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March 8, 2011 > Fremont City Council

Fremont City Council

March 1, 2011

Ceremonial Items:
Recognize Alan Heyman for his role in seeking solutions for the improvement of Iron Horse Lane in the Niles District of Fremont.

Other Business:
Update on South Fremont/Warm Springs studies noted the major change as a result of the purchase by Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) of 167 acres in the area. UPRR representatives were present and spoke of a transparent process to determine use of the property. It was noted that it is much too early in the planning process to give detailed information, but the nature of the location - level topography in a strategic area for truck transfer and storage - lends itself to use as a freight yard. This will have a major impact on land use concepts. Further meetings between UPRR and City officials are planned.

City Council & Redevelopment Agency:
Amend the Public Improvements Grant Agreement. This formalizes a contract between the City of Fremont and Fremont Redevelopment Agency to continue or initiate specified construction using existing funds, future bond proceeds or tax increments monies. Projects included in this agreement are: Irvington BART Station (increase funding to $107,600,000); Greenbelt Gateway along Grimmer Blvd. (increase funding to $1,400,000); H Street Reconstruction (increase funding to $2,320,000); Fremont Blvd. streetscape and traffic improvements (increase funding to $5,050,000); Niles Alleys Rehabilitation (increase funding to $2,400,000) and Quiet Zones Improvements (increase funding to $3,600,000).

Budget strategies were discussed with adoption of a statement of balancing and labor relations guidelines. A staff presentation cited the current fiscal situation as unsustainable and an eventual recovery lag to the government sector through tax collections of 18 months to several years. Unemployment, housing stagnation and retirement fund investment losses are severe challenges to recovery. The average employee costs including all benefits and retirement have been increasing beyond City resources. "Accounting for wages, employer-paid CalPERS [retirement] costs and the health benefit allowance (HBA), the average cost of Fremont public safety employees has increased from $134,477 in 2007 to $160,427 in 2010, a 19% increase. Similarly, the average cost of miscellaneaous employees has increased from $104,567 to $116,488, an 11% increase." In aggregate, costs have increased 15% at an average of $133,210.

Use of budget uncertainty reserves is no longer possible since they have been exhausted; only "core reserves" remain. Council will be meeting to discuss this later this week; discussions with all employee groups are planned to determine how to bring the budget under control.

Mayor Bob Wasserman Aye
Vice Mayor Suzanne Lee Chan Aye
Anu Natarajan Aye
Bill Harrison Aye
Dominic Dutra Aye

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