State

Supervisors Watch

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously:

  • Scheduled a 6 p.m. June 12 public dedication ceremony to open the Empire Community Pool. People will pay $1 for recreational swimming overseen by the Stanislaus County Police Activities League. The pool project was launched after a July 2003 tragedy in which three brothers, ages 12, 10 and 8, drowned while playing in the Tuolumne River under a railroad trestle. The youngest boy, who couldn't swim, fell into a deep spot and his older brothers tried to save him.
  • Awarded three-year contracts worth $6.2 million for programs preventing child abuse and neglect to Aspiranet, the Center for Human Services, Parent Resource Center and Sierra Vista Child and Family Services
  • Approved higher fees for engineering services in Public Works that haven't been changed in 18 years, including plan checks, construction inspection and encroachment, excavation and street improvement permits. For example, the $35 charge for driveway inspections increases to $140; Modesto charges $198, according to a staff report. Fees will go up incrementally over five years. Higher fees should reduce a current $362,000 subsidy, representing the difference between revenue and costs of services, to $182,000 in the first year and would eliminate it in five years, the report states.
  • Agreed to pay A&A Portables Inc. $728,200 to service portable toilets at recreational sites for five years. Reduced prices should save the county $113,700, according to a staff report.
  • Initiated a 14-day public comment period on the awarding of $669,000 in federal stimulus money to fit homes with solar systems and other energy-saving improvements. Project YES will employ two part-time interns and five contractors over two years, according to a staff report.
  • Hired Benicia-based PSC 21st Century EMI to recycle latex paint left at the county's hazardous waste collection drop-off point, for $300,000 over five years
  • Agreed to pay Berberian Properties $72,900 for one acre at McHenry Avenue and Ladd Road. The land is needed to relocate power lines in a project that includes new traffic signals and turn lanes.
  • Agreed to pay $41,000 to owners of the north corners of Las Palmas and Sycamore avenues in Patterson for a combined 0.36 acres needed for a new traffic signal, turn lanes, safety lighting and shoulder widening
  • Laid off a Cooperative Extension secretary, saving about $48,000 per year. The extension, like all nonsafety departments, must cut 12 percent of its budget, or $56,000, to help close the county's projected $34 million deficit for the fiscal year starting July 1.
  • Reduced office hours for Planning and Community Development, opening at 8 a.m. instead of 7:30 effective May 26
  • Applied for $354,000 in state money for boat patrols at Modesto and Woodward reservoirs
  • Hired Collins Electrical for $273,700 to install emergency power improvements at the county's Honor Farm near Grayson. The project should be finished in December.
  • — Garth Stapley
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