The Merced City Council will consider whether to let a downtown tavern to have sidewalk seating, helping fund a school gym and hold a public hearing on spending federal Housing and Urban Development funds at its meeting Monday night.
O’Ryleigh’s Tavern, 1730 Canal Street, has asked the city for permission to put tables, chairs, umbrellas and planters in front of its business. The proposed area would have a 3-foot high wrought iron fence around it.
The owner is asking to serve alcohol in the outside area until 2 a.m., but city staff is recommending that it be served only until 10 p.m. Other downtown restaurants with outdoor seating also have been limited to a 9 p.m. cutoff for serving alcoholic beverages outside.
Staff also wants any outdoor music to be stopped at 9 p.m. out of consideration of neighbors. In addition, the fence would have to be removable in case a city-sponsored event needed the sidewalk access.
In 2008 the city entered into an agreement with the Merced City School District to pay $1 million to help fund a gymnasium at Rivera Middle School. That money was to come from impact fees and cannot be used on general fund expenditures, such as police or firefighter pay.
The city also had entered into an agreement to pay $1.5 million in impact fees to help pay for a gym at the new El Capitan High School. At the time of the agreements, the city needed indoor gym capacity to house recreation programs.
Because of a decrease in building overall, the amount of impact fees collected has dropped. The city will be able to pay $950,000 for the Rivera gym and $951,176 for the high school gym.
City recreation programs have been drastically reduced, so the city doesn’t need gym space, according to a news release. However, the city will have a $100,000 credit that can be applied to gym use, and the city and the school district will revisit the arrangement in five years.Council is being asked to approve the payment agreement.
The council will hold a public hearing on nearly $1.2 million in federal housing funds on a 66-unit low-income apartment project. By law, the money can’t be spent on general fund expenditures, such as police or firefighter salaries.
Council will be asked to direct $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to the Gateway Terrace Apartment complex, along with $90,000 in funds from the Community Housing Development Organization.
The Council will meet in closed session at 5:45 p.m. to discuss existing litigation and to confer with labor negotiators.
The regular City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St. The Council agenda is posted online at www.cityofmerced.org and is available outside the chambers prior to the meeting. Request-t Speak cards are available at the meeting or can be downloaded from the city's website. Cards must be turned in to the City Clerk in order for a person to be recognized by the council.Sun-Star staff