School route safety on board's agenda

The Merced County Board of Supervisors will consider moving forward with transportation improvement plans for the Franklin-Beachwood and Planada communities during today's board meeting.

The project identifies safe routes to schools and traffic options for Highway 140, in addition to studying bike and pedestrian safety in those communities. The work is funded by a $170,000 grant awarded to the county in August.

Planning staff members are asking supervisors to accept the grant and enter into a contract for consultant assistance.

In other business, the Human Resources Department will submit the registration of an organization that wishes to represent some county employees.

Robert Morris, human resources director, said the process is outlined in the Merced County Employer-Employee Relations policy and allows any employee organization to register by following steps.

The United Public Employees Union Local No. 1 has registered to represent Unit No. 3 employees, who are clerical, Morris said.

Those employees are represented by the Independent Employees of Merced County organization.

Also, the Merced County Rescue Mission may receive 15 cots for its warming center, which was developed to provide refuge from the cold during winter months.

The supervisors will vote on approving $900 to purchase the cots, with $450 each coming from District 1 Supervisor John Pedrozo and District 2 Supervisor Hub Walsh's discretionary funds.

The board will consider transferring $50,000 from the general fund to purchase two new cars for the Child Support Service Department. If approved, they would replace two Ford Tauruses. Those vehicles, 2001 and 2002 models, have started having mechanical problems.

The Atwater-Merced Expressway Project is moving forward and requires construction of a temporary creek diversion system. The supervisors will consider approving a drainage facility and waterway agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad so it can construct the project.

Today's meeting will be at 10 a.m. in the board chamber on the third floor of the Merced County Administration Building, 2222 M St. in Merced.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.