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TCN Staff - info@turlockcitynews.com

TCN Staff - info@turlockcitynews.com

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 01:39

Turlock Water Rate Increase Finalized

The Turlock City Council finalized a controversial water rate increase Tuesday night, which will see water bills nearly double by 2019 for the average household. Following the decision, the average Turlocker will see his or her monthly bill increase by roughly $4 at each of six dates: July 1, Jan. 1 2015, then every July 1 thereafter through 2019. The average household’s water bill will increase from $24 today to $47 over the next five years.Tuesday’s final 4-1 vote came as part of the second reading of the ordinance, which is traditionally largely ceremonial. Turlock City Councilwoman Amy Bublak cast the lone vote in opposition; she believes the rate will disproportionately affect seniors, veterans, and the disabled.
A proposed, experimental rate structure could encourage some Turlockers to go green and drive an electric car. The Turlock Irrigation District rate change would allow residential customers who own electric vehicles to pay less for electricity used during off-peak times – 9 p.m. through noon – letting them charge cars at night when electricity is cheaper. Currently, TID residential customers are charged a flat fee for electricity regardless of when it’s used. That’s despite TID paying far less for energy during off-peak times – less than half as much, on average.
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:06

Irrigation Season Starts Thursday

After two postponements, the Turlock Irrigation District’s 2014 irrigation season is set to start on Thursday. The district has already begun to charge its irrigation system, gradually releasing water from Turlock Lake. That release of water started Monday, said Mike Kavarian, TID Water Distribution Department Manager. Water was expected to reach the highline canal by Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday morning, it’s expected to hit the point where the Ceres and Turlock Main Canal split.
In a major change from traditional operating procedure, the Turlock Irrigation District’s Turlock Lake will be kept half-full this summer in a water conservation maneuver. The news, confirmed by TID staff Tuesday, comes despite previous reports by other media outlets that the lake would be filled. The lake, located in La Grange, traditionally holds about 32,000 acre-feet of water in the summer. Its waters directly feed into TID’s canal system.But this year, the district will hold just 16,000 acre-feet of water in the lake.
Northbound Crowell Road and some lanes of eastbound Monte Vista Avenue are currently blocked to through traffic near California State University, Stanislaus due to an overturned SUV.
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 12:17

Ballot Set for June Election

The ballot has been set for the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election, when Turlockers will be asked to elect candidates to several Stanislaus County seats and vote in primaries to select congressmen and state legislators. In local races, Turlock City Councilwoman Amy Bublak has entered the campaign for Stanislaus County Assessor. She will face Don Gaekle, who currently serves as Stanislaus County Assessor after a mid-term appointment. Incumbent Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager will face off against Frank Carson, a Modesto-based attorney and businessman. And incumbent Stanislaus County Sheriff-Coroner Adam Christianson will square off with Tom Letras, a deputy sheriff from Ceres.
A new traffic signal will soon be installed at one of Turlock’s most troublesome intersections. Work starts Today on a project to fully signalize the intersection of Colorado and Monte Vista Avenues, Turlock City Engineer Mike Pitcock confirmed. The intersection is currently a four-way stop. “It’s much-needed,” Pitcock said. The project will begin Monday with the demolition of existing landscaping in the construction area. After that, work is expected to halt for roughly a month. Utilities will come in to move services out of the way of the expanded intersection.
After years of discussion, Turlock Planning Commissioners got a sneak peak at the easier-to-read future of the city’s sign ordinance on Thursday. The existing sign ordinance has long been derided as difficult to understand. And some signs businesses want, like sign twirlers, aren’t directly addressed by the ordinance, making things difficult for both businesses who want signs and police who must enforce the law. The new sign ordinance will clear up those problem areas like sign twirlers, temporary signs, and portable A-frame signs in its final form, but Thursday’s rough draft focused mainly on making the law easier to understand.
The Turlock Planning Commission is hard at work updating the city’s noise ordinance, but regardless of its efforts noise pollution is expected to grow citywide over the next 30 years. The revised noise ordinance is primarily intended to make the law easier for Turlock police officers to enforce, focusing on whether noises are considered to be nuisances rather than absolute volume measurements. Those “nuisance” provisions apply mainly to short lived, activity-based noise – like noise caused during a party. Some other noises, primarily those caused by construction machinery or other, more permanent mechanical devices like air conditioners, will still be governed by decibel limits.
At long last, the City of Turlock will resume work on the repaving of Monte Vista Avenue on April 14. The $887,037.25 project, approved by the Turlock City Council in September 2012, will repave Monte Vista Avenue between Crowell and Geer roads. The project will install of a rubberized asphalt overlay, similar to that used in the recent rehabilitation of Fulkerth Road. Work started before Christmas, with the installation of a new concrete median and updated curbs and gutters. The project was temporarily put on hold, though, as it was too cold to install the temperature-sensitive rubberized concrete.