Council to review Roads Initiative contracts, change in bus fares

Following a special roads workshop held on September 1, Turlock City Council is expected to move forward with awarding contracts for consultants under the Highway Initiative program at its meeting of Tuesday.

Acting City Manager Sarah Eddy recommends that City Council approve professional service agreements with Public Facilities Investment Corporation (PFIC) and Michael Baker International for program management services and design and engineering services. The Board will also consider approving the initial investment of funds prior to the acquisition of rental bonds, as proposed by the consultants.

PCIF’s proposed approach for the City’s Roads Initiative program included:

The use of multiple consultants – PFIC as Program Manager, Michael Baker International as Design Engineer, Norton Rose Fulbright as Legal Finance Consultant, Raymond James as Underwriter and Ghirardelli Associates as director of construction; and

· Explore rental revenue bonds issued by the Turlock Public Financing Authority using city streets as collateral as a leased asset.

If the Council were to approve the contracts with PFIC on Tuesday, the fiscal impact would be $ 675,088 related to the programming phase and an additional $ 393,000 to deploy the vehicle that drives the roads and collects the data. All of these costs could be funded from Measure A funds that have been identified for the Highway Initiatives program, according to City staff.

It is estimated that $ 5.5 million will go to road projects each year from Measure A funds, as previously approved by Council.

As the scope of work is defined, the additional costs will be submitted for approval to the municipal council.

The initial costs of acquiring lease bonds would be directly related to the amount of bonds issued and the rate at the time of the bond.

Council may also decide to approve agreements with the other consultants who made presentations during the workshop – Noresco and Project Finance Advisory Limited – or continue to explore options with City staff.

On Tuesday, the Council is also expected to:

  • Consider revising the passenger fare structure for city buses due to changes enacted July 16 in the state’s utilities code. There would be no price increase. The rates would either be the same or reduced. Some of the proposed changes include: Anyone 18 years of age or younger would have free and unlimited use of fixed route services; elimination of one-way passes; reduce day passes to an affordable level; and reduced fares for Dial-a-Ride.
  • Consider increasing the minimum wage Storer Transit Systems pays Turlock bus drivers to meet critical staffing needs. In the previous four weeks, Storer has lost four bus drivers to other opportunities and the staffing for Turlock sites is reaching critical needs, according to the staff report. City staff recommend increasing the minimum wage required for Turlock bus drivers by $ 4 an hour, from $ 16 to $ 20 an hour, effective October 1. Public transit would pay for employer-related expenses such as workers compensation;

Turlock City Council will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday in City Hall’s Yosemite Room, 156 S. Broadway. Those attending the meeting should follow current California state public health guidelines. The meeting will also be webcast on the Town of Turlock website at and broadcast on Spectrum Channel 2. Members of the public may also participate in the meeting through the following methods:

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