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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 2:18 am | Fair 50º

 
 
 
 

Goleta Council Clears the Way for Construction of San Jose Creek Improvement Project

Cooperative agreement with county will provide permits and $5 million in funding

The Goleta City Council moved the San Jose Creek flood control and fish passage project forward during its Tuesday afternoon session in hopes of starting construction this summer.

It’s a vital improvement project for the Redevelopment Agency because it would improve flood capacity, Community Services Director Steve Wagner said.

The threat of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget, which proposes eliminating RDAs, is also a concern for the city since funding the project would be difficult, if not impossible, to do without RDA money.

The City Council approved a cooperative agreement with Santa Barbara County that will provide $5 million and permits, and give the city the authority to improve county property.

Wagner said city staff already have built a scale model of the channel and a fish channel at the bottom for regulators. He said flood control is the primary purpose of the project, but that a channel at the bottom will allow steelhead trout to migrate up the watershed.

Construction will be done over two years, starting downstream and moving upstream, with the bridge replaced after the channel is completed.

The City Council also approved a $60,000 contract with Jones & Stokes to prepare a greenhouse gases inventory within the city. The consultants will find baseline levels in phase one, and staff said it will cost the city another $60,000 or so to make a plan for reducing greenhouse gas levels.

They said that although it’s not mandated by law, getting data on the city’s levels will help in writing environmental review documents.

Police Chief Butch Arnoldi and his sheriff’s deputies presented statistics from 2010, which for the first time show no traffic fatalities. The city contracts with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for $6.4 million and has 33 full-time employees cover Goleta.

New community resource officer Greg Sorenson has been working on graffiti abatement programs, neighborhood watch chapters, bike patrols and implementing a business watch program. He also has been working with Camino Real Marketplace, which has seen increased numbers of transient and homeless people, to start a “say no to panhandling” educational effort beginning Wednesday.

Earlier, the City Council unanimously approved the consent agenda, including an amendment to the city’s revenue-neutrality agreement with the county. A dialogue has been going on for years “to achieve a more economically equitable relationship,” as the staff report says, and the city no longer has to pay back the $1.5 million start-up loan given by the county when Goleta incorporated.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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