The Porterville City Council knows Porterville StoreIt is a much needed RV storage business for the community.

But the council also doesn't want to set any kind of precedent as far as the potential of not being to collect impact fees when it comes to future projects.

That's the predicament the council faces as it tries to decide to waive all the fees for the business. The council took up the matter at its meeting on Tuesday.

A building permit was granted to Porterville Storage on July 28 to turn the former Beckman-Coulter site off of Highway 190 into an RV storage facility. The Beckman-Coulter site has been an EPA Superfund site for decades but is on the verge of officially being removed as a Superfund site.

As part of its effort to meet the standards to no longer be a Superfund site, Beckman-Coulter established a retention basin, which can be a recharge basin. As a result, Porterville Storage won't need to connect to the city's storm drain system, so it shouldn't be charged any storm drain fees, stated Barry Lindner, project manager for QK Engineer, who spoke on behalf of Porterville Storage at Tuesday's meeting.

“You have to have an impact,” Lindner said. “And the city hasn't been able to show any impact in this case. There is no impact.”

City staff has proposed Porterville Storage pay an storm drain impact fee of more than $86,000. Lindner said the city is asking Porterville Storage to pay $86,000 “and they're getting nothing in return. Zero. That is not how impact fees work.”

Council members acknowledged the need for the business as it has also taken up the issue of RVs being parked in places such as the street and private property throughout the community.

“I think it's wonderful we're going to have this RV storage,” councilmenber Lawana Tate said. “My RV might be one of the first ones to go be stored there.”

“It's undeniable there's some short of need for a remedy for that,” said Mayor Monte Reyes about where residents are parking their RVs in the community.

“This is a great business,” councilmember Milt Stowe added.

But city staff still concluded storm drain fees should be charged, stating it used the same approach that was used with the South County Detention Facility. City staff stated “although all of the site runoff is self-contained, the project was still assessed storm drain impact fees based on improved areas.”

Based on the improved area being 5 acres and a fee of $17,296 per acre, Porterville Storage was charged $86,652.96.

Originally the city was also going to charge Porterville Storage water and sewer fees at the site for a total of $294,830.46. Porterville Storage owner Wayde Elliott wrote a letter to the city protesting that fee and after a meeting with city staff, the water and sewer fees were waived.

But now the council has to look at possibly waiving the storm drain fee as well without setting a precedent. City Manager John Lollis suggested the city could look into findings to grant the waiver. City staff will look at the issue and it will be brought back at the council's next meeting.

LIBRARY SITES

Councilmember Kellie Carrillo, who's also a member of the Library Facility Planning Committee, reported the committee has reduced the number of potential sites for a new library to three.

Five of the eight sites being considered were eliminated. While all eight sites will remain on the committee's list, the committee will focus on the three sites it chose, Carrillo said.

The committee was looking at sites at Olive north of the Heritage Center, Fourth and Henderson, west of Murry Park, Henry and Putnam, Indiana and Morton, Springville and Indiana, Henderson and Prospect and D Street and Cleveland.

Henry and Putnam, Indiana and Morton and D Street were eliminated because of issues because those sites couldn't be expanded, Carrillo said.

Indiana and Springville and Henderson and Prospect were eliminated because of zoning issues, she also said.

That leaves the site at Fourth and Henderson which could be part of a major recreation center and park the city is looking to possibly develop at the site. The city has applied for a competitive state grant for a recreation center at the site.

The other two preferred sites by the committee are Olive north of the Heritage Center and west of Murry Park, north of the Barn Theater.

At its next meeting on November 18, the committee will list the three sites in order of preference and will make a recommendation at the council's December 7 meeting.

REZONING

The council finished the process of rezoning the south area of town along Main Street south of Olive with its second reading of the ordinance.

The ordinance to rezone the area goes into effect 30 days after Tuesday's meeting. The rezoning allows businesses such as major automotive repair and car washes to be placed in the area.

There has been a number of requests to place such businesses. The area covers Main south of Olive to Date as well as Orange from Main to Locust.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The city has now distributed $445,000 in incentives for residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who have been vaccinated at various events have received $100 gift cards to local businesses. Funding for the gift cards has come from the American Rescue Plan.

At the latest vaccine roundup providing the $100 gift cards held last week at the Community Vaccine Clinic at the corner of Pearson and Morton, 2,046 vaccines were administered over a three-day period, Thursday through Saturday. Of those vaccinated, 239 received their first dose, Lollis said.

First and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered and third booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine were also administered.

Another vaccine event in which $100 gift cards will be given is scheduled to be held at the community clinic from 8 a.m. to noon on Veterans Day, November 11. The next vaccine roundup providing the $100 gift cards is scheduled for November 18-20 at the community clinic, which is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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