Pleasanton City Councilmembers voted unanimously to direct City Engineer John Metting to meet with City Manager Kathy Coronado and Public Works Director Johnny Martinez to look and research the best way to proceed with the repaving of the Veterans’ Memorial Drive project.
Comprising the council are Mayor Clinton J. Powell and Councilmembers Jimmy Magel (Dist. 1), Abraham Saenz (Dist. 2), Janet M. Jackson (Dist. 3), J.R. Gallegos (Dist. 4), Roger G. Garza (Dist. 5) and Jeanne B. Israel (Dist. 6).
At the previous meeting, council voted 5-2 to select hot mix for paving Veterans’ Memorial Drive and that the entire park be repaved.
At the Dec. 1 meeting, Magel said that after looking at the dollar amount for repaving all of the park ($182,000) and the fact that there are streets needing work in town that have been budgeted, he is very concerned. He thought they should look at the item again. Metting was on hand to present some more figures he put together, regarding doing the park that had been impacted from the drainage project and pipeline, explained Magel.
Metting discussed doing Adams Street to the school pick-up area. This area has already had sub-grade and base installed. It is almost ready to be paved. The base is about $52,500 and the hot mix for that piece would be $31,900. Therefore, said Metting, they are already going to spend about $84,000 to get where the school pick-up is.
Metting also addressed how much more is the minimum amount the city would have to spend to take them to the entrance of Main Street.
“Since the park was extremely damaged during construction, I look at it as we have to do that much more to get it driveable,” said Metting. “If it starts raining, the park would become impassable in the area where there is no pavement.”
The cost for that stretch would be $68,500, which would be base and hot mix.
Since the eastern half of the park road is in the two-year flood plain, it is inundated with rain, noted Metting. So every time that it rains two-four inches, the water can be up and over that pavement.
“The problem with using hot mix in that situation is that it is much more dense and it holds together. So you take a chance of it floating, because it reinforces water getting up under it and attempting to pull it away, off of the base,” said Metting.
For that reason, Metting said he recommended that that part of the road be done in chip seal. Metting said he did not want to take anything away from those on council who wanted it to look good. While he understood it was their decision, he pointed out the dollar difference. Chip seal is 35 cents per square foot vs. $1.25.
“You can chip seal it 3 1/2 times for the price you are going to pay for hot mix,” said Metting.
Mayor Powell asked about the appearance and Metting said he spoke with the geotech engineer about it. The chip seal may need different specs and different recommendations than what council is used to the street department doing (different gravel, etc.). However, Metting was reassured that it was a pretty good-looking product, typical of what you would find on a typical county road. This is all why Metting was now recommending chip seal.
Gallegos said he spoke to a man who deals with material and delivers it and that he would definitely not want to go with chip seal.
“He said the hot mix is a lot better. It was going to cost more, but it is going to stand up and last longer,” said Gallegos.
Gallegos added chip seal was a rough finish and gave the example of Mansfield Street. He added he felt strongly that it be done right and that hot mix would withstand many years. A playground is going to be built and the park has never been maintained, he added.
“I agree, Jimmy, streets do need to be paved and that needs to be budgeted and allocated to pave X number of streets per year, in all of our districts,” said Gallegos.
Then Gallegos asked if work is going to be contracted out and Metting answered that no, the hot mix would have to be contracted out. The city would do the base prep and sub-grade. Gallegos said he would like the hot mix to be placed on the entire Atascosa River Park.
Mayor Powell said he would definitely like more information on the difference between the two.
Magel commented on the streets in the city that have been budgeted.
“We promised these people these four streets were going to be paved and now we’re going to start on this? I can’t go for this. I want to see the streets be paved and then we can do what we need to do at the park,” Magel said.
Gallegos said he disagreed and Garza said he also spoke to someone who recommended hot mix as well. Saenz said some contractors also told him the same, so he recommended hot mix.
Israel asked for a better understanding of what Metting was saying, which is that there is a possibility of the hot mix (in the part of the park that floods) lifting up in large portions and floating away. Metting said he would be interested in meeting with the individuals they were talking about. He added they hired a geo-tech engineer that has data in soil tests to base recommendations off of. Jackson explained the hot mix lifting up is what happened on Pulliam, as well as the material used. Metting added that on Pulliam there is groundwater. The park has scour and issues with velocity.
Right before the vote, Gallegos said sometimes the city tries to cut corners to save money and in the long run, it results in more money.
“I agree this is something you should not just bring to individuals on the street, you go talk to the city and the people that come from out of town. I think researching it and finding the best material is key,” said Powell.
City manager related items
Councilmembers met in closed session for discussion and action on the following personnel matters: previously interviewed candidates for the city manager position, possible interview of additional candidates for the city manager position and on possible compensation for the city manager position.
Upon reconvening into open session, council voted unanimously that two of the candidates interviewed previously still be considered. Council also voted unanimously to proceed on two of the new candidates the possibility of interviewing them for the city manager position. Regarding action on possible compensation for the position, council unanimously postponed the item.
Further interviews for the position of city manager were conducted Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Ronald Rocha of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson LLP gave a report on the delinquent tax collection services provided by the firm for the City of Pleasanton. This report was for the period of February-October 2011. Rocha explained the collection process, delinquent collection activity, taxpayer assistance, research, litigation and collection results.
Rocha’s report highlighted the City of Pleasanton workplan, such as when letters are mailed out about notifications and the procedure followed for lawsuits. It also lists the outbound collection calls made to collect taxes due, communication made to assist taxpayers with their questions, results of the Sheriff’s Sale and more. He ended by stating the delinquet tax collection for the city from January 2011 to the end of October is $95,463.
Israel told Rocha that she appreciated the extra steps he was taking to resolve issues. Magel also asked City Tax Collector Beth Carroll if the firm’s work was satisfactory and she replied that yes, they have done very well for the city.
Council also heard a report from the Atascosa County Appraisal
District by city representative Joe Rodriguez. He said that first he wanted to comment on the extra water meter that he just received, which the city is offering for a discounted rate (until the end of the year) and that it is a great deal. The meter has saved him $50 and for those who have ordered one and have not had it put in yet, Rodriguez reminded the public one of the delays is the labor involved.
In his report, Rodriguez cited a big growth due to the oil boom. There is an appraisal position open they are having difficulty filling because of the oil business. There have also been some changes made to the Property Tax Code. All bills are current and someone did fill out a comment card with “poor” but the person did not sign it.
With a unanimous vote, council approved the vacating and replat of lots 3-6 within the Jamestown II and Williamsburg II Subdivision, as well as the vacating and replat of lot 10 within the Pleasanton Industrial Subdivision, Unit 2 (south of Eurostar), as presented by engineer and surveyor Walt Rakowitz.
The following ordinances were adopted unanimously:
•To vacate and abandon a portion of Crownhill Drive purchased by Erich Franke.
•Setting times for school zones and amending the speed limits on Highway 97 East. This ordinance states that on Highway 97 East, from the east city limits to the 2000 block, the maximum speed shall be 55 mph.
From the 2000 block to the 1300 block of Highway 97 East, the maximum speed shall be 45 mph. The maximum speed from the 1300 block of Highway 97 East to Highway 281 North (Second Street) shall be 35 mph. The afternoon hours for reduced speed in all school zones within the city are 2:30-4:30 p.m. on regular school days.