Council praises Fruit Growers Park remodel

Residents attending the Wednesday, Dec. 4 Susanville City Council meeting gave Ryan Potter and Impact Construction a standing ovation when an update of the Fruit Growers Park project came up before the council.

According to the staff report prepared by Quincy McCourt, who was in Africa the night of the meeting, “With the completion of the Riverside Park Improvement Project, we may now refer to the area as Fruit Growers Park. Community members feel safer at night, have already played basketball, enjoyed the new features, used the restroom and we’ve done away with the token box. The entire Impact team has been such a pleasure to work with. Their communication and customer service was a real treat and very refreshing. Their problem solving was not only needed but impressive. They put a custom touch on the finished product, and we love it.”

Ryan Potter, the contractor, said the stadium lights provided by LMUD will save the city $200,000 over their lifespan. The lights were funded through a $15,000 public benefit grant by the Lassen Municipal Utility District.

 

Susanville Indian Rancheria General Plan Amendment and Rezone Public Hearing

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A public hearing on a possible general plan amendment and rezone to provide for a new health clinic and retail spaces at Susanville Indian Reservation was continued due to a vacancy in the city planner position.

The new facility would be located across the street from Skyline Storage and could include a dialysis center and medical, dental and mental health services.

Mike Wilson, the city administrator, said the delay was necessary because he did not have the knowledge, expertise or experience to represent the city should opposition to the project arise. He said the city planner, expected to assume responsibilities this month, would be in a position to adequately respond if necessary.

Wilson asked the council to continue the hearing until Jan. 15 when the planner is on the job.

According to the staff report prepared by Marlin Johnson, the city’s former city planner, “There are no physical constraints with the property that would prevent the parcel from being developed with either zoning. The upper portion of the site is level and the property is not in a floodplain or near any identified earthquake fault. No other agency’s approval is needed for the general plan amendment and rezone.

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Council member Mendy Schuster asked if the new facility would increase the traffic flow at the five-way stop below the rancheria. Apparently it would not.

Councilmember Joe Franco suggested the city should not delay the rezoning portion of the hearing, but councilmember Brian Wilson said he would like to see exactly what the council was approving before a vote. He also said this might be the time to renegotiate the Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the rancheria regarding the fee paid for police and fire service.

A representative from the rancheria said no plans had been drawn because the rancheria wanted to get approval of the project before spending that money.

Franco also expressed his displeasure that Wilson had not notified the rancheria the item would be continued. The city administrator accepted responsibility for that decision.

 

Closed session

The council discussed three items in closed session. The council discussed labor negotiations with the Susanville Peace Officers Association, a lease agreement with Lassen Community College for Memorial Park and a conference with legal counsel regarding the lawsuit between the city and two former police officers — Matthew Wood and Michael Bollinger.

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Consent calendar

The council unanimously approved two items on the consent calendar — a resolution updating the Commercial Operator’s Agreement with Air Methods for Hangar No. 39 at the Susanville Airport and a resolution for a ground lease for Hanger No. 28 at the Susanville Airport.

 

New business

The council unanimously approved warrants in the amount of $427,082.25, including $295,477.03 in payroll warrants.

The council unanimously approved Resolution No. 19-5742 for software for the Planning/ Business Department. The software will speed up the building permit process and make it more homeowner friendly. The initial expenditure is $8,100 and will require an annual cost of $5,500.

The council agreed to move forward with a $2,500 proposal to “reimburse public works staff for its time to assess the site and develop basic construction plans” for a dog park on Sierra Road. According to the staff report, an anonymous donor has offered to fund the construction.

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The council rejected an offer to purchase Hangar No. 27 at the Susanville Airport for $38,000.

 

Next meeting

The Susanville City Council’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 at the City Council Chambers. The council will meet at 6 p.m. for closed session, if necessary.