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Jan 19

That's A Wrap! - January 18, 2017

Posted on January 19, 2017 at 1:45 PM by grodericks grodericks

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"That's A Wrap!" has moved to the City Manager's Blog!

Council Meeting Date: January 18, 2017
Video Link:

The City Council met for both the January Study Session and January Regular Council meeting on Wednesday, January 18, beginning at 5:30 pm. 

First up on the Study Session Agenda was Item No. 1 - a Discussion of Regular Study Session Meeting dates and times. The Council agreed to move maintain the regular Study Session meetings as the 1st Wednesday of each month, but change the timing of the meeting to be 4 pm to 6 pm. 

For 2017/2018, the dates of the planned Study Session Meetings are:

 February 1, 2017  August 2, 2017 (only if needed)
 March 1, 2017  September 6, 2017
 April 5, 2017  October 4, 2017
 May 3, 2017  November 1, 2017
 June 7, 2017  December 6, 2017
 July 19, 2017 (combined with regular mtg)  January 10, 2018

Also discussed was the possibility of a Goals Meeting to be set for sometime in April and the Annual Joint Meeting with the Fire District planned for the second week of December 2017. 

Civic Center Fair Oaks FacadeItem No. 2 was a Review, Discussion, and Feedback Regarding Funding Status and Options for the Civic Center Project. Here, the City Manager presented the staff report walking the Council through the funding status of the project. The City Manager outlined various alternative funding options for Council consideration. Not included in the conversation was the funds required for the Library as these costs are separately funded in entirety by Library Funds. 

Project Design Costs $2,590,000 
Project Construction Costs (estimated) $21,847,000
Total Project Cost and Funding Need $24,437,000 
Estimated Funds from Atherton Now (as of Jan 2017) ($7,000,000) 
Remaining Funding Need $17,437,000 
Applicable Building Revenue Funds  ($2,935,000) 
Remaining Funding Need $14,502,000

At this point, the Council determined that to apply any other available funds, Measure L must be revised to allow the expenditure of General Funds toward the project. The Council was clear that the Town's mandatory 35% reserves be maintained. The unallocated funds discussed below DO NOT include expenditure of these reserves. 

Unallocated Surplus Funds  
- Unallocated General Funds ($4,423,138)
- Unallocated Capital Improvement Funds ($4,663,980)
Remaining Funding Need $5,414,882
Unallocated ERAF Funds (FY 2016/17 & FY 2017/18) ($2,103,185)
Remaining Funding Need $3,311,697

The Council discussed various funding options to close the funding need. These options included value engineering of the project to reduce costs once 100% design was met; the possibility of using an additional year of ERAF (another estimated $1.1 million); and financing alternatives (Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts, Bond Measure(s), Augmentation of the Parcel Tax, and Certificates of Participation). The Council also discussed any Capital Improvement Projects that would be impacted by using the Town's unallocated surplus funds.

The Staff Report outlines the various planned Capital Projects over the next 5 years. The City Manager advised that provided the Town's Parcel Tax continues as it is currently established, the only planned Capital Project that would be impacted would be Park Improvements. 

Following discussion, the Council removed the option of a new tax to fund the gap and instead focused on short-term borrowing using projected revenues over expenditures to fund the debt-service (Certificates of Participation), the application of an additional year of ERAF, and value engineering of the project as much as possible. Using these options, the Council felt the funding need could easily be closed and any additional funds raised by Atherton Now would further reduce the requirement. 

The Council provided feedback to staff to return in February with ballot language to revise Measure L (initially planned for the June 2017 ballot) and a financing plan to close the gap in funding need. 

After Adjourning the Study Session at 6:55 pm, at 7 pm, the Council convened in Regular Session. 

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council recognized K9 Karli for her years of service to the Town and presented her (via her handler Officer Gomez) a retirement shadow box. Moving on to Public Comments, the Council heard from 4 speakers on issues related to the Menlo Park Fire District Finances, the Fair Oaks Quiet Zone, Police Activity, and the MAHS Big Band Dance on January 21. 

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

After the City Manager's Report, the Council moved on to the Consent Agenda consisting of Items 8 through 17. 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 minutes, bills, Treasurer's Report, Authorization to Destroy Certain Records, Council Committee Assignments, Consulting Agreement for Telecommunications Engineering Services, Acceptance of Work for the Belbrook Culvert Repair, Acceptance of Work for the 2016 Streets Overlay, Award of Consultant Services for the Town's Drainage Projects, and Award of Consultant Services for the Las Lomitas School Stormwater Detention Facility. After brief discussion and modification of funding source for the Telecommunications Services Agreement, the Council approved the Consent Agenda. 

After the Consent Agenda, the Council moved on to the Public Hearing on Drones - Item No. 18. This item was moved to the February 15 City Council Agenda. 

Moving on to Item No. 19, the Council discussed again the Civic Center Project Status Update, approval of amendments to scope for the Project Architect, and directed staff regarding various components of the Project and the potential June 2017 Ballot Measure. 

Following a staff report, the Council discussed the various landscape, hardscape and signage options recently presented to the Civic Center Advisory Committee. The Council provided staff with feedback to inject back into the Committee discussion. The Council then discussed issues related to alignment of the SFPUC waterline in the project area as well as modifications to the planned design for the Corporation Yard. The Council then discussed 6 potential amendments to the architect's scope of work. All of the items presented were "mission critical" items that had been incorporated into the base project and/or were to be designed as additive alternates during the bid phase of the project. After discussion and Q&A with staff, the Council deferred approval of 2 of the 6 amendments requesting additional detail regarding funding allocation and design. 

Lastly, the Council directed staff to return on February 15 with ballot language and required actions to allow the Council to call a Special Election for June 2017 to amend the provisions of Measure L. Staff was also directed to return with additional funding alternative details around Certificates of Participation and the Town's General Fund projections for the coming years.

The last item on the Agenda was Item No. 20 - Approval of the Environmental Programs Committee's prioritization of actions within the Town's Climate Action Plan. After a brief staff report, discussion, and Q&A, the Council approved the priorities as presented directing staff to work with the Committee on the priorities in the coming year. It was noted that significant programs and policies would be returned to the Council for review and approval before implementation. 

Following Council Reports and Final Comments, the Council adjourned to Closed Session for review of the City Manager's Performance. 

Upon reconvening and reporting out of Closed Session and having cleared the entire Agenda, at approximately 9:30 pm, that, as they say - was a wrap!

The next meeting of the City Council is the Study Session of February 1. This meeting is also scheduled as a Joint Meeting with the Civic Center Advisory Committee mainly to provide a full project summary report. Additional items on the Study Session Agenda include a discussion of Mid-Year CIP Funding needs. The February 15 Regular Agenda tentatively includes a Public Hearing on the Drone Ordinance, Discussion of the Knox Pre-School Lease Extension, Mid-Year Budget Report, Calling of the Special Election for June 6, 2017, and the Civic Center 100% Design and Cost Estimate Approval. 

George_2.jpgThanks for reading!

George Rodericks
City Manager
Town of Atherton