With Los Angeles County in Phase 3 of California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap, the La Cañada Flintridge staff notified City Council members of its plans of reopening City Hall to the public during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
Staff is currently acquiring supplies and apparatus in an effort to follow the county’s public safety guidelines, according to City Manager Mark Alexander. He is hopeful to open City Hall with limited hours on Monday, July 20, a date that is subject to change because of the unpredictability of COVID-19.
Council members expressed a hope of hosting in-person public hearings but they were shot down by Alexander, who said the county’s restrictions on large assemblies remain unchanged.
The same goes for Music in the Park, which is now canceled through July 19. Alexander, who had scratched all shows in June, told the council that the first three concerts in July have been nixed.
“I did specifically ask the county last week regarding concerts in the park and large assemblies and got the continuing response from the county that large assemblies are not permitted at the moment and [officials] could not give me a definitive timeline on when they would be,” he said.
The restrictions also prevent the city from hosting alternative ideas for community gatherings such as an outdoor movie screening.
“I’m still holding on to hope for the fourth Sunday in July that we might be able to hold that concert,” Alexander added.
Alexander also notified council members that a preliminary budget and financial plan is finished and will be sent to them soon. The first budget hearing is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, June 23, at 8:30 a.m.
CRIME, FIRE REPORTS
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Todd Deeds presented the crime statistics for the month of May and addressed an uptick in robberies.
There was a robbery on May 30 in which a man and an accomplice robbed the 7-Eleven on Foothill Boulevard and then committed another robbery in Altadena not long after. They were detained by the Pasadena Police Department.
Addressing the recent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Deeds said there was only “a couple of minor vandalism reports … but nothing major.”
“Nobody was injured and no significant damage to any businesses and homes,” he said. “Fortunately, there were no injuries to residents or deputies or personnel.”
The fire report from L.A. County Assistant Fire Chief Anderson Mackey included a brush fire in May at Inverness Drive and St. Katherine Drive that burned a quarter of an acre and was started by illegal fireworks. No perpetrator was caught.
Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis addressed concern regarding California wildfire season and Mackey assured him that they have started brush inspection and residents have been compliant.
“Right now we haven’t got quite into our serious fire season,” Mackey said. “However, we’ve been seeing quite a few start up in the north end in Santa Clarita but not much in La Cañada. They always say this might be the worst one ever. We’ve been hearing that for the last couple of years because of the dry brush here. … [The firework incident] put us on alert.”
Several construction projects are scheduled to begin work soon, most notably the Foothill Boulevard Link Project.
A delighted Patrick DeChellis, director of public works, saved the “really good news” for last and said the longtime project received approval from Caltrans. The job will be advertised in July and should be on the agenda for the meeting on Sept. 15. He expects construction to begin in the fall and the project to be completed by Memorial Day 2021.
The Foothill Link Project includes a half-mile-long Class I bike trail between Hillard Avenue and Leata Lane. There will also be a 1½-mile Class II bike path, new landscaped medians and widened parkways, creating a pedestrian greenbelt.
Congestion on Foothill Boulevard will likely continue as it will be restriped from Alta Canyada Road East to Oak Grove next month and will be done in August. The south side of the street is currently under construction to install a Verizon fiber optic cable. Staff is uncertain if it will be used for cellphones or internet services.
Phase 2 of the sound wall project is finally getting underway and will begin in the fall and should be completed by spring 2021. The project was hung up because of a SoCal Edison power pole located in the area of construction, which is from La Toure Way to Alta Canyada Road.
The Lanterman House maintenance work will begin next week and should be done in about a month.
DeChellis also said that the annual citywide resurfacing project will be completed in late July.
SECURITY CAMERAS TO BE INSTALLED
Flock Safety is moving forward in the installment of motion-activated cameras in 39 locations that include license plate reader technology.
Assistant City Manager Carl Alameda said they have been proven “successful in other municipalities” and will be a “great tool for the sheriff’s department.”
Installation of the cameras will begin this Monday, June 22, and is expected to take a few days. There will be a three-to-four-day period working with the CV Sheriff’s Station to identify any possible issues pertaining to communication. The cameras can potentially help lower crime rates by notifying local departments of any potential hot list hits.
Despite economic hardships across the country, City Treasurer Jeff Wang expressed optimism in the city’s investments on Tuesday.
“I think we’re comfortable where we’re at,” he said. “We’re just going to try to hold and tread waters for as high as we can for as long as we can. But the quality of the portfolio remains very solid. We’re very liquid, so we have no issues with regards to meeting any project needs or cash requirements. We’re fortunate given all the things you do on council and staff and being conservative with our budget. It puts us in a very good position.”