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CDCC Minutes, March 13, 2006

Call to Order:

Vice Chairperson Miller chaired the meeting at the request of Chairperson Bambrook and called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM.

  1. Roll Call

    Members Present:

    Barbara Bambrook
    Kay Miller
    Glenna Axe
    Simon Karmarkar
    Robert Elliott
    Jesus Silva
    Dorothy Ruhnke

    MEMBERS ABSENT:

    Mark McGee

    Staff Present:

    Linda R. Morad, Housing Programs Supervisor
    Sylvia M. Chavez, Housing Programs Assistant
    Kim Husereau, Clerical Assistant

  2. Approval of Minutes

    A MOTION was made by Member Elliott to approve the Minutes of March 6, 2006 as written with correction to Page 1, Paragraph 3 changing "Habit" to "Habitat" and removing the duplication of Member Glenna Axe's name from the list of Members Present. The MOTION was SECONDED by Chairperson Bambrook and CARRIED unanimously.

  3. PRESENTATION BY CITY DEPARTMENTS

    APPLICANT: Parks and Recreation Department
    PROJECT: Community Center Project
    PRESENTOR: Judy Peterson, Family and Senior Services Supervisor
    Judy Peterson described direct and in-kind services provided to low-income high risk families residing near Garnet and Valencia Community Centers. She explained that in addition to the existing Community Centers that have been funded for fourteen years, a critical need has been identified in West Fullerton. Thus, additional funds are being requested in order to provide a half-time coordinator and programs and services for a new Community Center at Gilbert Park that will service West Fullerton. All programs are designed with the intent to increase knowledge and develop skills and self-reliance of high-risk youth. Program priorities identified in the Gilbert Park area also include a need for recreational facilities and programs for young children and youth that facilitate crime prevention, gang prevention, parenting courses and ESL courses. Ms. Peterson reviewed highlights of the existing Community Center programs and noted that the existence of these centers has drawn other organizations to the area. She gave an example of the St. Jude Medical Clinic being constructed at Richman Park. Guest Speaker Barry Ross, Chairman West Fullerton Improvement Committee discussed a recent Town Hall Forum sponsored by CSUF that named the establishment of a Community Center in West Fullerton as their top priority. The group is currently seeking a site that will support services such as a summer youth program. They strongly support the proposed Community Center at Gilbert Park as a trusted-site to encourage the development of an active program serving the neighborhood. Q: ESL programs are very important, but there is also a need for Spanish literacy courses. Is there a plan to address this need? The Mexican Consulate will provide free materials. Spanish literacy will encourage Spanish-speaking parents to read to their children.
    A: Yes. Classes are provided by the North Orange County Community College District. Also CSUF is looking into more local course offerings.

    Q: What Emergency Assistance is offered?
    A: The Community Centers do not directly provide emergency services. They provide referrals for issues such as rental assistance and prescription assistance.

    Q: What percentage of the CDBG funds requested will be utilized at the Gilbert Park facility?
    A: $50,650 would be directed to the Gilbert Park facility. $53,300 to the Garnet Community Center and $47,600 to the Valencia Community Center at Richman Park.

    Q: The CDBG application items #9 and #10 indicate 13,415 service units will benefit. What is a Service Unit?
    A: A Service Unit represents one person being served on a particular date. This is similar to one transaction. A single person may utilize the program numerous times, and will be counted each time.

    Q: (Addressed to Barry Ross) It was mentioned that CSUF sponsored a forum that determined a need in West Fullerton. Why then, is the CSUF grant being utilized in the Richman Park area?
    A: The funding that was made available was not enough to establish an entirely new Community Center. The programs already funded for the Richman Park area created a synergy that leveraged the CSUF funds.

    Q: (Addressed to Barry Ross) Do you feel that there may be potential for future grant approval if the Gilbert Park Community Center were approved?
    A: Yes. We are currently working on an Asthma Grant that could be utilized in West Fullerton.

    Q: What happens when the current CSUF grant runs out? Will CDBG funding be required to sustain their programs at Richman Park?
    A: There is an opportunity to apply for renewal at 18 months in order to sustain additional funding for future years.

