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New park to be named after John Lazar

in Government
The Turlock City Council approved naming a new park in the Legends 3 subdivision after former Turlock mayor John Lazar (Journal file photo).

The City of Turlock will continue its long-standing tradition of naming parks after former mayors following a City Council decision last week to name a future one after John Lazar.

In a unanimous vote during the Feb. 8 meeting, the Council approved naming a new park in the Legends 3 subdivision after the former Turlock mayor, who served as the City’s head of government for eight years. The subdivision is currently under construction along the northern half of Colorado Avenue, and its new park will join several others named after Turlock mayors, like Brad Bates Park, Curt Andre Park, Dale Pinkney Park and more.

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Where Turlock stands on homelessness, COVID response and public safety

in Community/Government

With the appointment of Turlock City Manager Reagan Wilson after a comprehensive process, I want to update Turlock residents on their city government.

I visited with Mr. Wilson on his first day of work at City Hall. He was already delving into how our government works and where it can be streamlined and improved to ensure city services are delivered to our residents in the most economical and effective manner. One of his first tasks will be to fill out the ranks of our department directors and to decide if any restructuring of the organization should occur.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Fertilizer-grade sulfur fire contained to Modesto warehouse

in Government

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Some nearby residents were told to stay inside Monday as a sulfur fire burned inside a Modesto farm supply warehouse.

The Modesto Fire Department said fertilizer-grade sulfur was smoldering inside the Stanislaus Farm Supply warehouse.

Modesto Fire Chief Darin Jesberg told FOX40 there are about 900 tons of sulfur in the warehouse. At this point, they do now know how much of that is smoldering, he continued.

Continue Reading on Fox 40

Council approves subdivision despite of community disapproval

in Government

After hearing about traffic concerns from residents of the surrounding neighborhood, the Turlock City Council last week gave final approval for a new housing development which will bring 50 new homes to town. 

After approval from the Planning Commission in September, the Balisha Ranch subdivision came before the City Council in November for approval of a rezone for the 17.4-acre property at 2930 E. Tuolumne Rd. Council considered a rezone which would take the property from a Residential Estate zoning to a Planned Development, allowing for various deviations from the Very Low-Density Residential development standards in the East Tuolumne Master Plan. 

While the subdivision meets the density requirements for Very Low-Density Residential standards at 2.8 units per acre, exceptions to the 14,500 square foot minimum lot size were proposed as part of the plan with lots ranging from 7,500 square feet to 12,000 square feet along with other deviations. 

The Balisha Ranch subdivision is one of three new housing developments near Tuolumne Road, with the Le Chateaux by KB Homes and Fairbanks Ranch subdivisions under construction across the street from the project site.

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All Turlock city offices temporarily close due to COVID outbreak

in Government

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.” 

Continue Reading on Fox 40

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

in Government

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

in Government

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.

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Big changes for Turlock in final redistricting maps

in Government

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. 

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