By unanimous vote, Stanislaus County supervisors Tuesday:
Hired ICF Jones & Stokes, an international consulting firm, to prepare the county's new growth-guiding general plan. The contract includes a look at airport planning, development of a business park near Crows Landing and integrating slow growth requirements that voters approved in 2008 to limit development on unincorporated land. Jones & Stokes is expected to spend two years on the documents and will be paid $826,400. The firm submitted the most expensive bid among five but also will dedicate more hours, a report says. Jones & Stokes was selected for the same job in 2005, but it was canceled because the county didn't have enough money. County leaders since have accumulated $1.1 million in a dedicated fund but plan to seek state and federal grants to avoid depleting it. The firm prepared Modesto's 2000 general plan and has worked for several counties, including Sacramento, Mariposa and Alameda.
Established a no-parking zone in Riverbank on Eleanor Avenue, where parents often drop off Mesa Verde School students. The children cross the street midblock. Other no-parking zones were approved for visibility reasons near Cassle Garage Door Co. on Reno Avenue near Modesto and at 796 Santa Fe Ave. in Empire.
Using eminent domain, seized another parcel needed to widen Kiernan Avenue north of Modesto. Beverly Irene Tillema is the 24th owner to have strips of land taken along Kiernan in recent weeks between Dale Road and McHenry Avenue.
Accepted a final update on repairs to a downtown building damaged by an errant driver. Oak Valley Bank at 12th and I streets, with district attorney and Stanislaus County Employees Retirement Association offices above, was rammed Nov. 3 when a car jumped a sidewalk. Repairs were estimated at $100,000 but were completed for about $52,000, a report says. The driver's insurance will pay $10,000; the county expects its insurance carrier to cover the rest.