    Q: The statistics provided indicate a higher number of service units at the Garnet Community Center than the Valencia Community Center. To what do you attribute the higher usage?
    A: There is greater population density in the neighborhood surrounding the Garnet Center.
    A: (Contributed by Rosemary Castro, Human Services Coordinator, Parks and Recreation) Service needs tend to differ between the two locations. There are different programs offered at each center designed to address these specific needs. The amount of community volunteers that actively participate in the programs also affects the attendance.

    Q: On Page 6, Item #9 reports the number of persons served and Item #10 reports the number of Fullerton residents served. Both indicate 13,415. Is this correct?
    A: Yes. 100% of the persons served are Fullerton residents.



    APPLICANT: Maintenance Service Department
    PROJECT: Graffiti Removal Program
    PRESENTOR: Lyman Otley, Building and Facilities Superintendent
    Mr. Otley stated that approximately 270,000 square feet (2,088 sites) of graffiti was removed throughout the City last fiscal year (2004-05). He explained that graffiti removal has been handled by one person and one truck with a response time of 1-2 days and includes various types of media such as paint and stickers. Recently, in an effort to respond even more quickly to graffiti complaints an additional full time employee and truck were added to the program.

    Calls are received via telephone, email and reported by City employees. Each call is mapped and CDBG funds are utilized specifically to clean-up graffiti in CDBG qualified areas. This constitutes approximately 50% of the total calls for service. It is anticipated that the 142,641 sq. ft. of graffiti removed from 2,088 sites in 2004/2005 will increase to approximately 375,000 sq. ft. at 2,880 sites during 2005/206.

    Q: Was anyone successfully prosecuted for graffiti last year?
    A: To my knowledge there have not been any prosecutions. There have been arrests. However, the cost involved to carry a case through prosecution is not typically justified as it compares to the cost that would be recovered. In cases of gang-related graffiti, photos are taken and shared with the Fullerton PD Gang Unit.

    Q: What is the deterrent to repeat offenders?
    A: The most effective deterrent seems to be quick removal of the graffiti.

    Q: Why is such a significant increase in graffiti sites estimated for next year?
    A: There is a great deal of attention being given to graffiti; this increases the demand for removal. Not all reports involve painted areas. Some responses are made for stickers and pen markings.

    Q: In your experience do professional murals discourage graffiti?
    A: In some cases, such as the Lemon Overpass, it has proven to be an effective long term deterrent: however, not in all locations. In general it seems that a new mural will deter graffiti, but once the mural begins to age and fade graffiti will again become a problem.

    Q: Does the City use anti-graffiti paint when covering graffiti?
    A: No. That type of paint is very costly. However, a great deal of the graffiti can be removed when water-blasted. Otherwise, a paint gun is utilized in order to match paint as closely as possible.

    Q: Has there been any consideration given to growing vines on large walls that are repeatedly covered with graffiti?
    A: In some locations that has been done. There are issues of moisture retention and on-going maintenance that must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Q: How is the additional employee and truck currently being funded? What will occur if CDBG funds are not approved?
    A: The funds are being drawn from the General Fund. If additional funding does not come from CDBG then other costs will have to cut in order to remain within the established budget.

    Q: What percentage of the graffiti removed is on private property?
    A: Normally graffiti is not removed from private property unless the affected area faces onto public property. Permission from the property owner is required in any instance that graffiti would be removed or painted over on private property.



    APPLICANT: Development Services
    PROJECT: Code Enforcement
    PRESENTOR: Kirke Warren, Code Enforcement Supervisor
    Mr. Warren gave an overview of the work done by Code Enforcement personnel to interpret and enforce the Fullerton Municipal Code, including procedures required to respond to complaints and conduct proactive enforcement. During the calendar year of 2005 there were 3,445 complaints filed city-wide; 1,418 occurred in CDBG areas. There were 3,886 inspections conducted in CDBG areas during 2005. Mr. Warren explained that the Richman Park Area is designated as a Proactive Area. CDBG funds have been utilized to establish a Community-Based Office at Richman Park which houses two Code Enforcement Officers. This funding request will support three Code Enforcement Officers, a portion of the Clerk and Supervisor positions and a share of legal expenses, supplies and equipment.

