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Pico Rivera Approves Mini Soccer Pitch


City also approved raising water rates by 10% per year for the next five years.

BY BRIAN HEWS • July 30, 2021

In early 2021, the City contacted the Roldan family, arranged a meeting with Mayor Raul Elias, Councilmember Lutz, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian McEachren, and City staff to bring a 5-on-5 mini-soccer field to Pico Rivera in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Musco Lighting.

Mini-soccer fields are an all-in-one solution to help communities create fun and active play spaces to revitalize public areas.

The proposed mini-soccer courts came complete with lighting, fencing, goals, benches, lockable storage and American with Disabilities compliant access.

The total project cost is estimated at $220,000, with the funds coming from a one-time cost savings from the ’20-’21 budget.

At their last meeting, the Pico Rivera City Council heard from Parks and Recreation Director Yugar, U.S. Soccer Foundation representative Alex Bard and MLS Player Cristian Roldan, who gave a brief presentation and overview of the Mini Pitch System in Partnership with U.S. Soccer Foundation and Musco Lighting.

The presentation included the projected budget costs and potential locations.

The mini pitch was approved on a 5-0 vote after a motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Sanchez and seconded by Councilmember Lutz.

In partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the agreement is with Musco Lighting, in an amount not to exceed $100,000. The Council then approved the transfer of $220,000 to build the field.  $100,000 from the law enforcement budget; $40,000 from the sewer maintenance budget; $80,000 from the City’s storm drain services budget.

The City council also approved a 10% per year increase in water rates for the next five years. City Manager Steve Carmona told HMG-CN, “the rates have not been raised for a few years, there is over $100 million in unfunded needs, including PFOS and PFAS filtration.”

In December of 2019, the City contracted with IMEG to prepare a Water Master Plan (WMP) update. The City’s last water master plan was prepared over 10 years ago in 2009. The IMEG team developed a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) as part of the master planning efforts. The final CIP document identified over $117 million in capital improvements. Additionally, the WMP found that nearly $38 million in crucial projects must be implemented over the next five years to increase water system reliability. Projects include $14 million towards the PFAS Treatment System, $13 million for altitude valves and piping upgrades, $6.6 million towards new storage tanks, and $3.5 million towards meter replacement.

Implementing rate increases of 10% annually would provide the PRWA adequate revenues and cash flow to properly fund for the operations and capital projects.

To increase the water rates, the City must comply with Prop. 218 rules. Notification of the proposed rates must be distributed to all affected, recorded property owners a minimum of 45-days prior to the public hearing. The property owners have the right to submit written protests. The written protests must be submitted to the City Clerk no later than the conclusion of the public hearing. If 50% plus one (1) written protests are received, the City cannot implement the proposed water rates.

In other news, the City Council pulled an amendment for tree maintenance services with West Coast Arborists, Inc. from the consent calendar for discussion.

The agreement increased the amount by $1.043 million for a total contract amount of $1.9 million, while also modifying the term for services. The amendment resets the duration of the agreement to a new three-year period ending June 2024, along with two one-year renewal options ending on June 30, 2026. West Coast will also complete a tree trimming backlog of 470 trees and increase tree trimming frequency from five years to three years.

Councilmember Lara expressed his concern with the increase in the yearly cost and suggested that the contract go out to bid. City Clerk Anna Jerome provided an overview of the City’s contract process and, after some discussion, Mayor Elias suggested Lara meet with Carmona and Jerome to further discuss his concerns. The item was tabled until the next meeting.

After reviewing an amendment to the agreement between the City and S&S LaBarge Golf for Pico Rivera Golf Course Management,  Councilmember Lutz indicated that he supports the month-to-month operation of the golf course until of the Whittier Narrows Dam project begins; the golf course is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and would close due to the project.

Councilmember Lara added that homeowners should be advised of the construction timelines and to engage the community with their concerns.

Mayor Elias suggested that the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Economic Recovery Ad Hoc Committee review the concerns brought forth from the community.

Carmona added that the Army Corps of Engineers would provide updates soon. The amendment was approved 5-0.

The City forgave $384,000 in debt owed by Leba, Inc., operators of the Pico Sports Arena due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic. The Council then approved the reinstatement of all quarterly payments by Leba,

which amounts to approximately $560,000 annually.

The Council also authorized Carmona to engage Raymond James and Cabrera Capital Markets as Senior Managing underwriters for the 2021 Tax Allocation Refunding Bonds, while also authorizing Carmona to engage Cabrera Capital Markets as underwriter for the Pension Obligation Bonds.

Finally, the City awarded a $1.3 million contract to California Professional Engineering for city-wide traffic signal upgrades.