Modesto Council Watch

The Modesto City Council meets today at 5:30 p.m. at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St. The council is scheduled to vote on:

Endorsing a proposal to ask voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase earmarked for road improvements. It would raise $700 million over 20 years for projects in Stanislaus County.

Revising Modesto's municipal code to allow police officers to cite people for multiple code infractions on a single ticket.

Hearing an appeal from a Modesto construction company that wants the city to return $5,860 in development fees related to a warehouse it built.

Signing off on Public Works Department budget updates. The changes reflect $525,714 in costs for new water and sewer employees. Most of the Public Works budget is paid for through monthly utility charges.

Hiring FCS Group, a Washington company, to study Modesto's water rates and connection charges. The company can earn up to $138,400 for its work.

Accepting an agreement that allows a nonprofit group to manage the King-Kennedy Memorial Center. The city plans to shift most of its recreational programs there to other neighborhood centers in west Modesto. The Stanislaus Multicultural Community Health Coalition West Modesto/ King-Kennedy Collaborative wants to move into the King-Kennedy center.

Allowing the Modesto Nuts to have more authority to manage projects at John Thurman Field.

Awarding Stockton's Don Lawley Co. a $58,800 contract to demolish the burned-out John Muir school on Morris Avenue.

Spending $101,000 to install rubber sidewalks in city parks. Modesto got half of the money for the project from a state grant.

Deciding what to do with $84,300 in taxes from businesses on North McHenry Avenue that are being held in a protest account. Some businesses in the North McHenry area are upset that they are paying a city tax on their revenues that their competitors do not pay. The businesses are outside the city limit, but they receive some city services.

In addition, the council is scheduled to discuss in closed session:

A lawsuit filed by a family whose son was hit by a car on Orangeburg Avenue in 2003.

A lawsuit filed by three female employees who claim the city underpaid them for work in Modesto's Finance Department. A jury in November ordered Modesto to pay the women $189,000. A judge last month ordered a new trial because of attorney and jury misconduct.

City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood's job performance evaluation. She is one of three employees whose job reviews are conducted by the City Council.

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