The San Ramon City Council will be debating the merits of supporting a new 0.5% countywide sales tax during its regular meeting on Tuesday evening, that would help fund transportation projects in Contra Costa County.
A decision that is being considered by other municipalities in Contra Costa County, the "Transportation Expenditure Plan" would last for a period of 35 years starting July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2055, and have the potential to raise an estimated $3.6 billion in funding for transportation projects throughout the county.
Pending approval from local government agencies and a successful final vote by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, the tax would be placed on the March 3, 2020 ballot for final consideration by voters.
“Currently, transportation needs significantly exceed projected revenues. Over the next 35 years, Contra Costa County population will continue to grow, resulting in new demands on the transportation infrastructure and additional mobility needs. The new sales tax measure is needed to keep Contra Costa County moving and to create livable and sustainable communities,” transportation division manager Lisa Bobadilla said in a staff report.
According to Bobadilla, transportation investments would be “split roughly equal between funding categories targeted at congestion relief on major commute corridors throughout Contra Costa County and funding categories intended to improve transportation in all our communities.”
Bobadilla went on to say that San Ramon is projected to receive $1,244,429 per year for maintaining local streets and roads.
The San Ramon City Council is set to discuss the new sales tax, as well as other pressing issues facing the city, during its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, in the City Hall Council Chamber, 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.
In other business
*After hearing a presentation by Teen Council Chair Vineela Gogineni, the council is set to recognize Oct. 23 as Unity Day, a day where participants wear orange to show support for students who have been bullied.
*The City Council is also set to review potential updates to its ordinance relating to the regulation of massage establishments and licensing in San Ramon.
In response to a complaint received by a San Ramon business owner, during Tuesday’s meeting the council will consider adding an amendment that will allow specific exemptions to the city’s massage licensing policies.
One of the key changes made to the city’s ordinance regulating massage establishments, was the new requirement that all massage therapists within the city must obtain California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) certification in order to work, according to Assistant City Attorney Alicia Poon.
This became an issue when in July the city received a complaint from a business owner who said one of their employees could not become CAMTC. According to Poon the employee could not become certified because the program did not recognize their out-of-country massage education, according to Poon.
Despite having relevant training and experience, under the city’s current regulations the owner would be forced to fire them because their employees could not technically get CAMTC certification.
“Although it is normally not advisable to allow an exception to the CAMTC certification requirement... it appears that this particular scenario is unique and any risk can be minimized by a narrowly crafted exception,” Poon said.
*Council members will then discuss allocating $25 million for various capital investments around the city.
According to a staff report by Administrative Services Director Eva Phelps, capital improvement projects that will be funded include citywide bicycle network improvements, the city hall reconfiguration, citywide drainage and infrastructure, the installation of street cameras, removal and installation of trees and other landscaping improvements, intelligent transportation system upgrades, renovation of the San Ramon Community Center, San Ramon Olympic Pool improvements, bicycle pedestrian overcrossing improvements, and street and road maintenance.