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Fat Clogging City Pipes, Reduce Palm Ave. to One Lane at City Council Meeting

Councilmembers will vote whether to adopt amendments to its program to collect fats, oils and grease produced by local businesses. A proposed Eco Bikeway would reduce part of Palm Avenue from two to one lane of traffic.

The Imperial Beach City Council, meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, will discuss issues including reducing part of Palm Avenue from two lanes of traffic to one for the Eco Bikeway and the creation of a special project manager position for former Finance Department Director Michael McGrane.

The council will vote on whether to adopt additional ordinances that regulate the city's Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) Control Program. The law will require that particular businesses follow best practice strategies to prevent fat from clogging city pipes. New or remodeled commercial kitchens will be required to purchase grease traps.

When the city began to explore changes to its FOG program last year, city staff found that among 43 businesses that would need to comply with grease control laws, about half already grease traps in place.

This is agenda item 4.1.

If agenda item 6.4 is approved, the city will advertise request for bids for a $2.1 million portion of the Eco Bikeway. The proposed portion of the Eco Bikeway project will install Class 2 bike lanes on Palm Avenue from 3rd to 7th streets and a Class 3 bikeway for shared bike-car use from the Bayshore Bikeway, down 7th Street to Palm Avenue.

As a result of the project, Palm Avenue from 3rd to 7th streets will be reduced from two lanes to one in both directions to install a dedicated Class II bikeway as well as beautification and traffic calming measures.

If the project goes ahead at its current pace, it will be completed by June 4, but city staff warn that the project may stretch into the summer and once again bring construction near the waterfront during the busiest time of year for the local tourism industry.

Once complete, the Eco Bikeway will bring bicyclists from 7th Street, down Palm Avenue, along the beach to Imperial Beach Boulevard and back to the Bayshore Bikeway.

As part of Senate Bill 1186, all business licenses applicants will be charged a $1 annual fee until 2018. Along with changes to how disability access laws function in California, SB 1186 is designed to provide cities and businesses with more services to confront lawsuits filed due to a lack of disability access.

This is agenda item 5.1.

Design Review Board terms end Dec. 31. Mayor Jim Janney recommends that Janet Bowman, Shirley Nakawatase and Harold Phelps be re-appointed. The three board members were appointed in 2008. New members will remain on the board until Dec. 31, 2016.

This is agenda item 6.1.

Agenda item 6.2 would allow for Capital Improvement Program funds from the Port of San Diego to be used for street improvements near the new Pier South hotel instead of being spent on other projects the city requested the money for like a shower and restroom for beachgoers south of Seacoast Drive or an expanded playground in Pier Plaza.

With agenda item 6.3., City Council will consider a resolution to allow the city to create the temporary position of Special Projects Manager and hire former Finance Department Director Michael McGrane.

In this role, McGrane would oversee implementation of projects, conduct audits and continue to assist the city in transition following the dissolution of the Imperial Beach Redevelopment Agency.

City Council, which is also the Imperial Beach Redevelopment Agency Successor Agency, will pay debt services on a 2003 bond if agenda item 7.1. is approved.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the city employees' union SEIU, Local 221 will be considered with agenda item 2.4. If approved, city employees will be allowed to use sick leave days to spend time with a new born or newly adopted child.

City Council will vote whether to approve a letter of commitment to the 2012 Recovery Strategy for the Tijuana River Valley. The city is one of more than 30 local, state, and federal agencies partnering to try and reduce trash and sediment entering the Tijuana River Valley. See the attached PDF to view the strategy.

This is agenda item 2.5.

Including payroll, the city spent $1.7 million from Oct. 29 to Nov. 9.

Expenses above $100,000 include payments to the City of San Diego for sewage treatment and PAL Gen. Engineering for street improvements.

This is agenda item 2.2.

