Hanford will sublease and upfit 11 pursuit-rated Dodge Durangos at an estimated cost of $896,000 following approval Tuesday by the City Council.
During the meeting the council also heard public comments about a roundabout proposed for downtown Hanford, continued an annexation hearing, and approved the lease of the Hanford Soccer Complex.
With regard to the Dodge Durangos, staff said the sublease agreement between the City and Enterprise Fleet Management would reduce the need for major repairs when using older police vehicles and be more cost effective. Any new vehicles subleased under the agreement will be replaced within five years, but there will be a credit provided to the city for future subleases if the car is replaced before the five-year lease expires.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, residents again brought up what were mostly concerns about a roundabout set to be built at the intersection of Seventh and Douty streets. The roundabout has already been approved by the council.
One resident, Adam Medeiros, said he has surveyed more than 180 people and found only one who supported the roundabout.
“I would encourage each one of you to represent the people well,” Medeiros told the council. “The circle you now are proposing is against everyone I have talked to. I literally have polled 187 people, and one person has said ‘that’s a great idea.’ That’s it.“
A public hearing deciding the annexation of Kings County land into the city was continued for two weeks after concerns were raised by local business owner Onen Champi about the ability of a fencing company to operate effectively under new zoning.
The island is the last remaining piece of county land in the city out of eight islands initially identified by city staff in 2019 that is yet to be annexed.
Champi spoke in favor of the annexation as a concept, but said he opposed the zoning that the new city land would fall under. The annexation of the county island would result in pre-zoning of both a low density residential area and a mixed-use corridor (MX-C) area.
Previously, the properties that Champi owned and that are set to be annexed were considered part of a commercial service zone.
Champi’s business could continue operating in the area under a grandfathered use for the property under previous zoning rules; however, the change would not allow him to significantly expand his business to new properties in the area. Additionally, if Champi’s company closed for six months or more, Champi would be unable to continue operating in the MX-C zone.
Champi emphasized that his business had operated in Hanford for 70 years.
“All I’m asking for is to just be left the same,” Champi said. “I want to be left the same. I’ve had to invest money in other properties, in eventualities where this doesn’t work out, that’s going to cost me millions of dollars to do the same thing I’m doing right now.”
Deputy City Manager Jason Waters said that the zoning had been selected in accordance with Hanford’s General Plan and told the council that new zoning would require a specific amendment to that plan, while an environmental review for new zoning could take months or longer.
After a proposal from Mayor Travis Paden, the council voted to continue the hearing on the island annexation at the Feb. 21 meeting. Councilmember Diane Sharp recused herself from the discussion surrounding the annexation of the property.
Finally, the City Council approved the lease of the Hanford Soccer Complex, also called Soc Com, between the City of Hanford and the Kings Rehabilitation Center to provide fields for the Hanford Youth Soccer League and the Hanford American Youth Soccer Organization. Included in the approval was the creation of a field sports advisory committee.
The lease will last for 18 months at a monthly cost of $2,000.
The field sports advisory committee would be comprised of local sports organizations that use Hanford’s fields. The committee would be in charge of developing a permit fee for using Hanford’s fields in an effort to recoup some of the costs of maintaining the fields, advise the Parks and Recreation Commission, and pave the way for a more organized approach to Hanford’s field sports.