At its Tuesday meeting, the Antioch City Council increased the budget for the city’s Water System Master Plan by $148,000 to fund water facility studies to assess current system conditions, operations and plans for system improvements over the next 20 years. The need for studies was brought about as water demand and usage patterns have increased since the plan was updated in 1999.
To combat squatters who abuse utility services, as of Aug. 13 new tenants to a property or a listing agent representing a property must complete a water service application, which requires the owner to certify that the tenant has a right to residency or that the listing agent is authorized to establish water service.
In other developments Tuesday, the council officially became the successor agency to the Antioch Development Agency.
Antioch Police Chief Alan Cantando announced that applications for police officers are now being accepted at Neogov.org. He also plans to hold a Spanish edition of Coffee With the Cops to better communicate with the entire community.
Ron Parish, director of golf at Lone Tree Golf Course, announced that the Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament brought in $11,000 this year, $2,000 more than in 2011.
The Brentwood City Council this week ordered construction to begin on a new traffic signal on American Avenue at the entrance to the Heritage High School student parking lot. The work is intended to help relieve traffic tie-ups and safety concerns that have plagued the area since Heritage and Adams Middle School located next door opened in 2005.
The project is being funded by a $299,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as part of the Safe Routes to Schools program. An additional $38,000 in matching funds will be split between the city, the Liberty Union High School District and the Brentwood Union School District.
In other business, the council proclaimed Friday, Aug. 17 as Play Day 2012, celebrating Brentwood’s fifth consecutive year of recognition as a Playful City USA by KaBOOM, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the importance of play.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. in City Park, the event will feature Andy Z and the Andyland Band in a free concert. Bring a chair, blanket and picnic basket to the newly refurbished park at the corner of Oak and Second streets.
The council also accepted kudos from the Arbor Day Foundation, the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service, which have named the city a Tree City USA for the second consecutive year. The qualifications include establishing 1) a tree board or department, 2) a community tree ordinance, 3) a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and 4) an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. Only 3,400 of the more than 30,000 communities eligible across the country met the standards.
The Discovery Bay Community Services District (CSD) voted Aug. 1 to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown protesting the proposed plans to divert water from the Delta to Southern California.
The plan is authorized under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and would create three tunnels to pump water from the San Joaquin Delta area down south. CSD President Chris Steele said he would write a letter over the next few weeks and present a draft to the CSD board for discussion and possible approval at next month’s regular board meeting.
In other CSD news, the town’s Emergency Operations Preliminary Plan is complete and a draft has been presented to the board for feedback and discussion. According to General Manager Rick Howard, the plan was created with the help of the County Office of Emergency Services, and outlines procedures to be used by town staff in the event of an emergency such as fire, flood or earthquake.
The plan is important, said Howard, because in the event of a disaster the town would be eligible for possible state and federal funding, but can only secure such assistance by putting a standardized plan in place. The draft can be viewed at the town website, www.townofdiscoverybay.org.
In response to the increase in inquiries regarding pawn and secondhand shops, the Oakley City Council took a stance on Tuesday and updated its municipal code to clearly define these businesses and where they can operate.
A pawnbroker is now defined in the city’s municipal code as “a person engaged in the business of receiving goods, including motor vehicles, in pledge as security for a loan pursuant to Section 21000 of the Financial Code.” A secondhand dealer is “any person, corporation, firm, or corporation whose business includes buying, selling, trading, taking in pawn, accepting for sale on consignment, accepting for auctioning or auctioning secondhand tangible personal property pursuant to Section 21626 of the Business and Professions Code.”
The new ordinance would allow pawnbrokers to be located exclusively in the General Commercial zone district, specifically on properties located along Main Street west of Empire Avenue. These businesses would be required to obtain a conditional use permit, which allows for additional conditions to be placed on the business to ensure security and compatibility with the surrounding properties. A pawnbroker may not establish a retail location within 1,500 feet of a school, daycare, church or park.
Secondhand dealers are now permitted in Retail Business and General Commercial zone districts and may locate in any shopping center within the city.
In other business news, the council decided on Tuesday to send a cease operations abatement notice to Chip-It Recycling, located at 175 Sandy Lane. The business has been operating in violation of the county’s solid waste ordinance, which Oakley adopted in 1999, and it has been operating without the proper permits.
Owner Joe Bernardini has 30 days to comply with the notice. The council invited him to work with city staff to obtain the proper permits for a recycling business so he may continue operations in the future.