breakfast with Santa is scheduled for Dec. 14.