The Healdsburg City Council has a packed agenda for their next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Big items up for adoption and/or topics of discussion include an update from the Healdsburg Police Department on its community equity effort, adoption of a project bid award for the completion of the next segment of the Foss Creek Pathway, consideration of a resolution to extend the Plaza Street closure and the market space/parklets program and consideration of options for use of the Villa Chanticleer during the pandemic.
City manager report
Healdsburg Interim City Manager David Kiff will provide an update on the Walbridge Fire and on COVID-19, including the latest county numbers and information on the state’s recent eviction protection legislation.
The council also hear from City Attorney Samantha Zutler regarding an update on city council compensation. At an earlier city council meeting, city councilmembers asked Zutler if they could discuss councilmember compensation. City councilmembers receive a $150 per month stipend and are eligible to participate in the city’s health plans, which includes medical, dental and vision for the councilmember and their family.
Healdsburg Police Chief Kevin Burke will provide an update on the department’s community equity effort. In June, Burke presented council with a proposal to reallocate police funds for the establishment of a community equity team that would comprise an officer and a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
The change, which has to return to the city council for ratification, would start with a two-year pilot program and would be made possible by leaving the two vacant police officer positions empty in order to free up funds for the new position.
At a June city council meeting Burke said he envisions a team that has the appropriate expertise to respond to calls on homelessness, mental health and other calls where a LCSW response would be a more effective and equitable approach.
One item on tap for the consent calendar includes the adoption of a project bid award of $2,631,649.33 to Rege Construction Inc. for the construction and completion of the next segment of the Foss Creek Pathway.
If the contract is approved by council Rege would work on segments seven and eight of the pathway, which would create a link from the northern end of town to downtown for pedestrians and cyclists.
It would extend the pathway from the flood control detention basin — adjacent to the Carson Warner Memorial Skate Park — north across Dry Creek Road and would continue north to Grove Street at Healdsburg Avenue.
According to the agenda item report, “The proposed project budget is $2,960,236 covering the construction contract, an additional 10% contingency for unforeseen conditions and additional funding of $65,422 for traffic and design engineering support during construction.”
The project is being funded from Measure M, the Measure V Fund and from the Gas Tax Fund.
Continuing with Plaza Street closure
Council will also consider the continuation of limiting vehicular access on Plaza Street between Center Street and midway down the block to East Street. The street closure has been called the “Open Streets” program.
The portion of street has been closed to provide restaurants and retail with outdoor space for socially distanced outdoor dining and retail. If the council adopts the resolution, the limitation of vehicular access would be in place through January 2021.
The resolution would also extend the Outdoor Activities Permit process that encourages businesses to use the public areas adjacent to their stores or restaurants for additional retail and eating space, which is called the Marketspace Program. In tandem with the Marketspace program and open streets is the allowance of the consumption of alcoholic beverages in West Plaza Park and on streets, sidewalks, and public rights of way adjacent to the Plaza and West Plaza Park.
So far there are 30 active permits with local businesses for the Marketspace Program. Seventeen have created parklets, three are using the sidewalk, two are park uses and six more permits are pending.
According to the agenda item report, “Some of the businesses’ on-site construction is fairly elaborate and costly, and merchants have asked if the city council would consider extending the program for a longer period of time (currently the program is set to end Jan. 31, 2021) to recoup their capital costs and to better plan for the winter season in terms of additional infrastructure.”
City staff is looking for direction from the council on how they should proceed with their lease with the Tayman Golf Group Inc. for the Villa Chanticleer.
Back in August of 2014, the city council approved a master services agreement, a lease, with the Tayman Golf Group Inc. with the purpose of operating the Villa as an event center. The city transitioned the operation of the historical Villa to Tayman in September 2014.
Tayman is responsible for full facility operations and coordinates use of the Villa Annex with the American Legion. Maintenance and upkeep of the Villa Chanticleer is shared between the city and Tayman.
Since then, Tayman has made the Villa a recognized event space for weddings, parties and special events and has made the Villa available to local organizations — like the Rotary or the Healdsburg Unified School District — at either free or discounted rates.
“The original five-year term with Tayman concluded in August 2019 and city council approved a lease amendment that allows for up to three successive five-year extensions effective Sept. 1, 2019,” according to the agenda report.
However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has halted Villa operations since events cannot be held.
“Like many businesses, Tayman Group has come to the decision that they can no longer sustain the Villa’s operations under the current lease terms due toCOVID-19. Although Tayman Group has provided the City with their notice to terminate the lease, they are willing to consider alternative arrangements. As part of the ongoing discussions with Tayman Group, staff has identified four several different scenarios that the city could consider,” according to the agenda item report.
The four options are:
● End the current lease, cancel and refund all scheduled events for the remainder of COVID-19 and determine the future of the Villa later.
● Amend the current lease to include a cost sharing arrangement for the carrying costs through Dec. 31, 2020 with the possibility of extending the lease through March 31.
● Amend the lease to incorporate a monthly loan payment to Tayman equivalent to the monthly costs until COVID restrictions have ended. The loan would be structured similar to the city’s COVID small business loan program.
● End the lease and enter into a management agreement with Tayman or another vendor.
Of the four options there are two variables that drive the viability of each option, when COVID restrictions will end and how the city would fund the cost given the current status of the overall financial concerns the city is facing.
How to participate in the meeting
To watch the virtual meeting, visit: http://healdsburgca.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx.
To view the agenda packet visit: http://healdsburgca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1994&Inline=True
To submit a live public comment, click the list of participants button during the meeting. In the bottom right hand corner you’ll see a “Hand” icon. Click the icon and the city clerk or the mayor will call you when it’s time to speak. Speakers get three-minutes.
Folks can also submit their comments via email to email@example.com.