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This Week at City Hall: May 16

This week the council will look at proposals to install a citywide fiber-optic network by SiFi Networks, provide repayment assistance for utility customers while also lifting the moratorium on disconnecting service for non-payment, an updated presentation on the Biennial budget for 2022-2024, and more.

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

City Council

Item 8: SiFi Networks proposal for fiber-optic network

On Tuesday the Council will review the recommendation of the Mobility and Infrastructure Committee to enter into a development agreement with SiFi Networks to create a city-wide fiber-optic network. SiFi Networks is proposing that it build a fiber-optic network at a cost of $300,000,000, and internet service providers (ISPs) could purchase wholesale access to the network, selling subscriptions to residential and business customers. Companies currently offering network services in the city could continue to do so, but new ISPs could begin operations using SiFi Networks’ infrastructure. 

Item 9: Utility repayment program

The council will consider whether to approve the Restart Utility Bill Repayment program, which would help customers repay their past-due balances with RPU. RPU would also begin cutting off service to customers with unpaid balances. Due to the pandemic, the city placed a moratorium o suspending service to customers with past-due balances in March 2020.

Item 10: Biennial budget presentation

City staff will give a 20-minute presentation to council members about the city’s fiscal year 2022-2024 biennial budget. The presentation will include a list of critical unfunded needs to be included in the budget, ranked by council support for each item.

Item 31: Application for clean energy funding

The council will vote on a resolution presented by the city manager to apply for up to $1,000,000 in funding from the Regional Climate Collaboratives Grant Program for “clean energy and smart growth” projects in the greater La Sierra neighborhood of Riverside.

Item 33: State grant to fund library lunch program

The council will consider whether to accept a California State Library grant of $8,000 to fund this summer’s Lunch at the Library program for fiscal year 2022-23. Five yes votes are needed for this item.

Item 34: Heritage House painting & repairs from Measure Z funding

The council will decide whether to approve a bid by Polychrome Construction of Northridge for exterior painting and repair of damaged wood at the Heritage House. The bid is for $141,000, not to exceed $169,200, which will come from Measure Z funding.

Cultural Heritage Board

Item 5: Proposed improvements to Citrus State Historic Park

The Cultural Heritage Board will receive an update on proposed improvements to the California Citrus State Historic Park. A number of new features are being considered, including re-creations of a citrus packing house, a citrus worker bunkhouse, a multi-use activity center, and several other additions. The cost for the improvements is estimated at approximately $25 million. Friends of Citrus Park plans to request funding from the Natural Resources Agency and the State Parks Department.

Economic Development

Item 2: City sponsorships of community events

Staff will recommend that committee members approve $139,396 in city sponsorships for charitable and community events produced by local non-profit organizations for July 1 through December 31, 2022. Sponsorships can take the form of monetary or in-kind contributions.