Modesto City Council Watch (12/15/09)

The Modesto City Council on Monday voted 7-0 to:

: Form a special tax district for Kiernan Business Park East, a 160-acre development planned between Dale Road and American Avenue and Pelandale Avenue and Kiernan Avenue. Taxes collected in the district will cover the costs of transportation, landscaping and lighting, water and waste-water system improvements. A single-family home in the tax district will pay $1,312 per year. Kiernan Business Park East is one part of the Kiernan Business Park development, which is slated to include commercial, office, medical, mixed use, residential subdivisions and business parks.

: Accept a $40,000 grant from the E.&J. Gallo Winery to buy nozzles for the Modesto Fire Department's hoses. The nozzles are supposed to be safer and more efficient.

: Release the owner of 1704 Oregon Drive from the obligation to pay $101,351 in city-issued housing rehabilitation loans. The owner now lives in a convalescent hospital and does not plan to return to the home. With the downturn, the house is worth less than the amount owed to the city. Ownership of the house will transfer to the city.

: Approve a $246,880 contract with the Brown and Caldwell engineering firm and a $3,857,000 contract with Ebert McGuire and Hester for design and construction work related to replacing a waste-water pipeline.

: The council met in closed session to discuss the city's lawsuit against its insurance carriers. The city sued the carriers because they've refused to pay the cost of a $3.25 million settlement the city paid in 2007 to end a gender discrimination case.

: Leslie Albrecht