Council to revisit grant distribution

Attorney to meet this afternoon with Measure L members

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

The Ridgecrest City Council, at tonight’s meeting, will revisit a topic that provoked some public objection when it was last considered — allocating money for Community Development Block Grant funds.

The grants are disbursed through the county to be used on eligible projects that benefit the community. In December City Manager Dennis Speer presented a plan to use the money to install ADA-compliant wheel chair ramps on city streets.

Councilmember Lori Acton and Mayor Dan Clark proposed using the funds instead for improvements to the Boys & Girls Club building and the senior center, as well as street art.

Other councilmembers objected to disregarding the staff proposal altogether. The subject also sparked controversy from the public microphone, with some members of the public objecting to funds being spent on projects that benefit only a small fraction of the community, and BGC representatives pointing out the benefits of programs that serve at-risk youth.

The new staff proposal, up for consideration tonight, includes $241,066 allocated for the BGC center and $75,000 set aside for the senior center. Although there is only about $300,000 available, Speer said the city hopes that bids for the work come in low. If not, he said, the city could borrow against next year’s money.

City Attorney Keith Lemieux will also introduce an ordinance (which takes two votes to enact) that amends the municipal code with respect to agencies, commissions, boards and committees.

The only other item scheduled for discussion involves the additional appointments to council committees, boards and commissions.

The council will also present a service award to former Planning Commission Chair Craig Porter, and hear the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report from auditing firm Pun & McGeady.

In response to the recent dispute between the council and the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure L, members of the committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. today.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Both meetings are open to the public.

Proceedings of the council meeting will be broadcast live on Mediacom channels 6 and 41. A digital recording will be posted the following day under the Media Vault on the city’s website, www.ci.ridgecerst.ca.us.

Story First Published: 2013-02-06