Blog module icon

All Blog

Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Jul 22

That's A Wrap! - July 21, 2021

Posted to City Manager's Blog by grodericks grodericks

Thats A Wrap

 Council Meeting Date: July 21, 2021
Video Link:
Details of each item can be found via the links to Staff Reports within the narrative.

The City Council met for the July Regular Meeting on Wednesday, July 21 at 6 pm via Zoom Teleconference pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order. Following the Roll Call the Council began moving through the Agenda beginning with Presentations and Public Comments.  There were Public Comments related to Undergrounding of Utilities on Walsh Road. (For more information about Utility Underground Projects, please visit the Town's Website for an FAQ).

ReportFollowing Public Comment, the Council moved to the City Manager's Report. The City Manager's Report is typically prepared monthly as part of the City Council's Regular Agenda. In addition to current reports from the City Manager, it typically includes departmental updates on the various happenings around Town such as reports from Administration, Community Services, Planning, Police, and Public Works. The Council asked questions regarding CitizenRIMS. 

CitizenRIMS is an online resource for the public to learn more about public safety response services in Town. You can access CitizenRIMS here.  


Consent_AgendaFollowing the City Manager's Report, the Council moved to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 6 through 10 (~6:07 pm). Items on the Consent Agenda are considered routine in nature and are generally considered in one motion and adopted by a single vote of the Council. Included in this month's Consent Agenda were bills and claims, Acceptance of Work and Notice of Completion for the James avenue Overlay Project, Approval of an MOU with the County for SB 1383 Edible Food Recovery Monitoring, and Approval of an Agreement with the County for Operational Area Emergency Services.

Public_Hearing_ImageNext was Public Hearings.

Public Hearings are typically held for Ordinances, Budget Adoption, Fee Adoption, and Land Use approvals. 

 There were no Public Hearings scheduled for the July 21 Council meeting.

Next up was the Regular Agenda (~6:09 pm).

Item No. 11 was Certification of Continuing Emergency and Ratification of Such Rules and Regulations Enacted by the Director of Emergency Services in Response to COVID-19. Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the continuing declaration of emergency, specific powers and authorities, a return to in-person meetings, requirements for face coverings, and vaccinations. Following discussion, the Council supported a return to in-person meetings beginning in October 2021, depending on the state of affairs with respect to COVID-19. In addition, the Council supported the current practice of requiring face coverings for all non-vaccinated public and staff in all Town facilities; however, also asked the City Manager to continue to follow the County Health Guidance with respect to face coverings inside facilities for all personnel, vaccinated or not. The Council expressed a strong commitment in support of vaccinations for the community and staff. The City Manager advised that approximately 4-5 personnel were not vaccinated (contract and/or in-house staff); approximately 92% of the Town staff are vaccinated. The Council supported making a public statement in favor of vaccination with strong encouragement to the community and all staff to get vaccinated.  

BookFrogNext up was Item No. 12, Consideration of Acceptance of a Sculpture Donation for the Library Deck from the Friends of the Atherton Community Library (~6:45 pm). Following a brief report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed the proposed sculpture for the Library Deck. Following discussion, the Council moved acceptance of the sculpture donation. 

Item No. 13 was Consideration of Extension of Construction Time Limit for Residential Project located at 55 Camino Por Los Arboles and Interpretation of Construction Time Limit Enforcement (~6:53 pm). Following a staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the Construction Time Limit Ordinance, including, but not limited to, impact on neighbors, purpose of the ordinance, excusable delays, penalties associated with delays, timing for appeals, delays within the control of the property owner, and COVID-19 impacts. Following discussion, the Council directed that staff return with suggestions to modify the Construction Time Limit Ordinance to address the issue of excusable delays - including a critical path analysis for such delays, evaluate the possibility of additional COVID-19 delay applicable to all projects, include an opportunity for property owners to appeal imposition of penalties as they arise; and, Council denied the appeal related to 55 Camino Por Los Arboles finding that the complexity of design was a significant factor in construction delay and that that was within the control of the property owner.

