Council considers financing options for road maintenance projects – Lake County Record-Bee

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CLEARLAKE – The Clearlake City Council had its regular meeting Thursday. The board heard updates on the city’s ongoing improvement goals, such as: Examples include the addition of a splash guard at Austin Park and financing options to facilitate additional road maintenance projects.

With the goal of improving the local quality of life through improved public amenities, the city council was asked to approve the $96,379 purchase of spray park equipment. The city is building a splash guard in Austin Park and is currently soliciting bids for its installation and construction. The equipment portion would be a direct purchase from All About Play Inc., a pre-licensed government contract provider.

“We buy the equipment. This is acquired through a state contract. We did not place competitive bids separately. This is going to be a pretty cool project [located] between the dog park and the basketball courts. My hope was that we could have a grand opening around Memorial Day weekend, but we’ll see if we can pull it off that quickly,” said City Manager Alan Flora, who believes it will be a quick project to complete . “We just have to get the water lines over there.”

The council was also asked to consider a cost-sharing arrangement for the costs of a community visioning forum. The Community Visioning Forum Planning Commission plans a Community Forum with the intent to develop recommendations to achieve meaningful actions and activities that identify and remove barriers; promoting local governance that hears and honors all voices; build bridges where walls may be; Promote tolerance, respect, justice and inclusion, beginning with education and culminating in action; Promotion of non-violence and non-violent conflict resolution; and focus resources on the underlying causes and conditions that lead to unequal resource allocation and equitable distribution.

The recommended action is to authorize the city manager to enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the County of Lake and the City of Lakeport for hosting Community Visioning forums. “In 2011, the Lake County Board of Supervisors approved and presented a proclamation in support of the Lake County Compassion Charter, which included a call to county residents for renewed respect and compassion. In 2021, the Board of Directors unanimously adopted and presented another Proclamation to Promote Tolerance, Respect, Justice and Inclusion. As part of this proclamation, the board committed to hosting a community visioning forum to add some accountability to the proclamations produced. I am full of optimism today. We live in a deeply divided world where the only chance for healing and renewal begins with action taken first within ourselves and then in the local communities in which we live,” said Carol Cole-Lewis, resident of Upper Lake and member of the Citizens Committee.

Discussion and consideration of funding options to facilitate additional road maintenance projects was initiated by City of Clearlake Treasurer Kelsey Young. He said: “We have many road projects that we need to focus on as a city. If we proceed with funding, we would be looking at projects worth 15 to 18 million in today’s dollars. And we would look at big projects in concentrated areas because that’s the most economical, and also in densely populated areas so we can have the most impact on those neighborhoods. We would add paved roads for more than 2,000 residents. We want to make Clearlake a place where people like to come and feel comfortable. This would improve the city’s overall reputation. We want people to drive around here and like what they see.”

Without maintenance, Young continued, “these roads need a complete overhaul every 15 years.” He added that the rapid completion of the road projects and ongoing maintenance are part of a $19.5 million investment: “We would have roads , which would last about 30 years instead of having to go through and reclaim them every 15 years or let them get to a condition that is a bit less than what is desirable.”

The city has discussed the possibility of financing these projects in recent years. Staff have worked with NHA Advisors, a financial and policy strategy firm established to make the public funding process accessible and understandable for government agencies, helping them achieve the lowest possible cost across various funding options, and have worked on an analysis of what the city can afford to borrow to complete a larger group of projects in less time.

“The kind of maintenance we want to apply to these roads to extend their lifespan would probably be outsourced almost entirely. Maybe we could buy some micro-surfacing equipment, but I would guess most of that would be contracted out. We still have to drill some more. That’s not really maintenance that keeps a street alive,” added Eric Scriven, Director at NHA Advisors.

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