City awards airport improvement contract

At a special Madera City Council meeting, a contract to address draining issues on the runways, taxiways, aprons and the tee hangar areas of the Madera Municipal Airport was awarded.


Four companies provided bids for the project and Agee Construction Corporation received the contract for just over $1 million at a special City Council meeting on July 18. The Federal Aviation Administration concurred with the city’s recommendation, and on July 14, the FAA awarded the city with grant funding to cover the cost of the project.


The bids were set to expire on July 20 so the Council had to hold a special meeting to award the contract to Agee Construction.

The Council held a public hearing for potential increases to water, sewer, storm drainage and solid waste rates at its regular meeting on July 20.


The city will utilize funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to mitigate significant rate increases for customers. They will receive $16 million for sewer and $6 million for water. However, although the funding will mitigate large increases, the city still anticipates an increase in rates.


The rate increases may go down on some metered water charges, but will increase up to about $13 on others. The council was allowed to proceed to adopt the resolution regarding the water rates. The projected income will be about $10.2 million with a 1 percent increase for the initial three years with no increases anticipated for years four or five.


Sewer rates will rise about $15-16 over the next four years. Commercial sewer rates may rise about $2-$3 over a four-year period. The council was allowed to proceed to adopt the resolution for sewer rates. The city projects to receive $8.2 million with a five percent increase for five years.


Storm drainage will see the greater increases after no adjustments occurred since 1992. The rates would generate $928,000. Rates were proposed to increase 15 percent over five years. However, the resolution did not pass and the council couldn’t proceed to adopt the resolution.


Solid waste rates would increase 10 percent in years 1-4 and four percent in the fifth year. The city was allowed to proceed to adopt the resolution for the solid waste rates.


The Council approved plans to improve play structures, water fountains, basketball courts for the McNally Park Project, in addition to assorted repairs and maintenance. Approximately $600,000 is set for the park project.


The Council approved a declaration of nuisances and abatement order for overgrown weeds.


The City’s weed abatement program serves to prevent fire hazards created by overgrown vegetation on vacant lots and enforces the removal of hazardous weeds and dry brush.


Upon an annual survey of vacant lots, Staff found 355 properties that contain excessive overgrowth and were in violation of this program. Under the current guidelines, owners of these properties are notified of their responsibility to remove weeds and are given 45 days to comply with the notice. The City then performed a re-inspection and discovered 27 of these properties remain in violation as of July 19.


Under the Weed Abatement Program, properties that are not in compliance will be subject to abatement by a City contractor at the owner’s expense. Fenced properties are not typically part of the program, however if they contain dry, excessive weeds, they are considered a public nuisance and addressed as such.


As required by City Code, a public hearing must be held, and property owners must be notified of the scheduled hearing. No feedback was provided by property owners.


The next meeting is tonight.