In his update on staffing levels within the Antioch Police Department, Chief Alan Cantando informed the City Council that 13 vacant officer positions currently need to be filled. The process to fill at least five of those positions is underway, but could take anywhere between six and 14 weeks to complete.
Councilmember Brian Kalinowski floated the idea of bringing back some community service officers. Cantando announced that members of the Volunteers In Police Service Program are being trained to tow vehicles, which will free up police officers who have assumed that duty following the layoffs of all community service officers in 2009.
Seven surveillance cameras are expected to be installed within eight weeks at Knoll Park, Antioch Community Park and the Antioch Marina.
An International Day of Peace celebration will be held Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Antioch’s Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2200 Country Hills Drive. The event includes a children’s concert and the dedication of a peace pole. Antioch’s Coastal Cleanup Day is scheduled for Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon.
The council also approved a plan to install two synthetic turf fields and new athletic field lighting at Antioch Community Park.
There could soon be more shade at City Park after the Brentwood City Council Tuesday instructed city staff to work with the Rotary Club of Brentwood on installing new, donated shade structures for the park’s picnic areas.
The council also received an informational report on its community facilities districts (CFD). The city has established CFDs for public safety, open space, flood and storm damage, and joint-use facilities. CFD facilities in the city include the Brentwood Senior Activity Center, the Brentwood Community Center, the relocation of the existing library and the proposed library expansion project.
This year the CFDs will generate $7.6 million, of which $5.7 million is committed to projects. The remaining $1.9 million can be used for projects that fall within the guidelines set by the CFD formation documents. Historically, the city has used excess CFD money for police services.
The disposition of the funds will come at a future meeting, but staff recommended keeping the cash in reserve for now. Approximately $2.1 million in payments from the former Brentwood Redevelopment District has been delayed by the state’s takeover of redevelopment districts, and the CFD money could be needed if the state’s refund of RDA money continues to be delayed.
The meeting was opened by a color guard presentation by the Brentwood Police Explorers, and adjourned in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Town of Discovery Bay recently concluded a wastewater salinity study of 66 homes in The Lakes development. Initial results show that the town’s wastewater salinity is low, and more than meets state requirements.
Virgil Koehne, the town’s wastewater manager, told the Community Services District board at the Sept. 5 meeting that many factors contribute to salinity levels. “What we know is that water softeners have quite a big effect on the salinity,” said Koehne. “And that bleach also increases it a bit too.”
In other CSD news, Discovery Bay General Manager Rick Howard stated that the housing market in town seems to be rebounding. “New development (in the state) is taking place and it is finally hitting Discovery Bay,” Howard told the CSD during the same meeting. “Keiper Homes (in The Lakes development in Discovery Bay West) has purchased 91 lots and pulled new permits for 21 single-family homes.”
Future board agenda items included a request by Director Jim Mattison for the town to provide an update on the leasing availability of a 3,600-square-foot space previously owned by Prudential California Realty in the old Discovery Bay shopping center.
The Oakley City Council decided Tuesday to terminate its lease agreement with Homeless Animals Lifeline Organization (HALO) after the group failed to demonstrate it is using the old Station 93 fire station on Fourth Street to its maximum potential as an animal rescue and shelter.
Since July, the facility has been used to house only about 10 cats and serve as a weekend adoption site. HALO has been invited to reapply to use the facility. The council is expected to choose a new tenant in December.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted to approve an urgency ordinance to place a moratorium on the approval of computer gaming and Internet access businesses such as Internet cafés. Neighbors Antioch and Pittsburg have recently approved similar ordinances after several such businesses established in those cities reportedly acted as fronts for online gambling.
The council also decided on Tuesday to authorize the purchase of two police motorcycles for a total of no more than $50,000.