    Q: Do fees and fines collected by Code Enforcement offset cost?
    A: The fees and fines collected are added to the General Fund. Last year $34,000 was issued in citations and fees.

    Q: Why is the Support/Overhead cost so high? (Reference Page 2, item 13 of application)
    A: There is a city-wide Animal Control contract included.

    Q: How will the proposed overnight parking permits be enforced?
    A: All on-street parking is monitored and enforced by the Fullerton Police Department. Code Enforcement does not have a roll in this proposal.



    APPLICANT: Development Services
    PROJECT: Housing Administration
    PRESENTOR: Linda R. Morad, Housing Programs Supervisor
    Ms. Morad summarized the responsibilities of Housing Administration to oversee the CDBG budget, HOME funds and Section 108 funds, monitor Affordable Housing units and administer the Housing Rehabilitation program. This division must supervise compliance with all Federal requirements related to these programs and sub-recipients of the programs and compile annual HUD reports. The budget for this division is $166,190 for salaries and benefits and $200,000 of overhead charged by the City.

    Q: What is the breakdown of the $200,000 overhead charges?
    A: It is a percentage (approximately 41-45%) of all salaries charged to the CDBG program. This includes Parks and Recreation Services, Code Enforcement, Maintenance Services, Housing Administration and Housing Rehabilitation. Overhead costs include costs such as payroll preparation, administrative benefits and services rendered by the City Attorney.



    APPLICANT: Development Services
    PROJECT: Section 108 Richman Park Area Infrastructure
    PRESENTOR: Linda R. Morad, Housing Programs Supervisor
    Ms. Morad asked the Committee Members to refer to the Minutes for the CDCC Meeting of March 6, 2006 for details about the Section 108 Richman Park Area project. A budget shortfall was noted at that time because the cost of acquiring properties and relocating residents was higher than originally estimated and materials costs continued to escalate. Ms. Morad stated that a $489,000 principal payment budgeted last year was not yet due and it is the suggestion of the City Manager that this amount be rolled over into the project.



    APPLICANT: Development Services
    PROJECT: Housing Rehabilitation Program
    PRESENTOR: Sylvia M. Chavez, Housing Programs Assistant
    Ms. Chavez reviewed the Housing Rehabilitation Program $500,000 budget, which includes $339,480 for projects and also funds deposited to a revolving account as loans are repaid. She pointed out that expenditures during the past five years were impacted by the introduction of lead based paint requirements by HUD. Although the Rehabilitation Program has been operating without a full time Building Inspector for approximately 18 months, $329,445 was awarded in project expenditures during Fiscal Year 2004-05. Ms. Chavez added that the Block Improvement Grant (BIG) program is provided to the Proactive Area in a collaborative effort with Code Enforcement to provide exterior improvements in Richman Park Area neighborhoods.

    Q: How does the BIG program utilize CDBG funds without income restrictions?
    A: The Block Improvement Grant is area-benefited and targets an area in which over 51% of the homeowners fall below the low-moderate income guidelines set by HUD.

    Member Silva requested a breakdown of the expenditures that were made within the BIG program during the last Fiscal year.

    Q: Has the current waiting list resulted from a lack of funding?
    A: The Rehabilitation programs are very popular and generate a large number of applications. Because the program is short-staffed the projects cannot be completed rapidly and may remain on the waiting list longer. However, there are not enough funds to complete all the projects currently on the waiting list.

    Q: How are the Relocation Grants used?
    A: To assist homeowners with temporary housing alternatives for short term durations that result from fumigation.



  4. FUTURE MEETINGS

    The next meeting will be conducted at 6:30 P.M. on Monday, March 20 during which funding recommendations will be determined. The final meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers on May 2, 2006 at which time the Committee Recommendations will be presented to Council.

    Ms. Morad offered suggestions regarding methods that have helped prior Committees to streamline the process of allocating the budget.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

    No public comment.


  5. ADJOURNMENT

  6. Member Karmarkar MOVED to adjourn, SECONDED by Member Axe. Vice Chairperson Miller adjourned the meeting at 8:30 P.M.

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