Grass Valley City Council members talk infrastructure improvement and homelessness issue in ‘goal-setting’ conference
Grass Valley residents might be able to see an increased city effort to spruce up streets and to upgrade infrastructure as city officials contemplated these ideas after a special meeting held by the city council to map out priority projects for the 2016-2017 fiscal budgets.
Beautification of the city was the consensus that came out of the visioning meeting, a “goal-setting” conference held by the city council members at the city hall on Sept. 23 to discuss with staff and members of the public the improvements and projects they would like to see the city tackle as staff prepares to outline a concrete plan for next year.
“It was a very productive meeting,” said Mayor Jason Fouyer, “We had an open discussion about what we have on the schedule.”
About six to eight members of the public sat down with city and public safety officials during the three-hour conference that encompassed the discussion of topics such as homelessness, ADA upgrade, public safety and housing opportunity.
“The council visioning meeting was the first of several meetings to help develop a comprehensive city work plan for the following fiscal year,” said City Manager Bob Richardson.
The discussion topics mostly fit into the following broad categories: city beautification, public safety, public works, park and recreation, economic development, housing and development and miscellaneous, Richardson said.
But there was an overall agreement among those in attendance about the work that needed to be put in place to improve public infrastructure.
“As a member of the public, I would like to see a bigger effort with the street paving and to see sidewalks repaired,” said Teresa Poston, a resident of Grass Valley who’s also a member of Historical Commission. “There are so many cracks, we need to implement some programs to make walking in the neighborhood safer.”
Vice Mayor Howard Levine said a priority he saw was the upgrading of facilities such as dog parks and bathrooms in public parks so more people gained accessibility to services.
Some ideas that were tossed around during the meeting were the repaving of Neal Street, sidewalk repairs, building of flower beds and renovation of shopping centers and to encourage the public to participate in city cleanups.
Another topic that sparked a serious discussion at the meeting was homelessness.
“The transient homelessness issue needs to have more focus on it,” said Poston. “It’s not just an issue for Grass Valley, but for Nevada County as well.”
The enhancement of the housing availability for Grass Valley residents was another item that gained a lot of attention.
“We need to supply more housing, not just high-end, but housing for mid-level,” said Chauncey Poston, a past member of the City Council, adding that the city needed to increase the number of apartment buildings to accommodate more people who wanted to move to Grass Valley.
Richardson said the staff would take the ideas discussed during the meeting and come back with a comprehensive report after contemplating the cost, manpower and the feasibility of each idea.
He expects the city council to hold a series of meetings with staff to draw out the details of the goals before the June budget submittal.
To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, call 530-477-4236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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