Hearing the amount of just $24,470 to be written off in Delinquent Utility accounts for the City of Gridley gives immediate appreciation for the Finance Department and the staff's diligence in keeping the normally much higher amount in check.

Council members authorized City Finance Director Matt Michaelis to write the account balances off which occurred between May 2016 and June 2017.

Changes to the City's accounting practices after the 2008-2009 year are apparent with the drastically reduced amount. 

Michaelis gave credit for the lower amount to his staff who are often placed in uncomfortable circumstances when dealing with the public and shut-off notices have been sent out. He also explained Rash Curtis would continue to pursue collection of the amounts even though they had been written off.

Vice Mayor Bruce Johnson stated that in past years the amount had been much higher and that the amount had remained consistent the last few years.

In other matters, Council members passed four resolutions to Levy Assessment Districts on Butte County 2017-2018 tax roll for expenses.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance rezoning approximately 40 acres consisting of 11 parcels located on the west side of Highway 99 (Wheeler property) across from Obermeyer Avenue from Limited Industrial (M-1) and Heavy Industrial )M-2) to HCC Highway Commercial Corridor Mixed Use Combining District followed by a staff report presented by City Planner Donna Decker.

Decker explained hat the goal is to have commercial businesses along the strip on Highway 99 with the suggestion by the Planning Commission that auto repair businesses not be allowed but Council members along with Becker thought auto repair businesses should be allowed in particular because auto sales would be allowed.

"This could be modified if you want to include auto repair," Decker stated.

Decker asked for the adoption of Resolution 2017-R-008 for a General Plan Amendment to change the General Plan land use designation of approximately 40 acres consisting of the same 11 parcels at Highway 99 and Obermeyer Avenue on the west side from Industrial to Commercial.

The Introduction and first reading of  an ordinance amending Title 17, adding Chapter 17.59 HCC Highway Commercial Corridor Mixed Use Combining District to the Gridley Municipal Code related to the provision for an infill, mixed use, highway commercial corridor land use designation.

Real Estate Broker Ed Becker, who represents the owner of the property was in attendance to answer questions of the Council.

Becker told Council members he had a Letter of Intent from Walmart for the 11 acres  in 2006 before the crash hit.

Becker mentioned a map that had been approved by a previous council and now expired included a second access to the City from the Highway with Washington Street extended to meet Obermeyer Avenue extended across Highway 99.

"If you are allowing auto sales you need to consider auto repair," he stated.

Council heard the introduction and first reading for an application to add the Agricultural Overlay District as  a secondary zoning to allow commercial agricultural uses until the property is developed on the 22.6 acre parcel that currently is in a walnut orchard and hay field.

Butte County Fair Director Amy Jernigan presented Council members with posters for this year's fair set for August 24-27 and invitations to the Directors Reception.

During Committee reports Councilman Gary Davidson told fellow Council members that several members of the NCPA Legislative Staff visited on July 24 with Electric Superintendent Daryl Dye giving an outstanding tour of the City's substation.

"They have a lot of staff we don't have. They had no idea how we do our work," he stated.

Vice Mayor Johnson stated he had attended the LAFCO meeting the previous week along with Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control explaining that the Grand Jury evaluated Oroville, Durham and Butte County last year for mosquito abatement and recommended the consolidation with the County doing a fine job with very professional people. He stated Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control really shined at the meeting giving a vast amount of information on West Nile.

With 25 different mosquito species in Butte County, Vice Mayor Johnson said Butte County is one of the worst counties for mosquitoes.

"There are two new species coming into Butte County," he stated.

City Administrator Paul Eckert gave credit to all of City Staff in the Police Department, Public works, Fire Department, who help out at City functions such as the weekly Farmers Market.

"The Farmers Market is a high quality event, very appealing. It shows off Daddow Park and what a great improvement it is especially the shade, the breeze through the gazebo even on hot days. National Night Out was a great event with the Police involved in Biggs and Gridley that night. My accolades to the Chamber of Commerce board for a job well done," he stated.

City Finance Director Matt Michaelis was thanked for his outstanding work for the City as he is going to work for Sutter County Deputy County Administrator and his last day is today.