By unanimous vote, Stanislaus County supervisors Tuesday:
- Approved an environmental document indicating that garbage in the Fink Road landfill can rise to 545 feet above sea level instead of 385 feet. Growing up instead of out should extend the dump's life by 14 or 15 years beyond the current 13 years of capacity, officials say. Also, a rounded bulge would "more closely resemble surrounding terrain" in the Diablo Range west of Crows Landing, said a consultant with Shaw Environmental. Supervisors rejected a request by Grayson Neighborhood Council President John Mataka, who asked for another public meeting on the county's West Side, noting that previous meetings were not publicized in Spanish. Supervisor Jim DeMartini, whose district includes the West Side, said the expansion was presented at city council meetings in Patterson and Newman. The plan envisions no change in type or quantity of waste. Public outcry stopped a proposal to import medical waste in 2001 and the idea of a megadump on 1,000 acres in 2002.
- Signed a memorandum of understanding regarding high-speed rail efforts, joining several agencies on a future line from Sacramento to Merced. Electric commuter trains from the Bay Area eventually could extend to Modesto. "I think if we stand together on these issues we'll have a much better chance of achieving what we'd like to see," said Stacey Mortensen, executive director of the San Joaquin Rail Commission.
- Raised by $6 the fees charged by the county clerk-recorder's office when recording property documents. Most would go from $8 to $14 for the first page, plus $3 for each additional page. The first-page fee has not increased in 25 years and costs the county about $13.31 to process, according to a study. The higher fee could bring in an extra $720,000 per year, a report says.
- Changed the name of Turlock Regional Services to Turlock Recovery Services. The clinic helps mental illness patients with medication. The switch "more appropriately communicates to the public the nature of the services provided," a report says.
- Supervisors received formal notice that Trim Masters Inc. will close its Modesto plant and lay off 186 workers. The company supplies interior door panels for Toyota Tacomas produced at Fremont's New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant, which will shut down March 31.