Riverbank changes City Council meeting schedule

gstapley@modbee.comFebruary 12, 2014 

— Riverbank City Council meetings, held every other Monday for as long as anyone can remember, will move to the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

Also, City Hall will close every other Friday.

The two changes are related.

In last year’s contract talks, employees asked for what’s called a 9-80 schedule, or working nine days rather than 10 every two weeks. Employees would put in one eight-hour day and eight nine-hour days with that system, which is used by some Turlock agencies.

Employees don’t seem to mind working a little longer in exchange for a three-day weekend every other week, a Riverbank report says, and people with city business to conduct might appreciate City Hall opening at 7:30 a.m. and closing at 5:30 p.m., except when it’s closed every other Friday, the government’s slowest day of the week.

City Council members unanimously approved the change at Monday’s meeting. But they also recognized that staff would need more time to prepare council agenda material near the end of every other week, so they moved council meetings from Mondays to Tuesdays, effective April 8.

The council also reviewed a streets condition analysis that gave an average grade of 73 to Riverbank roads, with 100 being best. The city spends about $400,000 each year repairing streets; at that level, the grade would plunge to 60 by 2022, the report says.

Staying around 73 would require spending about $1.5 million per year. If voters throughout Stanislaus County approve an upcoming transportation tax, the city might be able to spend $1.1 million a year, but conditions still would degrade to 69 in 10 years, the report says.

“The big takeaway is (a transportation tax) would help dramatically, but it does not completely solve the problem,” said City Manager Jill Anderson.

In other business, the council unanimously:

• Approved spending $50,000 on plans for making government buildings more wheelchair friendly, and up to $20,000 upgrading police station doors to provide better access for people with disabilities. The council set aside $7,500 to paint City Hall, too.

• Hired the consulting firm National Demographics Corp. to study whether Riverbank should switch from at-large to district City Council elections. A simple analysis would cost $3,150, while developing a transition plan could cost $25,000.

• Certified environmental studies on the former Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant’s transition to a business park.

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at gstapley@modbee.com or (209) 578-2390.

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