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All Turlock city offices temporarily close due to COVID outbreak

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TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) — A COVID-19 outbreak among city employees has forced Turlock to temporarily shut down all of its offices. 

As many as 50 Turlock employees tested positive for COVID-19 last week and more were exposed, forcing the temporary closure

“In all of that time, this is the most significant number of positive cases that we have seen among city employees,” Turlock Police Capt. Steven Williams said. “The decision was made to continue to close offices from at least Monday, Jan. 10, through Jan. 21.” 

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COVID cases lead Turlock to close city offices at least two weeks. Council to use Zoom

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An increase in the number of COVID-19 cases affecting city employees had led Turlock to close its offices and other facilities to the public through at least Jan. 21, according to a news release Saturday night.

The closures take effect immediately. "We have detected a noticeable increase in COVID cases affecting our work force in what appears to be an aggressive spread of the virus," Interim City Manager Sarah Tamey Eddy said in the release. "To do our best to protect the public and our employees, we've decided to close city offices to the public and reinstate work schedules that emphasize physical distancing."

The Jan. 11 and Jan. 25 regular City Council meetings will be held solely online, using Zoom. Though the meetings are closed to in-person appearances, the public can still participate using electronic devices or telephone.

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City’s solid waste fees could increase

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New state-mandated requirements are calling on municipalities to help reduce California’s organic waste by 75% in the next three years, resulting in changes to how Turlock residents and businesses separate their trash — and potential fee increases. 

The Turlock City Council voted during their Dec. 14 meeting to incorporate changes related to upcoming Senate Bill 1383 into the Turlock Municipal Code. By Jan. 1, 2022, the City is required under SB 1383 to adopt and enforce an ordinance for residents and businesses generating solid waste which complies with the mandate. Turlock Scavenger is proposing fee increases in order to help the company shoulder the cost of these new requirements. 

R3 Consulting Group helped the City of Turlock draft its compliant ordinance, which the Council voted to approve in replacement of previous municipal code language. Garth Schultz of R3CG explained to the Council that the new mandate is meant to divert organics from the garbage stream, instead collecting them and directing them to more beneficial uses such as composting.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Big changes for Turlock in final redistricting maps

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The state’s independent redistricting commission unanimously approved its final maps Monday night, setting in stone the brand-new districts California voters will use to elect legislators at the state and Congressional level in 2022. 

Redistricting takes place every 10 years following the census, and the new boundary lines in California have been drawn by an independent, 14-member commission twice now since 2010. Commissioners must create new districts which contain an equal number of people while ensuring no minority votes are silenced in compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act. This year, slower population growth in California meant the state lost one of its 53 U.S. House seats. 

The maps approved on Monday will go into effect for the June 2022 primary election, creating an environment political consultant Tim Rosales likened to “The Hunger Games” as new battlegrounds are created and politicians must decide where their allegiances lie. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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