The Porterville City Council took quick action to move ahead with the return of two of Porterville's traditions, the Children's Christmas Parade and the Myers Christmas Tree Memorial Service at its meeting on Tuesday.

In addition, the council also quickly approved an action that clears the way for the major Villa Street reconstruction.

The council gave approval to the Children's Christmas Parade to be presented by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Porterville. In the past the parade has been held on a weeknight.

But as a mitigating measure due to COVID-19 this year's parade will be held downtown from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, December 4. Another incentive vaccination clinic in which $100 gift cards for local businesses are given away is also tentatively scheduled to be held during the parade.

The theme for the parade is “Miracle on Main Street.” The parade will begin on Morton and will extend to Walnut Avenue.

Parade entries are being accepted at the the Chamber office or via email at info@portervillechamber.org. For more information, call (559) 784-7502. Food vendor registration is also now open to non-profit organizations. Registration is being accepted at the chamber office or by emailing the chamber.

Myers Funeral Service and Crematory will hold its annual Christmas Tree Memorial Service at 7 p.m. December 14 at Myers Chapel. Every year Myers provides the opportunity for those to hang ornaments on Christmas trees in honor of their loved ones that can be viewed with the service also being held. The event is open not just to Myers clients but to the entire community and those in the surrounding area.

Myers requested E Street between Putnam and Cleveland be closed for the service and the council approved Myers request.

The council approved a negative declaration of the environmental impact the Villa Street project, which clears the way for the $4.3 million project. The project will take place nearly two years after it was originally expected to take place 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. The reconstruction will include the widening of Villa Street and major work to be done to the Porter Slough including replacing the Porter Slough bridge and the addition of a box culvert. The project may also involve the city acquiring property if necessary.

The council also approved a paper shredding event to be held by the Portervlle from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. November 22 at the parking lot between Oak and Hockett Streets.

The council also approved several actions as part of its consent calendar. Among them was to advertise for bids for major repairs to be done to the City Hall roof at an expected cost of $145,000.

The council also approved changing the vendor to purchase a police task force vehicle to Merle Stone Chevrolet at a cost of $43,553.74. The purchase is part of a purchase of 12 vehicles and other equipment at a cost of more than $700,000 to replace aging vehicles. The purchases will be funded by the police department's vehicle depreciation plan. One of the vehicles will be funded by Measure H, the sales tax increase for public safety.

The council also approved to apply for a state grant of $551,250 for its First Time Low income homebuyer program.

FILMING ON MAIN STREET

The filming of what appeared to be a scene from some kind of production on Main Street caused quite a stir on Tuesday. Tulare County Sheriff's Office Porterville Substation Commander Larry Camacho came to the council meeting on Tuesday to address the situation during oral communications.

He said the producer approached TCSO in April about filming a couple of scenes at the substation. Camacho said a a traffic stop scene was also supposed to be filmed in a rural area of the county.

But he said a last minute change was made without going through the TCSO's chain of command and the scene was filmed on Main Street.

Camacho apologized for the miscommunication. “I wanted to personally come here and say I'm personally sorry to you, the members of the community and the police department,” Camacho said.

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