Rehabilitating the trestle in downtown Petaluma is a city priority with no timeline to completion. Photo taken May 2 2022. (CRISSY PASCUAL/ARGUS-COURIER STAFF)

Council mulls metropolis’s high priorities

Police oversight, pest administration and public security amenities – these had been a number of of the subjects established by the earlier Metropolis Council to be among the many high 10 priorities for the subsequent two years. On Monday night time, present leaders reconsidered these priorities for the primary time since a brand new Metropolis Council was elected final November.

In a particular assembly March 13 – which prolonged into the early morning hours for a second consecutive week – Metropolis Council members and employees broke down which priorities have already been basically completed, and which nonetheless have a prolonged timeline forward of them.

“If you happen to don’t suppose we’re shifting quick sufficient throughout the yr, take into account what we’ve completed in two quick years since receiving Measure U,” mentioned Metropolis Supervisor Peggy Flynn, as she touted town’s efforts in bringing in tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in grant funding in 2022, its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its actions to scale back homelessness and extra.

Flynn added, “Whereas we strengthen town and rebuild our growing old infrastructure each inside our neighborhood and inside our group, please bear in mind we’re on the identical group, and now we have the identical objective to see Petaluma shine, to see our folks thrive and to create a metropolis that works for everybody.”

Talks included prioritizing updates to town’s tree ordinance, protected streets, metropolis electrification and local weather impartial targets, a retail hashish ordinance and extra. Metropolis leaders additionally introduced range, fairness and inclusion and police oversight to the desk, with targets to rent an unbiased police auditor by the tip of December, in response to the up to date “milestones timeline sheet” posted on town web site.

Subsequent in line, intentions to determine a brand new built-in pest administration plan acquired consideration, even spurring a bunch of third graders to stand up and name on leaders to make the most of protected and wholesome choices within the plan, versus pesticides and herbicides that pose dangers to human and animal well being.

Council member John Shribbs additionally known as on employees to deeply consider and record out which pests they might be mitigating and the dangers that every would pose to public parks and different open area areas. A remaining built-in pest administration plan is anticipated to be adopted by September.

Among the many priorities that metropolis employees anticipate to take the longest to realize is building of recent fireplace and police stations. As a result of absence of plans and funding, neither is anticipated to be accomplished till someday after 2025.

Then there’s the rehabilitation of the railroad trestle alongside the Petaluma River, which has been closed since 1994 and is now warped, dilapidated and unsafe. A challenge to rejuvenate the trestle would almost certainly not be accomplished till someday after 2025, employees predicted, with prices starting from $7 million to $10 million.

Among the many extra controversial subjects of the night time was the way forward for the 55-acre fairgrounds property, as its lease is about to run out on the finish of 2023, with town planning on taking management of administration and leasing agreements thereafter from the 4th District Agricultural Affiliation, which has managed the property for the previous 50 years.

Ever because the choice was made Oct. 24 for town to take over the property in 2024, tensions have risen and negotiations have hit a wall between the 2 entities, and a plan has but to be laid out for a way the property shall be used within the coming years and the way these makes use of will happen efficiently.

As soon as an settlement is made between town and 4th DAA, which should occur by the tip of this yr, town plans to dive into making a three-year property administration and use plan and finalize lease agreements with tenants by the second quarter of 2024, with doable new makes use of to be piloted on the property after 2025, in response to the timeline report.

Amelia Parreira is a employees author for the Argus-Courier. She might be reached at or 707-521-5208.

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