Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

May 25, 2004 > Union City

Union City

City Council Meeting for May 11, 2004

by Jeremy Inman

A proclamation was made declaring May 16 - 22, 2004 as Emergency Medical Services Week, recognizing EMS professionals who provide lifesaving care to those in need. A resolution was made to honor Raquel Barragan, the Union City Police Officer's Association's Dispatcher/Clerk of the Year for 2003. A presentation was made by Cathy Norvell that conveyed the details of the 2004 Tri-City Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society which will be held at Washington High from June 26 - 27.

Representatives from the Alameda County Water District presented details about adding chloramines to the Tri-City water supply as disinfectant. The Water District reported that Chloramine is much safer than Chlorine, which is the only other possible disinfectant as determined by the EPA and the State Health Department. The switch was due to the fact that Chlorine combines with various already-present factors to create harmful byproducts. The Water District pointed to the fact that the first switch to Chloramine was in 1983 at the Mission San Jose treatment plant, and by 1998, the entire service area was using Chloramine as disinfectant. Since then, drink water quality has risen, and currently surpasses present state drinking water standards.

John Rusmisel, the Manager of the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District, gave a presentation that voiced the District's growing concern regarding the West Nile Virus- a mosquito-borne disease that can, in extreme cases, result in meningitis, encephalitis, and death to humans, horses, avian species and other wildlife. A resolution was adopted declaring May 3 - 9 as Mosquito and Vector Control and West Nile Virus Awareness Week. The Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District can be contacted by phone at (510) 783-7744 or on the web at

During the oral communications, a number of members of a Union City Church called Solid Rock Church of God in Christ voiced their excitement regarding the construction of a new church at the corner of Mission Boulevard and E Street. During May of 2003, the church and the city Redevelopment Agency entered into a Purchase Agreement and Option to Purchase Agreement whereby the Agency purchased the church property for $405,000. The church had one year to meet the conditions in the agreement to exercise the Option and move forward with the project. The plan was to expire on May 13, 2004. As of the date of the meeting, the church had not fulfilled all of the requirements to exercise the option. City Manager Larry Cheeves gave light to the fact that the city had been sending courtesy notices to the church to remind them of specific deadlines. Reverend Simpkins of the Solid Rock Church of God in Christ submitted that they had not received many of the letters. Cheeves then reminded the church that the letters were not required, and did not excuse the church from their deadline. Mayor Green, eager to find a solution, agendized the item on the spot.

Redevelopment Agency Manager Mark Evanoff explained that the city had spent an unusually large amount of time on this project, Simpkins explained that part of the reason that the requirements were not met was due to the city not having completed certain necessary functions and that even though the church was inexperienced in this type of project, it would have a substantial amount of the requirements met by the deadline. Were they to default, staff could approve another option that would allow them to continue work on the project.

The entire consent calendar was passed. It included a resolution declaring certain vehicles and equipment not in use as surplus (in order to donate two buses for use by the Leisure Services as transportation); a resolution appointing councilmember Dutra-Vernaci as voting delegate and Tony Acosta as alternate to the League of California Cities general assembly meeting; a resolution approving the third amendment to the memorandum of understanding between the city of Union City and the Professional Employees Group to incorporate certain negotiated changes; an ordinance amending the Union City municipal code to add Chapter 18.38, Station Mixed Use District, to provide for high-density, mixed use development in the area around Union City BART station; and a rejection of a claim filed as a result of injury sustained after a trip and fall from a water main vault which is the property of Alameda County Water District.

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