DonorWallItem No. 14 was Consideration of Responses to the Request for Proposal for Donor Wall Design, Construction, and Installation; Providing Staff with Direction on Next Steps (~7:38 pm). Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the two proposals received and alternatives. Following discussion, the Council rejected all bids and directed staff to connect with the Project Architect for a Scope of Work to work with the City Council Subcommittee on a donor wall design. 

Next was Item No. 15, an Amendment to Agreement with Knox Playschool for an additional year term (~7:47 pm). Following a staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to the cost impact, COVID-19 restrictions, and continued services. Following discussion, the Council approved the Amendment as proposed. 

Item No. 16 was a Review of Battery-Operated Leaf Blower Pilot Program in Holbrook Palmer Park (~7:52 pm). Following a staff report, comparative video and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to noise, functionality, impact on residential versus commercial, particulate matter, banning of types of gas blowers, Spare the Air Days, effectiveness, and cost. Following discussion, the Council directed staff to work with the Environmental Programs Committee and a City Council Subcommittee to develop a refined ordinance for consideration by the Council as well as an educational campaign for outreach.

Next was Item No. 17, Consideration of Acceptance of a $21,000 donation in support of the purchase of additional automated license plate readers (ALPRs) on El Camino Real (~8:15 pm). Following a staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council discussed issues related to placement and efficacy of the cameras. Following discussion, the Council moved to accept the donation and placement of the additional cameras. 

FairOaksThe last item on the Agenda was Item No. 18, Town Center Project Update (~8:25 pm). Following a brief staff report and opportunity for public comment, the Council supported reaching out to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District to discuss financial partnership related to the Emergency Responder Radio Coverage requirements.

Having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 8:43 pm, that as they say - was a wrap!

The City Council is DARK for the month of August. The next meeting of the City Council will be a Special Meeting/Study Session on September 1 at 4 pm. The September 1 meeting will include a Report on the efficacy of ALPR Cameras and a Report on Burglaries in Town; and, a Discussion of the Financial Projection Spreadsheet. 
GeorgeThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
 City Manager

Town of Atherton

Jun 05

Town Center Update - June 5, 2020

Posted to Town Center Project Activity Blog by grodericks grodericks

Atherton Town Center - Project Activity

Construction continues in earnest on both City Hall and the Library. Floors have been poured for the new City Hall - both 1st and 2nd floor. Work continues now on installation of the utility systems, roofing systems, and fire systems. On the Library, most of the work is dedicated to the new rammed earth walls. 

Live webcams for Library
and City Hall/PD Building are active on the Town's website. There is also a project progress photo gallery

Naming and Donation Opportunities

New_RoadConstruction funding for City Hall, Police Building and Site Improvements ($28.7 million) consists largely of donations and the Town's General Funds. To assist with cash flow during the project's construction timeline, the Town issued a Certificate of Participation (COP). COPs are a short-term funding tools for projects and are used mainly for large, multi-year infrastructure projects. The Town would like to retire this short-term debt sooner than it would be obligated to do so (10-years). To do so, additional donations toward the project would be required.  

Recently, the City Council mailed a Naming and Donation Opportunities letter to all Atherton residents - this is available online as well. The Council invites the community to become a part of Atherton's history by donating with a Naming Opportunity. The Council identified unique Naming Opportunities connected to the project - some of which have already been selected but there are plenty more opportunities! The City Council considers awards of naming opportunities at their regular meetings as donations are received. 

Donations will assist the Town in reducing or eliminating the need for a short-term COP to bridge the revenue flow gap during construction. The opportunities for naming have various ranges with the most significant being the ability to name a new road that will connect Fair Oaks Lane to Ashfield Road and run next to the new Town Center. 

It is very exciting to see this long-awaited new Town Center and Library come to life. The projected opening is Fall 2021, absent delay associated with COVID-19. For more details on naming opportunities and donations and how to enhance your current donation or become a part of history by making a new one, visit the donation website.

