Bills, police SUVs, commerce at tonight’s Grass Valley council meeting |

Bills, police SUVs, commerce at tonight’s Grass Valley council meeting

The Grass Valley City Council is slated to review its long-term goals after it approves a number of expenditures when its five members meet tonight.

The largest task up for discussion at the meeting will city staff’s presentation of a draft of the strategic plan to the members of the City Council based on priorities, goals and strategies outlined during a December workshop.

For the last couple of years, the city has primarily used the budget process to set both specific and general goals and priorities for the Council and departments. This year, the Council added a goal-defining workshop to provide more focused direction.

The purpose, writes City Manager Dan Holler in the draft, was to set policy-level priorities with strategies and actions to allow staff to direct limited resources to high-priority areas.

“(M)any of the goals follow similar themes that have been discussed over the past few years, with additional clarifications and a reduced number to assist in directing resources,” Holler noted. The strategies pulled from the workshop were placed in five broad categories: economic development, community safety, productive and efficient workforce, community leadership and investment in infrastructure.

But before the council can review its strategic goals, it has to approve consent items — a grouping of administrative approvals that aren’t anticipated to necessitate discussion.

A rather sizable item on the consent calendar is the approval of $1.3 million for the disbursement of warrants, the largest of which is a $766,779.58 expenditure to accounts payable. Another is approval of a total $29,632 cost of a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle to replace and trade in a 2005 GMC Yukon.

“Due to budget restraints, police department vehicles have been kept in service longer than agency standards, and the police department is in immediate need of a new patrol vehicle,” Police Chief John Foster wrote in a report to the City Council.

The Council is also tasked with approving a study on local commerce as part of the consent items.

Beginning in March, the city is looking to conduct a retail focus group to gauge the shopping habits and preferences of residents in the surrounding area. The goal is to outline shopping opportunities that will serve the local market and attract customer groups to increase local shopping, according to a staff report prepared by Jeri Amendola, economic development coordinator.

If approved as part of the consent items, the city will spend $7,500 of Community Development Block Grant funds, $1,000 of which is slated to pay for the off-site meeting room, refreshments and other expenses. The remainder will be allocated to Chico-based Chabin Concepts to facilitate the focus groups, the results of which are scheduled to be presented to the council June 25.

Area consumers spend more than $200 million annually to shop and dine elsewhere, according to a report on western Nevada County retail shoppers conducted by Fort Worth-based Buxton Co. under a $65,000 contract with the city.

The city also has a $70,019.93 expense to cover retired employees as part of its bills in the consent items.

Lastly, after the council reviews the draft strategic plan, its members are asked to schedule the city’s budget study sessions.

The City Council is slated to begin the public portion of their meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Council chambers at Grass Valley City Hall, located at 125 East Main St.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email

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