The Modesto City Council on Tuesday:
▪ Approved a new 10-year agreement with the Modesto Nuts for the minor league baseball team to use city-owned John Thurman Field. The current 10-year agreement expires at the end of this month. The new agreement calls for the city to reduce the annual revenue it gets from the Nuts from about $300,000 to $70,000 but the Nuts assume the responsibility and the costs from the city for maintaining and operating the facility. But Modesto will spend $120,000 annually on capital projects and deferred maintenance at the facility.
▪ Approved a six-year $450,000 agreement with Opportunity Stanislaus for economic development services. Opportunity Stanislaus, formerly known as the Stanislaus Business Alliance, has provided these services to the city since 2003.
▪ Approved spending as much as an additional $445,000 for legal services from six law firms. Those services include representing the city in labor and employment matters, resolving claims filed against the city, help with federal housing programs and representing the city in a 2011 lawsuit filed against it by Stanislaus County over the cleanup of the defunct Geer Road Landfill.
▪ Reduced what are called water capacity fees, which are one-time fees that new or expanded development pays to connect to the city water system. The fee for a single-family home falls from $5,702 to $3,671. The reduced fees are based on a consultant’s study. Utilities Director Larry Parlin said the old capacity fees were based on assumptions for development that never materialized. In April, Modesto reduced its sewer capacity fees based on the same rationale. The fee for a single-family home fell from $5,146 to $2,643.
▪ Received an update on plans for a one-stop center that would provide a range of services to the homeless and a 40-bed low-barrier shelter, which unlike traditional shelters, accepts couples and pets. The city is working with Stanislaus County on the projects, which are slated to be next to the Salvation Army’s Haig and Isabel Berberian Shelter and Transitional Living Center at Ninth and D streets, near downtown. The center could open in March, and the shelter in summer.
▪ Established a residential parking permit zone on the 400 and 500 blocks of Myrtle Avenue near Modesto Junior College’s east campus. The city established a pilot program on Myrtle last year after residents complained about MJC students parking on their street, leaving them and their guests without street parking.