KINGSBURG – Kingsburg City Council heard three points of good news at its Oct. 4 meeting. Along with building activity showing an increase, the city is meeting its recycling goals and is getting money from the state to help repair some roads.
During its latest Council meeting, City Manager Alex Henderson gave a report showing that building activity has risen steadily over the past four years.
“It’s nice to see how the economy’s picked up in the last four years,” Councilman Bruce Blayney said.
Henderson’s report included annual permit fees, total valuation and the total number of permits issued.
“As you can see the total number of permits issued along with the valuation and subsequently fees associated have risen steadily since fiscal year 2014,” he said.
In 2014, 219 permits were issued for a valuation of $244,464. In 2017, it’s risen to 416 permits with a valuation of $612,461.
These increases can be contributed to a number of factors including new commercial projects with high valuations, an increase in single-family construction starts and an increase in residential remodels, Henderson said.
“We’re also seeing an uptick in solar projects that have taken place,” he said.
The report includes updates on the development impact fees the city charges developers to help offset the costs associated with such projects.
Henderson said city staff will use the report to ensure it is meeting a 21-day permit turnaround incentive for commercial projects.
Mid Valley Disposal’s Recycling Department Director Ivette Rodriguez introduced the company’s new Recycling Coordinator Sara Luquin and also gave first and second quarter reports that show the community is reaching its recycling goals.
“I’m excited to be on board and I’ll be visiting soon,” Luquin said. Luquin was born in Farmersville and said she’s excited about working in the Valley.
In her report, Rodriguez said that after state-level recycling officials conducted their latest visits to ensure recycling programs are taking place, Kingsburg was found to be meeting its waste reduction goals.
“The target rate for the city is 5.3 pounds per person per day. The disposal rate for 2016 was 5.0 pounds, per person per day. The goal is to stay below that rate,” Rodriguez said. “So congratulations to the city, the residents, the businesses. This includes multi-family apartments as well as programs like construction and demolition recycling.”
To reduce waste, the state adopted AB 1826 which requires that commercial businesses recycle their organic waste. This includes food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste and food-soiled paper waste that are mixed in with food waste.
“Currently here in the city, the schools are meeting the threshold for diverting food waste,” Rodriguez said. “That’s basically what the law is pushing toward to keep food waste out of the landfills. A couple of your schools do have a food waste program implemented. So, we’re going to continue on with Sara’s help to implement programs like this in the city that will keep even more waste out of our landfills.”
Rodriguez said Mid Valley staff has attended local events such as the Kingsburg Car Show and Swedish Festival to set up interactive booths to share recycling and composting information. They’ll continue to do so in an effort to educate residents.
“We’re able to speak to residents and children as well. It’s interactive where we have different recycling games we’ll bring out to our educational table. We have important information such as how to get rid of hazardous household waste such as needles or left over paint.”
Mid Valley staff will also continue making presentations at local school events, she said, especially for events highlighting environmental issues such as Earth Day presentations in April.
“The students are our voice at times with recycling. If [schools] have an event that’s already planned we’ll take part in that. Anyway we’re able to provide outreach and education, we make sure to try and be a part of it,” she said.
Rodriguez said that 63 businesses were inspected thus far this year to get updates on their recycling efforts. She recognized Rafer Johnson Junior High, Carl’s Jr. and Starbucks for their efforts in the first quarter and Port of Subs, Kings Market Deli and Little Caesars for the second quarter.
“We want to recognize those that do a great job by placing cardboard and paper in the recycling [containers]. Recycling isn’t always convenient and we know that.”
The percentage of tonnage waste diverted from local landfills has increased as well from 53 percent in residential and 7 percent commercial in the first quarter to 54 percent and 9 percent, respectively, in the second quarter.
“That’s what we want to see, continuous growth in diversion and that number not go down. It does fluctuate sometimes, but not to be concerned because that’s why we’re here. We’re here to remind people about recycling and its importance.”
Rodriguez said the city’s next clean-up is 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the facility at 1535 Avenue 392, Kingsburg.
“We’ll accept bulky items, trash and green waste. We still have a kiosk at our yard that accepts clothing. It’s convenient if you already have bags of clothes you want to get rid of. It’s permanently there and we’re working with a local thrift store that recycles the clothes.”
Mid Valley also has a website at http://www.midvalleydisposal.com/.
In other agenda items, the Council also approved a list of road maintenance and rehabilitation projects that will be funded through Senate Bill 1, the 2017 Road Repair and Accountability Act.
Kingsburg will receive $351,985 for 2017 and $494,061 in 2018 of these funds.
Planned road repair projects for 2017 include Reclamite application on 13 local streets southeast of the Bethel Avenue and Sierra Street intersection.