Pitcher Erick November 21, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Reduce Palm Avenue down to one lane(a tsunami evacuation route by the way) and AGAIN impact summer business? This doesn't seem well thought out...
Tim O'Neal November 21, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Everyone in Imperial Beach should pay especially close attention to Item 7.1. concerning a debt payment on bonds issued by the Imperial Beach Redevelopment Agency back in 2003. The Staff Report states ..."The next debt service payment is due November 26, 2012 and totals approximately $533,000. Payment of this debt is problematic given the limited resources available under the new legislation that ended redevelopment agencies"... Right there in black & white. Our city leaders have guided this city directly down the path to insolvency. What's even more disturbing is the assertion by Greg Wade (author of 7.1 staff report) that state law makers are responsible for IB's fiscal defiencies. Listen closely Greg...IB can't pay it's debts because you, Gary Brown, and the City Council mishandled redevelopment agency funds. The RDA funds were to be used for investing in projects that increase city revenues. You guys used the money to back fill a General Fund that couldn't provide basic services such as law enforcement and street maintenance.
Glenn Martin November 21, 2012 at 03:49 AM
When the city began to explore changes to its FOG program last year, city staff found that among 43 businesses that would need to comply with grease control laws, about half already grease traps in place......... The other half did not .... It is water we are talking about .... not religion or politics ..... lets get with the program Imperial Beach .... today
Jack Fisher November 21, 2012 at 06:04 AM
It's all Jerry Browns fault because he eliminated the RDA, SURE! We continue to pay for the RDAs actions at a tune of 45K per month. Oh and for fun let's put in a bike path on Palm to create congestion once the new hotel is opened (agenda item 6.4) See you at the meeting Tim.
Jack Fisher November 21, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Glenn, I agree with you when it comes to clean water but hope that the new codes are enforced with time allow business to overcome the economic stress of having to install grease traps. Installation for grease traps can run anywhere from $2000 to $5000 and I'm sure most business owners in IB just don't have that money laying around.
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 02:31 PM
the $45K/month only for 9th/palm for one construction company....it looks like a retainer or something...
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 02:32 PM
11/01/12 check # 81466 - $6,998.36 to boyce industries for a pressure washer... they just bought a huge pressure washer last year - 08/25/11 ck # 78915 - $11,044.38 to boyce industries for a pressure washer
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 02:43 PM
11/01/12 ck # 81485 - white, nelson, diehl, evans llp $825.00 - coded to the finance dept 11/09/12 ck # 81512 $10,000 to lance, soll & lunghard - coded to rda prof svcs 11/01/12 ck # 81476 - $6,757.50 to kane, ballmer berkman - coded to '101-0000' gen fund dump account 11/09/12 - ck #81537 - $8,946.00 to veronica tam & ass llc - the memo says: 'sep 2012 ib he' - it's coded to '245' = rda pa #1 low/mod housing 11/01/12 ck # 81544 - $37,723.14 to kane, ballmer, berkman - $11,805 coded to '101-5000' gf dump - public works....$25,808 coded to rda... $64,251 total attorney fees in 2 weeks.... and that's not including the city attorney bill from mcdougal love... $64,000 would pay for the sports park for three (3) months...
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM
11/09/12 ck81519 pal general engineering - $31,054.50 for 13/ebony ramps in addition to the $661,000 check ....the owner of 'the plank' told me the city has ripped out the curbs every few years for 40 years and there's never been a crack in the concrete...
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 03:24 PM
the city has added a special meeting on agenda item 7.1 in 2003 the city took out loans and went into debt...i'm sure this money was supposed to be for one specific purpose only - do any of you old timers remember the reason and the original amount? and how did they plan to pay this debt off 10 years ago? a decade later the city has accumulated so much additional debt on this original loan that the interest alone is $533,000 ....and they say they can't pay it...no money... they had the money to cut pal general engineering a check for $661,470.55 ...but that's coded to the '402' account - 'c.i.p 2010 bond'..... you see, there's no money to pay the interest due - and certainly no money to pay on the principle of past debt - because 'they're obligated' to spend the money on the new debt the city created a couple years ago... the city should not be wasting money on habitat for humanity and clean & green when they can't pay the bills or provide for the daily needs of the city....
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM
the sale of the baseball fields and sports park are not on the agenda.... how many citizens showed up at the last council meeting.....and not one person from the city noticed...
Glenn Martin November 21, 2012 at 04:06 PM
If the restaurants comply with the grease trap regulations, like they do in the rest of America ..... a) water will be clean b) no sanitary sewer overflows c) substantially less tax dollars going to sewer repairs and cleanups All businesses are responsible for their own waste and cleanups. Why do we treat restaurants any different. A paint manufacturer would save money by dumping their waste in the sewer. Installing grease recovery devices would benefit everyone.
Kelly Tracy November 21, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I agree with Glenn Martin Shame on our City officials and the Grease producing business for waiting so long to do something about the grease traps. This need to be addressed ASAP Did everyone forget we just had another increase in our sewer bill?
Libi Uremovic November 21, 2012 at 06:20 PM
item 6.1 on the agenda is to keep mike mcgrane on the payroll....city manager describes mcgrane:.'...an extraordinarily creative finance director...' finance is not where you want the 'extraordinarily creative'.... he's the one that's responsible for all of the hidden accounts ... mcgrane resigned because he couldn't close his books... the 'redevelopment issues and upcoming audits' are his fault ...
Tim O'Neal November 22, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Looks like the city has to bring him back because the new finance director must be completely lost thanks to McGrane's "creative" accounting.
Tim O'Neal November 22, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Original amount of 2003 bonds was $22 million. There was not one specific project. There was a laundry list of things. The city cant afford to maintain its streets. So the city took out another $14 million in bonds in 2010. Total debt obligations for both bonds is $70 million and won't be paid off until 2040's.
Libi Uremovic November 22, 2012 at 01:42 AM
the city gets $2 million/year for gas tax and prop a, but i can only track @ $300,000 in the last couple years.... they get the money to maintain the streets, but they waste it and giving them more money isn't going to solve our problems...
John Haupt November 23, 2012 at 06:35 AM
As the past owner of the "Beach Club Grille" & "Woodies Cantina" I cleaned and maintained a grease trap that I knew would protect our ocean. I was held to that standard by the city as well, fully aware that I was in a minority of restaurants on Seacoast Drive that even had a grease trap. Just one of the "unequal applications" of municipal regulations and enforcement procedures hastening my retirement.

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