The City of California Board of Aldermen was informed, at the Feb. 3 meeting, of the progress of the project to demolish several of the dilapidated houses in the city. The project is nearing completion, with only one residence on the list remaining. That residence, on South Oak Street, needs to be separated from an attached larger building before it can be taken down.
It was mentioned by the council that the demolition firm, Paul Glenn Trucking, has been doing a good and fast job. The brunt of the cost is paid for by a state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help with blighted areas. The residential property must have been vacant for two years. The cost to the city is $1,000 per structure.
The old Proctor lumber building has been taken down, but at the time of the report, had not been cleaned up. That building is not a part of the CDBG project. It was bid separately at the same time,
and the total cost of the demolition is borne by the city.
The council accepted as city public property the street known as Quail Hollow Drive located in the South Park Estates addition. The street was inspected and determined to be very good. Street lights will be on a future council agenda.
The council made no decision on a request for street closure for the planned Farmers Market from April to October. The street requested is Railroad Avenue between Oak Street and Owen-Williams street. Although the council did not say "no," the request will be made to the California Historic District (CHD) to seek an alternate location.
The concerns of the council include customer traffic and parking, access by business owners in the area and school traffic in April, May, August and September.
It was reported that nearly two dozen frozen water meters had been dealt with, along with a couple of frozen water mains.
The council came to no real remedy after a discussion about privately owned problem sewer lines in the city. There are about 11 known locations in the city of problem sewer lines.
Some of the private sewer lines are "orangeburg pipe." It was in use for more than 100 years, and tends to collapse over time, since it is made of tar and woodpulp. It is similar to rolled tarpaper. The problem with many of the pipes is that they are privately owned and not actually the responsibility of the city.
The city is beginning the budget process for the coming year. Interviews will be set soon for filling the position of Recreation Director. The police department plans to conduct interviews for an additional police officer. A position opened up with the resignation of Assistant Chief Kenny Marshall.
The next regular monthly meeting is set for March 3. Budget meetings are set for Feb. 25 and 27.