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Health Clinic Site Sought For Parking
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Provoked by complaints about lack of downtown parking, Riverbank will ask Oak Valley Hospital District to move its former health clinic portable off the city's parking lot within 45 days or face legal action.

"Either they move it or we will move it and charge them," said council member Richard O'Brien. "It's been over a year since we first asked them." "We've been more than gracious," added Mayor Virginia Madueno.

City Attorney Tom Hallinan Jr. said he would contact the Oak Valley Hospital District board at once.

City Manager Rich Holmer informed the council on Jan. 10 that he'd been told several months ago that Oak Valley had sold the modular building and it would soon be removed so the land could be restored to its prior condition as a parking lot as contracted.

But in recent conversations, Oak Valley CEO John Friel had requested additional time before moving the unit. After speaking with Debbie Olson, Holmer had offered a location at the former Army Ammunition Plant turned industrial park to store the unit until sold (there would be a small storage fee). Meanwhile, the city had raised the monthly lease rate from $525 to $550 and would again raise it to $600 on April 1.

The estimated cost of moving the modular building to the plant site is $10,000.

Since the downtown restoration was completed, the city has received occasional complaints about the downtown parking, mainly from business owners on Santa Fe Street between Third and Fourth streets, Holmer added.

Economic Development Director Tim Ogden and Holmer visited all the businesses and urged them to have their employees park on the side streets or in the alley, believing that Oak Valley was about to move their building out and free up the parking lot at Stanislaus and Third streets.

The major parking issue is employees parking their vehicles in potential customer spaces, officials said.

Recent suggestions have also been that the city consider installing two-hour parking limit signs on Santa Fe Street between Third and Fourth streets.

But the cost to buy and install signs would be more than $9,000, the city code would need changing to reflect the new signs and associated fines, and the signs would require enforcement.

Enforcement of signage would be a low priority with police in view of potential layoffs in public safety services. While volunteers could be trained through the Sheriff's Team Of Active Retired Seniors (STARS) program, their enforcement would likely be sporadic at best.