Modesto City Council Watch

The Modesto City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to:

Place new red light cameras at four intersections: northbound on Carpenter Road at Blue Gum Avenue, eastbound on Briggsmore Avenue at Coffee Road, eastbound on Briggsmore at Tully Road and southbound on Tully at Briggsmore. The cameras join four others operated by Redflex Traffic Systems, a Phoenix company. The city expects to spend $46,000 a month for the eight cameras.

Adopt new purchasing standards to follow a 2008 audit that was critical of spending in the Public Works Department before 2006. Some of the changes are intended to save time, such as an adjustment that would allow the city manager to seek bids without asking the City Council for projects that are described in the city's annual budget. The council still would have to vote to award a contract. Another change recommends the city's purchasing manager track running contracts. If the city spends more than $50,000 with one vendor, the purchasing manager would seek to get the same service through a competitive bid.

Accept the city's financial audit for the 2007-08 budget year. Auditor Maze & Associates described several flaws, such as late requests for reimbursement to the California Department of Transportation on road projects funded by the state.

Freeze scheduled increases in the cost of water and sewer connections because of the prolonged decline in Modesto's building industry. Modesto has postponed increases in other development fees because of the drop-off in development.

Appoint Steven Carter to the city Planning Commission and remove two members of the city Golf Advisory Committee who have missed meetings.

Hire Sacramento lobbyist Aaron Reed & Associates to represent the city for the next year at a cost of $20,000. The firm worked for Modesto at no charge over the past year.

Award a $487,110 contract to Davis-based West Yost Associates to design a water tank

Give a $206,724 contract to Merced-based Mid Cal Pipeline & Utilities to install a water line on Yosemite Boulevard from Dry Creek to South Santa Rosa Avenue

Grant a $300,000 contract to Davis-based Larry Walker Associates for engineering work on the city's stormwater management plan

Extend a contract with Modesto-based Final Cut Media to manage a TV control room in Tenth Street Place. Final Cut Media would earn $167,000 to $202,070 a year over five years.

Approve an advertising contract with The Modesto Bee. The city is not committing to a set amount of advertising because of a decline in the city's tax revenue.

Hire Bakersfield-based Brown, Armstrong and Paulden as Modesto's next outside financial auditor. The company can earn $133,750 a year over four years.

— Adam Ashton