City Hall and Police Building

The image below is from today as interior utility work continues on the City Hall Building. The Building is taking clear shape.   
City Hall June 2020

On the right of the image is the single-story Council Chambers portion of the Building. The Council Chambers also serves as the Town's Emergency Operations Center and connects directly to the Police Building. The second floor of the Police Building is set back from the first floor and includes the break room, training room, locker rooms and offices. The lower floor of the Police Building includes the briefing room, interview rooms, and evidence storage. 

Along the left side of the image on the lower floor is the lobby area and on the second floor is the walkway across the lobby to Community Development (Building, Planning and Public Works Offices). Administration is on the lower floor on the left. 

In the near portion of the image, you can see vehicles in the temporary Police Parking Lot. This area will eventually become the Civic Court of the new facility. 
Below is a Site Plan for the full project. 


Historic Town Hall

Historic Town Hall InteriorMost of the interior work of the Historic Town Hall building is further down in the project timeline. There is currently no activity on the Historic Town Hall.

This building will ultimately become a part of the new Library connected via a deck and french doors that spill out from the side of the building onto the new deck. 

Library Building

The image below is from this week. Work this week focused on the forming of the new rammed earth walls for the Building.
Library Shotcrete  

Site Work

Site work continues for utilities and other required site improvements. 

Here's a view of the new entrance to City Hall coming in off of Fair Oaks Lane. Administration Offices are on the right. The first floor will be Town Administration and the Post Office. The second floor is the Building, Planning, and Public Works Departments. The bottom and top floors on the left are the Police Department. Secure Parking Lot entry is off to the left of the main building. 

The Look Ahead

Work Areas for the Week of June 8
  • Installation of Fire Service and Water Lines
  • Installation of Power and Communication Conduits
  • Exterior Wall Layout/Deflection Clips
  • Install Steel at Mechanical Platforms
  • Installation of Utility Ductwork 
  • Installation of Overhead Plumbing and Piping
  • Rough-in Fire Protection
  • Install Stair 2-3
  • Place Forms and Shotcrete for Rammed Earth Walls
Work Areas for the Week of June 15
  • Exterior Wall Layouts
  • Installation of Utilities, Plumbing and Piping
  • Form Interior Curbs
  • Frame Coordinated Walls
  • Install Door Frames (Ancillary Building)
  • Place Forms and Shotcrete for Rammed Earth Walls

Project Financials

 Payment Request Period Town Share Library Share Total
Payment Request #1 June 2019 $983,533 $538,622 $1,522,155
Payment Request #2 July 2019 $540,673 $587,037 $1,127,711
Payment Request #3 August 2019 $605,478 $972,754 $1,578,232
Payment Request #4 September 2019 $997,235 $638,317 $1,635,551
Payment Request #5 October 2019 $969,456 $252,633 $1,222,089
Payment Request #6 November 2019 $1,318,002 $341,692 $1,659,694
Payment Request #7 December 2019 $1,346,738 $555,978 $1,902,716
Payment Request #8
January 2020
$1,289,498 $480,925 $1,770,423
Payment Request #9 February 2020 $1,042,792  $342,867 $1,385,659
Payment Request #10 March 2020 $1,242,721 $440,645 $1,683,366
Payment Request #11
April 2020
$309,292  $248,412 $557,694
Payment Request #12
May 2020
$1,391,401  $713,524 $2,104,924
Totals   $12,036,809 $6,113,406 $18,150,215
Initial Project Bid   $28,701,034 $18,375,966 $47,077,000
Net Change Orders   $41,168 $73,803 $114,971
Updated Project Cost   $28,742,202 $18,449,769 $47,191,971
% Complete based on $   42% 33% 38%
Target Based on 25-Month Schedule   48%

At 38% completion, approved change orders for the project are at 0.24% - $114,971 of $47.1 million. 

George Rodericks
City Manager