Merced council to meet Monday on homelessness issue, plus public hearing to cut sewer rates and connection fees

The Merced City Council said it will receive the final report from the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Homelessness Monday, April 5, and hold a public hearing reducing sewer rates and connection fees.

The council created the Homelessness Committee in December to make recommendations regarding homeless campgrounds. The Committee was divided 7-5 recommending in favor of having a campground, but it was unanimous in its recommendation that any campground should be temporary, the city said in a news release.

The city said it’s able to reduce sewer rates and connection fees because the bids for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades came in at almost 50 percent below estimates. The rates had been calculated based on the upgrades costing the city $60 million, but the winning bid came in at $30.6 million because of the downturn in the economy.

Also on the agenda:

--A continued public hearing appealing the Planning Commission’s denial of a permit for Walgreens to sell beer and wine at its R Street store.

--Hearing an appeal denying a permit for a proposed housing project for 60 seniors and 40 families located at Pacific Drive and R Street.

--The purchase of crime analysis software and mapping service that will allow the public to check on criminal activity in their neighborhoods.

The council will meet in closed session on two cases of existing litigation and one case that could expose the city to a lawsuit.

The regular meeting of the Merced City Council will be held at 7 p.m. The council meets in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St., in Merced.

The Council agenda is posted online at www.cityofmerced.org and is available outside the chambers before the meeting.

Request to Speak cards are available at the meeting or can be downloaded from the city's Web site. Cards must be turned in to the City Clerk in order for a person to be recognized by the council.