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Higher education task force forms

Council appoints 17 people to task force
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Roseville City Councilman Tim Herman saw one of his campaign goals come to fruition with the creation of a Higher Education Task Force June 15.

Herman, elected to the council in November, touted a private four-year university as vital to the city fostering sustained economic growth.

The new task force is charged with developing a strategy to attract higher education facilities to Roseville.

A 2006 Sacramento Regional Research Institute study found that a four-year college in Roseville would create an estimated 6,300 jobs, $500 million in a short-term economic boost and $1 billion in annual economic output.

“There are very few projects that would have this type of positive economic impact on a community,” said Roseville senior planner Mike Isom. “In addition to the economic benefits, the community would also realize additional opportunities for cultural and social growth.”

Roseville City Council unanimously approved the formation of the task force. Councilwoman Carol Garcia was absent.

“I’m just looking forward to getting started,” said Herman, who will vice chair the group.

Councilman John Allard will serve as chair.

The council appointed 17 members to the task force, including Roseville Joint Union High School District Superintendent Tony Monetti, Sierra College Trustee Scott Leslie, Placer County Planning Commissioner Richard Roccucci, Sacramento City College professor Paul Frank and Placer Ranch President Holly Tiche.

The city’s 2005 Economic Development Strategy identifies attraction of a four-year university to the south Placer region as a cornerstone of Roseville’s future economic prosperity. On Feb. 16, the council authorized the creation of the task force, and the recruitment period ended March 11.

The city will hire a consultant to facilitate task force meetings. The estimated staff cost associated with the project is between $30,000 and $50,000.

The council has recently made higher education a priority. Mayor Pauline Roccucci signed a memorandum of understanding May 4 stating a desire to work collaboratively with Sierra College for the planning and expansion of the school within city limits.

The Rocklin-based community college signed the agreement in hopes of finding ways to accommodate its anticipated growth in the next 20 to 25 years.

In other business, the council also approved the 2011-12 fiscal year budget. The spending plan includes no reduction in service levels throughout the city, and no proposed layoffs or furloughs.

The “status-quo” budget, as City Manager Ray Kerridge calls it, includes reopening Maidu Library on Saturdays and increased funding for materials at all three branches. The city recently hired a new head librarian, Natasha Casteel, who will also oversee the Maidu Museum and Historic Site.

The proposed budget of $410 million includes $116.8 for the general fund and $194.2 million for utilities. The current fiscal year’s budget is $407 million. As is standard, police and fire account for the majority of general fund expenditures.

Here’s a look at some items approved during the June 15 Roseville City Council meeting:

Roseville Police Officer’s Association retirement contribution adjustment: The city had been paying 5.5 percent of the employee contribution to CalPERS and employees paid 3.5 percent based on the RPOA labor agreement. The city will now pay the full 9 percent, effective July 2. The fiscal impact will be $574,952 in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Roseville Electric retirements budget adjustment: Three utility employees participated in the PARS supplementary retirement plan approved by the council Nov. 3. To cover the PARS-related costs, Roseville Electric will transfer $283,893 from the Electric Operation Fund to the Post Retirement Insurance Accrual Fund in fiscal year 2011. Participation in PARS will result in a net savings over the life of the program.

Golf maintenance services agreement: Valley Crest Golf Course Maintenance will provide this service for the city-owned Woodcreek Golf Club and Diamond Oaks Golf Course. The company has been the city’s provider for the past 10 years. The total financial impact for the city will be $8 million over the next four and a half years. All operations must be paid by revenues generated from golf. No general fund money will be used.

Renewal of service agreement for security guard: The Pleasant Grove Wastewater Treatment Plant has an ongoing need for security guard staffing from 6 p.m. through 6 a.m. 365 days a year to protect and safeguard the plant, and prevent injury from high-voltage and automatically starting equipment when city staff are not on duty. Roseville Electric uses the services for a nighttime security guard at its inventory yard. The total cost for services is $105,445 and will be performed by Scarlett Protective, Inc.

Authorization to proceed with Main Library/Royer Park Footbridge emergency project: Council approved a service agreement with RNR Construction June 1 to remove the pedestrian bridge, which had been badly damaged by winter storms. The city expects to complete the project by June 24. The city will eventually replace the bridge within the next three years, provided funding is available.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.