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This week at City Hall: Dec. 14

Multiple library projects are awarded American Rescue Plan Act funding, City Council reviews construction updates for the CHEECH, and a multi-million dollar grant is considered for the Harada House.

A photo of the entrance to Riverside City Hall.
City Hall in Downtown Riverside

Board of Library Trustees

Item 7: Preliminary Designs for New City Library

On Monday, the trustees received an update on phase 1 of the preliminary design studies for the new proposed SPC Jesus S. Duran Eastside Library that will be located at Bobby Bond Park. The presentation given included three different concept designs. The trustees now plan to host two public meetings at Cesar E. Chavez Community Center for community feedback.

Item 8: Allocation of $1.5 Million of American Rescue Plan Act Grant Funds

The Trustees received an update on the four projects funded by $1.5 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Riverside in total has received $73 million in funding from the act.

According to their presentation, the $1.5 million was allocated to four different library projects. Most notably, $500,000 went to buy items for the Career Connection Hubs, which included laptop kiosks, 3D prints, and other items. Another $500,000 was used for “Library to You Outreach Vehicle” and early learning tablets.

Board of Public Utilities

Item 20: Awarding an Additional $3.8 Million for Street Lamp Conversions to LED’s

On Monday, the board considered awarding a $3.8 Million contract to construction engineering company SASCO out of Fullerton for the “Citywide Light Emitting Diode Conversion Project Phase 1.” The phase aims to replace 27,000 “cobra head luminaries” with LED replacements for streetlight poles across Riverside. Once started, the project is expected to take six to seven months to complete.

City Council Meeting

Item 8: 2020-2021 4th Quarter Fiscal Year Financial Report

On Tuesday evening, the council will receive and provide input on the fourth-quarter financial report and decide where to allocate $28.6 million in excess city funds. According to their presentation, Riverside received $26.63 million more in revenue than expected for this past fiscal year.

Item 9: Review and Potential Approve of Master Plan for Triangle District

City Council will review and potentially approve the Master Plan for the Triangle District, part of the larger Innovation District project. The Triangle District is South of the 60 Freeway, East of the 91 Freeway, and contained by 3rd Street. The master plan includes the potential plan for restructuring roads and plans to zone for housing, employment, industrial, and civic space in the area.

Item 10: Construction Update on Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture

On Tuesday, the council will receive an update on construction on the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture and receive a prerecorded presentation from the museum’s artistic director María Esther Fernández. Also Acknowledged was the reimbursement of $2.6 million to Riverside from the Riverside Art Museum.

Item 13: Consideration of Two Warehouses Off Alessandro Boulevard

The council will look to certify the environmental impact report and overall proposal for developing two warehouses that will total more than 600,000 square feet. The two new warehouses would be on the north side of Alessandro Boulevard, east of Barton Street, and West of San Gorgonio Drive.

The city’s presentation includes aerial photographs of the property, a zoning map, site plans, exterior renderings of buildings, and landscape plans.

Item 14: Appeal of Ethics Complaints Dismissal

In August, Selma Kelly of Desert Hot Springs filed an ethics complaint against Councilmembers Fierro, Cervantes, Plascencia, and Mayor Lock Dawson. The complaint argued against Riverside’s decision to cancel the Matt Gaetz and Majorie Taylor Greene America First Rally at the Riverside Convention Center on July 17.

On Oct. 7, the Board of Ethics found that the named city officials made no ethics violations. On Nov. 15, Kelly submitted an appeal to that decision saying, “someone obviously did something to shut it down!” and added, “therefore, the board’s conclusion is false.”

Item 32: Lease Agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management

City Council will look to approve a four-year equity lease agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management for a $1.2 million pilot program for vehicle replacement. The deal would include vehicles for the fire department, street services, library, and building services.

Item 35: Acceptance of $7 Million California Grant

The council will consider accepting a $7 million grant from the California National Resources Agency for the Harada House Rehabilitation Project. The Harada House is located in Downtown Riverside and was bought by Japanese American Jukichi Harada in 1915. A lawsuit from neighbors attempted to have Jukichi ousted from the property, but a landmark decision from the California Superior Court allowed him to keep his home.

Item 39: Purchasing Two Helicopters for Riverside Police Department

Lastly, the council will look to approve the purchase of two Airbus H125 Helicopters for the Riverside Police Department from Airbus Helicopters in Texas. The total price would be $10,777,070, with those funds coming from Measure Z funding.

Safety, Wellness, and Youth Committee

Item 2: Selecting Preferred Options for 2020 Fourth of July Firework Shows

On Wednesday, the committee will review and provide direction on their preferred options for the 2022 Fourth of July firework shows. La Sierra Park, Ryan Donaminio Park, and Mount. Rubidoux are the proposed event locations for the shows. Only two of the sites will ultimately be selected.

In total, the committee will receive four different “event enhancement options.” One is a pyro sky diving team that will cost $17,850, and another is a review of three different Drone Light Show options. 100 drones would cost the city $20,000, 200 would be $27,000, and 300 drones would cost $40,000.

Cultural Heritage Board

Item 4: Certify the Repurposing of Old Downtown Texaco Gas Station

On Wednesday, the board will look to consider a “Certificate of Appropriateness” for the repurposing of the old Texaco Service station off Main Street and First Street in Downtown Riverside. In the presentation to the board, the developer showed design element ideas, including one side of the building having a Route 66 mural. The digital renderings of the property show that the property would be home to some type of eatery.