A major street reconstruction project is finally on the verge of beginning in Porterville.

At its 6:30 p.m. Tuesday the Porterville City Council will hold a public hearing and consider the approval of the $4.3 million Villa Street reconstruction project. The council will consider the approval of the negative declaration of the environmental impact, which will clear the way for the project to proceed.

The the project is on the verge of beginning nearly two years after the expected time of the project to take place which was in 2020. The city has set aside Measure I funds, the sales tax increase to fund public safety and roads, that was passed by the city's voters to fund half the project.

In the project a portion of Villa Street between Olive and Henderson Avenues will be reconstructed, approximately one mile. City staff reported the project is being done “to provide safe, improved access to retail opportunities, job centers, housing and other facilities in the city.”

The reconstruction will include the widening of Villa Street and upgrading the traffic signal at Putnam and Morton.

In addition the project will include extensive work as related to the Porter Slough. The Porter Slough bridge will be demolished and the new Porter Street Bridge will be a 10 foot by 10 foot precast concrete box with culvert headwalls and wingwalls. About 7,000 square feet of the Porter Slough ditch will also be regraded.

There will be grading for the box culvert of about 3,000 square feet. In addition there will be riprap slope protection along the bangs to reduce erosion.

There will be installation of Class 8 geotextile fabric to comply with Caltrans requirements as well. And the soil beneath the slough will be excavated and re-compacted prior to construction of a new concrete floor.

Staff stated any utilities affected by the project will be rerouted just outside the culvert; a portion of storm drain and outfall will be removed; a portion of the wood hand rail/ramp on the current bridge will be removed; and a portion of water line will be removed.

The project will also include new concrete improvements where necessary along the one-mile stretch. City staff stated the project may also involve the city having to acquire property if necessary.

In other business as part of the consent calendar the council is expected to apply for a state grant of $551,250 for the city's First Time Low Income Homebuyers program. The application is due November 22 and the grant is expected to be awardeed in February.

Also as part of the consent calendar the council is expected to approve a proposal to advertise for bids for major repairs to be done on the City Hall roof. Expected cost is $145,000 which is based on a similar project completed at Centennial Plaza in December, 2020.

City staff reported the room is extremely susceptible to leaking in multiple areas when it rains. City staff reported patch work has been done on the roof over the years, but more extensive work is needed. That work will include replacing dry rot and skylights, applying a primer and applying silicone coating and sealant. The repairs will be paid for by the city's General Fund's Facility Deferred Maintenance/Equipment Replacement Designated Fund.

In addition as part of the consent calendar the council is expected to approve the purchase of 12 vehicles and other equipment at a cost of more than $700,000 for the Porterville Police Department. City staff reported on an annual basis the police department finds it necessary to purchase vehicles to replace aging vehicles.

As always, a careful evaluation is made of each particular vehicle to determine actual need for replacement,” city staff report. City staff reported funding for the vehicles are available through the police department's vehicle depreciation plan. One of the vehicles will be funded by Measure H, the sales tax increase for public safety.

Nine of the vehicles will be use for patrol. For will be Ford Explorers set to be assigned to drone operators.

The other five patrol vehicles will be Dodge Chargers. One of the vehicles will be a Chevrolet Silverado assigned to a task force Detective participating in the Department of Justice Firearms enforcement unit. Two Chevrolet Tahoes will also be purchased.

The vehicles will be purchased through National Auto Fleet Group. As part of the purchase 12 police radios for each new vehicle will be purchased. Ten Dell laptops for communications will be purchased as well.

 

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