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Government

This week at City Hall: Dec. 7

The City Council discusses new downtown Metrolink station improvements, the Water Shortage Contingency Plan gets reviewed, and fiscal year budgets are allocated.

A photo of the entrance to Riverside City Hall.
City Hall in Downtown Riverside
The Raincross Gazette

City Council Meeting

Item 4: Update on the Downtown Metrolink Station Improvements Project

On Tuesday, the City Council will receive a presentation and update on the Riverside Downtown Metrolink Station Improvements Project from David Lewis with the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

The presentation includes ways the project will benefit the city, visual renderings of the proposed renovations, a draft summarization of the environmental impact report, an overview of the project schedule, and other items.

Item 12: Review of Outside Council Expenditures of July to September

The council will review the outside counsel (lawyer fees) expenditure report for July 1 to Sept. 30. According to the report, Riverside spent $857,745 on outside counsel during that period, including $351,538 for the Friends of Riverside v City of Riverside case and $46,700 for the Casteel v City of Riverside case.

Item 15: City Selling Surplus Land from 91 Freeway Van Buren Exit Project

The council will look to adopt a resolution to declare three properties near the 91 Freeway Westbound exit on Van Buren Blvd. as surplus properties and authorize them for sale. The properties were initially acquired for the 91 Freeway Van Burn Blvd. Interchange Improvement Project. From satellite and google street view, all three properties appear to be vacant and have no structures present, but all of them are by residential homes.

Item 16: Officially Adopting Sidewalk Vendor Ordinance

The council will look to officially adopt an ordinance to update the city’s policy on sidewalk vendors. The most significant addition to the cities sidewalk vendor policy would allow applicants to use documentation other than their social security number in their application, which would make the city compliant with state law. Other new regulations include restrictions on where food carts can be placed.

Item 24: Awarding Nearly $130,000 Electric Bicycle Bid to Cycle USA

Under consideration will be potentially awarding a $129,194.76 bid to Riverside’s Cycle USA to purchase 22 Verve electric bicycles with five-year service plans for the Riverside Police Department Parks and Neighborhood Specialist Team. If approved, the bikes will be paid for with Measure Z funding.

Item 30: Traffic Circulation Project on Market and Sixth Street

The council will consider a traffic circulation project on Market St. and Sixth St. that will prohibit through and left-turn movements at the eastbound and westbound approaches. If approved, the project will establish the program for a 1-month testing period.

Item 31: Traffic Circle Pilot Project at Challan Ave. and Orlando Dr / Foothill Ave.

If approved, the temporary Neighborhood Traffic Circle Improvement Pilot Project would be at the intersection Challan Ave. and Orlando Dr / Foothill Ave. According to the city’s documents, 86% of residents near the intersection requested the city consider the pilot program. If approved, the pilot would be in place for six months.

Item 32: Approving Parking Management Services Contract Worth Over $3.8 Million

The council will consider approving a 3-year agreement for parking management services with Parking Concepts Inc. out of Los Angeles. The services would cover their five parking garages and 14 surface lots around Downtown Riverside. If approved, the city would pay $3.8 million over three years, plus 10% contingency, equaling a total of $4,223,067.

Item 33: Grant Application for Youth Workforce Program

Under consideration will be a grant application for $4.4 million that would go towards establishing a Youth Workforce Program. According to the city’s document, the program would “increase youth employment, develop career pathways and youth interest in and experience towards a career in public service and strengthen City capacity to address key areas of education, climate, and food insecurity.”

Water Committee

Item 4: California Drought Update

On Wednesday, the Water Committee will receive an update on California’s drought and discuss the city’s public utilities 37-page Water Shortage Contingency Plan. According to their presentation, Riverside reduced 8% of their water usage in October, short of the 15% goal set by the governor. The presentation also said Riverside Public Utilities anticipates sufficient water supply for the next 5-dry years. Riverside draws 100% of its water from the ground and not from outside sources such as the California Aqueduct or the Colorado River.

Mobility and Infrastructure Committee

Item 2: Update on Third Street Rail Grade Separation Project and Others

The Mobility and Infrastructure Committee will receive an update on the already approved Third St. Grade Separation Project and discuss potential Jackson, Mary, and Spruce Street projects. According to their presentation, the project is under environmental review, with construction expected to begin in July of 2024. The current price tag sits at $55.5 Million.

The committee will also review concept designs and prioritization for the potential rail grade separations at Jackson, Mary, and Spruce Street. Each of those three projects appear to require that the city obtain properties to make the projects feasible.

Budget Engagement Committee

Item 2: Fiscal Year Fourth Quarter Report for General Fund

On Thursday, the committee will receive and provide feedback on the Fiscal Year 2020/21 Fourth Quarter Financial Report for the General Fund and Measure Z. According to their presentation, Riverside took in $271 million in revenues from seven different sources. Including $70 million from property taxes, $59 million from sales and use taxes, and $48 million from the electric utilities general fund transfer.

Item 3: The Fiscal Year 2022-2024 General Fund Baseline Budgets

The committee will receive and provide input on the Fiscal Year 2022 – 2024 General Fund and Measure Z Baseline Budgets and budget goals. According to their presentation, one of their plans is to identify and reallocate funding to critical unfunded needs. They also state that the city received $26.6 million more in revenues than expected for this past fiscal year.