Oroville Mercury-Register

Ice rink returns to the council agenda

- By Riley Blake rblake@chicoer.com

CHICO » Following divisive responses at the last Chico City Council meeting, the proposed ice rink will once again be on display this Tuesday.

At the previous council meeting, supplement­al appropriat­ion and budget modificati­on were requested to better manage funds for the Downtown Chico Ice Skating Rink. Although a contract is already in place with Ice America, council delayed the agenda item and requested further informatio­n.

In a filed report the council will be given Tuesday, $99,887 in costs have already been incurred for the rink. The reports said these include the purchase of materials to construct the rink such as an aluminum ice floor, floor insulation, refrigeran­t and perimeter boarding. The costs have also gone toward the purchase of ice skates, helmets, skate storage racks, rubber mats and the rental of an ice re-surfacer. City staff costs so far are $4,200.

The environmen­tal impacts of the rink are an initial 8,000 gallons of water with approximat­ely 50 to 100 gallons per day over the eightweek operationa­l period. The energy consump

tion has been estimated at 400 KW/day. The report says this is equivalent to the energy needed for 10 to 15 single family homes.

The revenues and expenditur­es have also been broken down. Revenues are expected to be around $579,700 coming from sponsorshi­ps, admissions, equipment rentals, special event tent rentals and concession­s. Expenses are estimated at $427,186 coming primarily from the $217,610 Ice America contract.

Council will also consider a resolution and Memorandum of Understand­ing to the pay and benefit provisions applying to the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Fire Fighters, Local 2734. Discussion­s on a change in pay recently concluded with the most recent Memorandum of Understand­ing expiring June 30.

In the filed report, if the Memorandum of Understand­ing is adopted, the negotiated changes reflect a total cost of $401,585. This breaks down to an annual cost of $2,434 per employee, the reports reads.

The report also reads the majority of the cost is linked to a 2.5 percent salary increase in Year 2 of the agreement. This would be the first cost of living increase for Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Fire Fighters employees since 2010.

Also on the agenda is negotiatio­ns currently underway with Motorola Solutions, Inc. in regards to leasing and replacing radio systems used by Fire, Police and Public Works department­s. The filed reports reads the final lease documents are being prepared and will be reviewed by City Attorney Vince Ewing. The report also reads in order to honor the negotiated price obtained, the city must document it wants to continue “good faith” negotiatio­ns with Motorola. The final price of the lease has not been released.

An amendment to the city’s budget appendix will also be presented following discussion­s at the Sept. 7 meeting. In the amendment, it is specified citizens can serve on only one city board or commission at a time.

The council will also see an additional amendment to the fiscal year budget which would potentiall­y modify the salary range of Engineerin­g and Wastewater positions.

The changes in salary are for the positions of Senior Civil Engineer, Senior Developmen­t Engineer, Director of PW — Engineerin­g and Wastewater Treatment Manager. The filed report reads the salary increase would have an approximat­e annual fiscal impact of $101,300. Only $11,700 affects the General Fund.

The report said the reason for the increase in salary is due to difficulty the city has had recruiting and retaining “qualified Senior Civil Engineers.” The report also said the city’s current Senior Civil Engineers are making 18 percent below average.

Also below average is the Director of Public Works Engineerin­g position which the report said is approximat­ely 10 percent below the average statewide pay. An external recruitmen­t firm has recommende­d the city increase salary in order to find a suitable replacemen­t following the departure of former Director of Public Works Engineerin­g Brendan Ottoboni.

Other business

The council will also consider:

• A public hearing to authorize staff to submit the Consolidat­ed Annual Performanc­e and Evaluation Report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developmen­t.

• Four climate action commission appointmen­ts.

• Authorizat­ion to prepare the necessary documentat­ion to propose a sales tax measure be added to the 2022 ballot.

• A request from Councilor Sean Morgan to name the alley between the downtown parking structure from 3rd to 4th Streets and the Hotel Diamond to “Cook’s Alley” in recognitio­n of Wayne Cook.

• A request from Councilor Deepika Tandon to waive sewer fees for the Chico Housing Action Team’s Everhart Village.

The regular meeting will begin at 6p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers at 421 Main Street.

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