The Hollister City Council on Nov. 19 unanimously agreed to share Hollister Fire Department services with San Juan Bautista after delaying approval of the $228,000 contract earlier this month. Mayor Ignacio Velazquez was absent.
The City Council did not vote on the contract at its Nov. 5 meeting because it was left out of the staff report. An agreement for providing fire service to the unincorporated areas of San Benito County still moved forward. The previous deals expired Oct. 1 and services were being provided on a monthly basis.
The contracts are similarly structured: each includes a 3 percent annual increase beginning Jan. 1, 2019, three automatic renewals and the opportunity for San Juan Bautista to purchase equipment at a prorated cost if the contract is terminated. The equipment only includes type 1 and type 3 engines and an off-road water tender, which the city is expected to acquire after all the fire contracts are finalized, according to meeting agenda packet.
The contract also includes a lease agreement for Station No. 4, located at 311 Second St. for $36,000 a year for the first three years, $40,800 for the following two years, and $43,200 for the last two years of the contract. If the cities don’t opt out of the three one-year automatic renewals, Hollister will pay $45,600 for its lease of the fire station during that period.
San Juan Bautista Deputy City Clerk Trish Paetz said it’s unknown if the San Juan Bautista City Council will vote on the contract at its Dec. 18 meeting.
Employment contracts approved
The Hollister City Council approved employment contracts with Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo, Police Chief David Westrick, Management Services Director Mike Chambless and Administrative Services Director Brett Miller.
Martin Del Campo, Miller and Chambless’ three-year contracts, starting Nov. 19, 2018, include a $153,000 base salary with three 5 percent increases. The first increase is expected to go into effect after the first full pay cycle following the finalization of the contract; the second in July 2019; and the third in July 2020.
Westrick’s base salary is $167,000 with the same increase rate and schedule as the other approved contracts.
Matching grant for airport
Hollister received $18,520 from the Department of Transportation to be used for the Taxiway-K project at the Hollister Municipal Airport. The project includes a construction of runways, lighting and markings.
The funds are part of the 5 percent matching program of the the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program grant.
City seeks firm to remove homeless camps
The City Council approved the release of requests for proposals to firms who specialize in homeless encampment removal.
According to the agenda packet, the city is required to clean up debris and belongings from encampments, which is often done by public works crews, but is seeking to hire a firm to do so because public works “rarely have the manpower to necessary, or in some cases the proper equipment to mitigate large encampments.”
On Oct. 4 a city employee was hurt while clearing out a homeless encampment near the railroad tracks by the San Benito Foods Cannery.
The employee was loaded on a stretcher and taken from the area of the incident. City Manager Bill Avera later confirmed a female employee did not suffer serious injury and was released from the hospital within a few hours.
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