By Chris Frost
Oxnard-- City council members stopped the normally non-controversial consent agenda items during its July 21 meeting to ask questions and take public comments on the Award Agreement A-8220 to Toro Enterprises, Inc. for arterial street resurfacing projects within the city.
The road conditions have been questioned, as Moving Oxnard Forward's Aaron Starr and Alicia Percell have a ballot initiative on the ballot that ties Measure O funding to the condition of the roads. If passed, the city could lose Measure O funding, which benefits many areas in the city.
Pubic Works Director Rosemarie Gaglione told the council that they moved $400,000 from the Rice Avenue paving project to Rose Avenue.
The money got moved through a budget adjustment, but the Rice Avenue project remained whole and created no negative impact.
"We thought we would include that information," she said.
During Council comments, Bert Perello said people who drive around the city get a feeling that nothing is getting done, but that is wrong.
"The project on Lantana and Gonzales, there is construction going on there," he said. "Now, coming to the council meeting, in front of the old St. John's Hospital, there is construction going on there. There was work on C Street the other day and today. Item number seven, for people who don't see the staff report, I think it would be beneficial for residents to hear from public works so they can hear what we are approving and what areas and streets will be worked on. There is a tremendous amount of work going on and money spent on behalf of the city's residents."
Mayor Tim Flynn interjected that repaving streets are an ongoing project.
"It's important to note that it's specific to these arterial streets," he said. "The funding we get for these arterials, Rose, Rice, Oxnard Boulevard, and Vineyard, those larger arterial roads, comes from the federal government and our representative is Councilman MacDonald. I get a lot of complaints and questions about those arterials, and we use federal funds to pave these roads. We are making tremendous progress on the city streets, and we have a lot more challenges to go."
During Public Comments, Pat Brown asked why the street resurfacing is stopping on Rose and not being increased to include Rice Avenue. She pointed out that Sakioka Farms is being developed and doesn't feel like people will want to be there if the road is in such bad condition.
The item passed unanimously.