Absent Mayor Jerry Thorne, city leadership approved its fiscal year 2020-21 mid-term capital improvement program (CIP) budget, which in part pulled from reserves to show $4.4 million more than the original 2020-21 CIP budget.
At the Aug. 4 special meeting, the council reviewed a staff report presented by Tina Olson, city finance director. Olson explained the CIP’s funding source adjustments.
Earlier in the year, the council voted to reduce the general fund transfer to the CIP by $2.5 million and placed that $2.5 million into a rainy-day fund.
“Because we had to cut the general fund transfer to the CIP by $2.5 million, it caused a shortfall … and so we need to reallocate from the CIPR (CIP reserve) to cover the shortfall,” Olson said. “We’re also proposing to essentially eliminate two existing reserves and transfer the funds to other reserves.”
Increase and transfers from other CIP funding sources, along with the reserve consolidations proposed brought them to the new balance.
Olson detailed the proposed CIP budget, which showed a total of $29.6 million. Broken down, that accounted for $8 million for miscellaneous, $2.8 million for parks, $12.27 million for streets, $1.8 million for sewer and $4.76 million for water. Olson explained the increased allocations of $4.4 million were for projects and other adjustments: $2.6 million for miscellaneous; $336,587 for parks; $1.1 million for streets; $50,000 for sewer; and $300,000 for water.
Existing and new projects saw funds increased. Four existing projects pertaining to the library, traffic signals, traffic signal detection and upgrades, and water quality received $690,000. An increased $1.6 million will go toward new projects for workplace reentry, Santa Rita fiber interconnect, emergency power for water and sewer, Val Vista underdrain design, and fire training tower improvements.
On street construction, Vice Mayor Kathy Narum noted, “We’re still getting a lot done during these challenging times.”
Enhancing Intersection Service, Safety
The council also approved an amendment to its agreement with HMH Engineers in the amount of $231,200, regarding CIP No. 17556 for the development of intersection enhancement at Bernal Avenue at First Street and Sunol. The funds will go toward completing the design and preparing biddable construction documents for a second westbound left-turn lane at that intersection.
Adam Nelkie, senior civil engineer, then presented the Bernal intersection project staff report. The project started in 2010, when a need to increase capacity was identified for westbound Bernal to Sunol. The goal of the project is to alleviate traffic backup and improve safety.
Nelkie noted the option to widen the intersection to the north would be the preferable option, as it has the best geometrics and pedestrian and bike improvements. It offers the least impact to the area and found support from the school district. It also comes with the lowest price tag of $279,870.
Absent the votes of Thorne and Councilmember Julie Testa — who recused herself from discussion since her personal property is located near the region — Narum and Councilmembers Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin voted to amend the agreement.
The next steps involve the city council moving forward with negotiations for right of way acquisition and completion of design for a spring 2021 project design. Construction will aim to begin late 2021.