Maybe there has been enough time to heal all wounds when it comes to the city of Porterville's relationship with the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation.

At the Porterville City Council meeting on August 3, Mayor Monte Reyes had referenced how time could heal the wounds that have happened in the relationship with the city at TCEDC. At that meeting the council rejected a proposal to allocate $25,000 for the fee to rejoin TCEDC.

But the city is now apparently ready to reconsider allocating that $25,000 to rejoin TCEDC. The council will again consider rejoining TCEDC at its meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The city cut ties with TCEDC over differing philosophies, especially different visions when it comes to the development of the area surrounding the Porterville Airport. TCEDC has since reassured the city its vision for the airport area aligns with the city's.

The proposal to join TCEDC again comes after Reyes, council member Martha Flores and city staff attended the TCEDC board meeting on August 25. Also on that day, Reyes, Flores and city staff participated in a virtual meeting with a prospective hydrogen production company looking to locate in Tulare County which is considering several Porterville sites.

The company expressed its preference to locate on city property. The company plans to visit to look at local sites in the city this week.

City staff is evaluating the company's operations as a potential partner in complimenting several significant projects at the city's Corporation Yard, including electric microgrid development for redundancy and sustainability, zero-emission fleet operations (e.g. refuse, transit, etc.) and transitioning to tertiary treatment recycled water,” a city staff report stated.

Tuesday's agenda is a busy one. In other scheduled matters on the agenda, the council will consider approving the return of the Music on Main Street Series for this fall at Centennial Park. The Porterville Chamber of Commerce is proposing to resume the Music on Main Street free concert series after being on hiatus since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has served as the co-sponsor with the chamber for the event. Music On Main would be held at 6 p.m. every Friday, beginning September 17 and would continue through the end of October. The City of Porterville Parks and Leisure Services Department provides for all of the logistics for the concerts.

City staff reported the events will adhere to all current safety guidelines when it comes to COVID-19.

Centennial Park may also become a bigger place to host more people for concerts and events in the future. As part of its consent calendar the council will consider the approval of purchasing the 2,379 square foot commercial building at 36-38 E. Cleveland from the Pacheco Family and John Snavely and Henrietta Kay Snavely for $250,000. The purchase of the property can be used to expand Centennial Park in the future.

The Capital Construction/Improvement Designated Fund in the general fund would be used to fund the purchase.

Also as part of the consent calendar the council will consider approving a total of $770,000 for Porterville Transit for route expansion and to help fund the purchase of electric buses and vans for public transit from Measure R, the county ½ sales tax increase to fund transportation needs.

At total of $170,00 would be used from Measure R this year toward expanding routes. Another $600,000 would be used toward the funding of 12 electrical vehicles being added by Porterville Transit.

The $600,000 would be used for the purchase of battery-electric vans. Total cost for the 12 electric vehicles is $1,345,256.

A menu of funding sources is being used to fund the total cost. Along with the $600,000, other funding sources include $255,806 for the purpose of purchasing battery-electric passenger vans and up to another $100,000 comes from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

PROP. 68 GRANT

Also on the agenda as a scheduled matter is for the council to consider how to use $177,952 from a Proposition 68 grant for recreation needs in the community.

Among the alternatives is $180,000 for a lighted multi-use arena/soccer mini-pitch, although the city has also received funding to develop five such multi-use mini arenas that can be used for soccer and other sports adjacent to the Heritage Center.

The grant could also be used toward $600,000 for practice field lighting at the Porterville Sports Complex, solar lighting at the sports complex at a cost of $418,000 or a paved trail at the complex at a cost of $1,642,000.

Other alternatives include a challenge fitness course, something of an American Ninja-type obstacle course that would cost $195,000; a pump track for BMX riders and skateboarders at $175,000; a large park pavilion at $168,000; a mini-ampitheater at Murry Park for $168,000; Zalud Park trail renovation in which solar lighting would cost $132,000 and a paved trail would cost $364,000; Murry Park solar lighting that would cost $180,000; and fieldturf for Centennial Park that would cost $75,000.

The Porterville Parks and Leisure Services Commission listed its top three projects as sports complex practice field lighting, a lighted trail at the sports complex and a mini-pitch fieldturf arena soccer field.

The City Council has also discussed lighting and shade covering at the skatepark at Veterans Park. Solar lighting for the skate park would cost $58,000.

Shade covering could be provided for a portion or all of the skate park but would be costly. Shade covering for a portion of the entrance and over the bowl would cost $317,000.

The grant application deadline is December 31.

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