Healdsburg City Hall

The Healdsburg City Council has a light agenda for their next meeting on Monday, Aug. 3, their return to regular meetings following a brief recess in July.

Monday’s city council meeting will be held virtually at 6 p.m. and topics include discussing options for further COVID-19 response, adoption of a salary change for interim city manager Dave Kiff and consideration of awarding a construction contract to Argonaut Constructors Inc. for the College Street sewer and water replacement project.

COVID-19 response

While the city has already implemented several programs related to COVID-19 response, such as low-income assistance for electric bills, a small business loan program with an allocation of $600,000 to qualifying local businesses and a street closure program for Plaza Street, it’s looking for more ways to help and respond to the crisis.

Other possible actions include:

●      Ensuring that Healdsburg residents are protected from COVID-related evictions.

●      Enacting civil fines for not observing public health orders such as mask wearing and social distancing.

●      Additional retail assistance.

●      Encouraging specific uses and activities.

●      Enacting utility bill payment relief.

●      Ensuring child care programs.

●      Encouraging walking and biking to downtown.

The council will be encouraged to discuss the above items and offer recommendations to city staff on how they’d want to address each topic and proceed.

According to the agenda item report, possible recommendations to the staff could be:

“1. Report back at a city council meeting via the city manager’s report. 2. Agendize a request for formal council action or direction. 3. Include this item in discussion of the council’s 2020-22 goals. 4. Note the importance of an item and table it until resources permit more examination.”

Salary change

Council will also consider approving an amendment to interim city manager Dave Kiff’s salary. On June 15, the council approved the hiring of Kiff at a salary of $110 per hour. In order to align the salary with the publicly available salary schedule, the city would like to set Kiff’s salary at $106.01 per hour.

“In addition, as Kiff is a retired annuitant, CalPERS requires the council adopt a resolution in a specified format approving the hire specifying that no benefits will be provided to Kiff,” the agenda item report states.

College Street sewer project

Lastly, the city will decide whether or not to award a construction contract of $2,045,642 to Argonaut Constructors Inc. for the College Street sewer and water project.

A large majority of the sewer and water facilities in the Powell Avenue, North Street and South of Healdsburg Avenue and University Street to the east were installed in the 1920s and are in need of replacement.

The College Street sewer and water replacement project will replace the sewer and water systems in Fitch Street between North and Piper Street, Piper between Fitch and College Street  and at College between Piper and Lincoln Streets. In addition, the curb ramps in those areas will be updated and the streets will be repaved.

When the city advertised for bids the lowest bid received was Argonaut. According to the agenda item report, “The other bids received ranged from the apparent second low bid of $2,327,141 to a high bid of $3,256,666. The low bid was higher than the engineer’s estimate of $1,858,000 by approximately 10%. This can be attributed to the variability in pricing of projects during the uncertainty of COVID-19.”

If the contract is awarded to Argonaut, the project will be funded with $850,861 from the city’s water fund, $633,774 from the wastewater fund and $572,540 from the Gas Tax Fund.

How to view Monday’s meeting

To watch the virtual meeting, visit: http://healdsburgca.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx.

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 publiccomment@ci.healdsburg.ca.us.

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