Members of the Riverbank City Council gathered recently for a regular meeting and discussed several items including PROS Consulting Update on the Citywide Park Master Plan, Utility Billing, CARES Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), and the electronic sign update.
PROS consultant Michael Svetz presented the update on the Citywide Park Master Plan with Mayor Richard O’Brien, Vice Mayor Luis Uribe, and councilmembers Cal Campbell, Darlene Barber-Martinez, and Cindy Fosi all in attendance.
The consulting firm was awarded the bid in April 2019 for the Master Plan. They mailed out a community survey to stakeholders and key groups that use the facilities along with data collection and analysis. This past January PROS presented the survey results to the City Council. The final Master Plan will be presented to the City Council for adoption at the Aug. 25 regular meeting.
Svetz discussed some of the community’s needs like programs and services for adults 55 and older, fitness and wellness programs, community special events, walking and biking trails, covered picnic areas, dog parks, indoor exercise facility, after school programs, camp, outdoor environmental programs, adventure area and water fitness programs that were high priorities in Riverbank.
“The level of service is really about understanding your community’s needs from a parkland perspective and there are a lot of variables that can go into developing levels of service,” said Svetz.
They looked into what the current level of service is for the community along with reviewing whether parkland needs to be added and what the current inventory and conditions are as well as the opportunity and financial sustainability. The city must be able to maintain and manage the parkland.
The Riverbank community has been growing and is expected to grow even more. The current population is about 25,000 and Svetz explained that the city is likely to grow to about 44,000 bringing Riverbank from a small city to a mid-size city.
According to PROS, there are 3.5 acres per 1000 individuals that live within Riverbank and they recommend increasing the service level to 5 acres per 1000 people which translates to the number of park acres needed in the next 15 years to 146 acres of parkland. Other recommendations were an additional dog park in the future, more picnic shelters, and updating the community pool.
The city was given kudos for doing a good job in maintaining the parks from Svetz.
In summary it will cost an estimated $59 million over the next 10 years to cover the costs of the Master Plan with the growth of the community; however, if it does not increase then the projects will be put on hold and the cost will go down. For the first five years $9.6 million is anticipated to be funded through a Prop 68 grant. For a complete breakdown of dollars and more information regarding the Master Plan, view the meeting on riverbank.org or see the agenda documents online.
In other business the City Council voted unanimously to continue to waive penalties and fees for utility bills as they have for the past few months. This will be a loss of approximately $30,000 in fees and will be revisited by the council at the next billing cycle. Staff will not perform shut-offs for delinquent bills in August or September.
“It is important to the Council that support is provided to the community during this difficult time,” said City Manager Sean Scully.
The next City Council meeting was to be held on Aug. 11 but was canceled so the next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The public is welcome to attend and may give public comments or submit questions. For more information visit the city website at riverbank.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.