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Gridley Herald

Highway Updates One Step Closer

May 24, 2024 04:09PM ● By Melody McDowell

GRIDLEY, CA (MPG) – On May 6, the Gridley City Council met in a regular meeting. Comments from Christian Garcia, of Waste Management, and Robert King, a Gridley resident were first heard.

Garcia provided an update on the collection of unpaid balances and indicated intent to work one-on-one with residents requiring assistance in the future.

King brought forward several concerns about Waste Management’s billing and account management. Mayor Farr indicated that these concerns should be addressed directly through Waste Management.

The consent agenda was unanimously approved, including acceptance of the prior meeting’s minutes, authorization of amendments to contracts approved at the April 15 meeting, and the City’s expenditure reports for February and March.

City Finance Director Martin Pineda took the podium to present the audit report for fiscal year 2021/2022. He welcomed Sheldon Chavan, from Chavan & Associates, via Zoom. Chavan & Associates is the firm that has been working with the City of Gridley to complete required audits for fiscal years 2021/2022 and 2022/2023. The Council approved the completed 2021/2022 audit 5-0 and expects to review and approve the 2022/2023 audit soon, bringing the City fully up to date in its required financial audits.

Next, City Administrator Elisa Arteaga proposed the temporary lease of Lot #7 in the Industrial Park area. The lease would be assumed by Pacific Gas & Electric for a period of some months for the purpose of storing materials and vehicles while a pipeline construction project is underway. The Council approved the proposal 5-0.

Finance Director Pineda put forward a recommendation to write off some $34,000 in delinquent utility accounts that have accumulated over the past five years. He reported that the accounts in question have been closed for 90+ days and that the account holders have been impossible to locate.

Councilmember J. Angel Calderon expressed concern about underprivileged groups and assistance for those in low-income brackets who struggle to pay for these utilities. Pineda assured the Council that these groups have options available for assistance and that many receive personal contacts from the City to aid in resolving financial obligations in an equitable way. The Council approved the write-off recommendation 5-0.

Finally, the Council discussed formally entering into a commitment with CAL Trans for the upkeep and overall maintenance of the lights, landscaping, irrigation, and general improvements of the Highway 99 corridor. This project is scheduled to begin construction in summer of 2025 and City Administrator Arteaga indicated that this is one of the last required approvals in the project’s planning process. After substantial discussion, the resolution to enter this agreement was passed with a vote of 4-1, with Councilmember Bruce Johnson in opposition, citing numerous concerns he has raised in the course of the plans being made for this project.

After committee reports were given, Mayor Farr requested an update on abatement research being undertaken by Attorney Galyean with respect to the Virginia St properties that have been under scrutiny by the City. Galyean indicated that he intends to agendize this issue to the next meeting on May 20, in order to ensure there is sufficient time to review it thoroughly.