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Council Preview: Libraries, Waste, YMCA and More

Monday June 28, 2010 - 06:02:00 PM

A controversial item on Tuesday’s Berkeley City Council Agenda has the innocuous subject line “ Zoning Ordinance Amendment to Allow Development Flexibility for Existing Public Libraries”.It’s even on the consent calendar, a try for easy passage without discussion.Here’s what it means: “ to allow (1) existing public libraries to be changed, expanded, or demolished and a new public library constructed, and (2) modification of any Zoning Ordinance requirement applicable to such projects with a Use Permit, rather than a Variance.” [emphasis added] The Public Library Users’ Association is up in arms, since the ballot measure to provide funding for what now looks like two brand new libraries said not a word about demolition, and also, they say, plans call for fewer books in the new buildings.Development Flexibility, for sure. 

Department of Spending: “RECOMMENDATION--Adopt a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract and any amendments with the Downtown Berkeley YMCA in the amount of $231,012 for fitness center memberships for City employees for the period July 1, 2010 through June 30,2011. (Meanwhile, the city’s contract with the invaluable NewsScan, about $20k a year, has been cancelled, supposedly to save money.) 

The city staff also wants to buy some spiffy new trash cans, on credit, of course: “Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with Arata Equipment Company for the purchase of 31,000 curbside carts for the residential recycling program, at a cost not to exceed $2,507,310; and executing a Schedule to a Master Equipment Lease/Purchase Agreement to purchase and make annual lease payments for the curbside recycling carts with Banc of America Public Capital Corp. for an annual lease payment not to exceed $410,000 to be paid over seven years at a not-to-exceed interest rate of 3.50%, with a first payment commencing no later than January 1, 2011.”
These are just a few of the highlights.For the full story, see the agenda, and watch the whole show online on Tuesday.