Modesto Council Watch

February 25, 2014 

    alternate text Kevin Valine
    Title: Reporter
    Coverage areas: City of Modesto and nonprofits
    Bio: Kevin Valine has been a copy editor and reporter at The Bee since January 2006. He's worked at the Reno Gazette-Journal, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and Paradise Post as a reporter and copy editor. He's a graduate of San Jose State.
    Recent stories written by Kevin

City Council members on Tuesday:

• Decided to revisit some of the votes they took Jan. 28 on amending the city’s general plan, which serves as a blueprint for how Modesto will grow and develop in the coming decades. Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer wants to take another look at the decision to designate about 1,200 acres in Wood Colony as farmland. Colony residents don’t want to be in the general plan. Based on council members’ discussion, it does not appear the council will look at their votes that designated about 1,100 acres in the colony for commercial development and business parks. Mayor Garrad Marsh rebuffed Councilman Dave Cogdill’s request to revisit putting aside the general plan amendment and consider a comprehensive general plan update. Such an update would be the city’s first in nearly 20 years and would take more time and money. The council will revisit the general plan at its March 25 meeting.

• Authorized staff to negotiate a five-year, $16.17 million contract with Modesto-based Storer Transit for dial-a-ride service. The contract is $600,000 a year more than a proposal from Dallas-based MV Transportation, which operates other public transportation systems in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Modesto’s deal is contingent upon Ceres and Stanislaus County also using Storer. Panels for the three governments ranked Storer above MV and recommended it receive the contracts. Storer is the current contractor for dial-a-ride, Ceres and the county. Storer’s proposed annual cost is $3.2 million versus MV’s proposed annual cost of $2.6 million. Modesto and Storer officials say Storer’s proposal is more expensive because it provides better service than MV because it keeps good employees by offering them better benefits and has more dial-a-ride employees.

– Kevin Valine

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