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Increased police presence to patrol Old Town

Historic district businesses agree to share the cost of two police officers
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Residents concerned over noise and disorder caused by intoxicated patrons spilling out of bars in Roseville’s Historic Old Town can rest easier now that two police officers will be dedicated to patrolling the district.

Roseville City Council approved a supplemental law enforcement services agreement during its Wednesday meeting under which several Old Town business owners will share the cost of having two police officers provide foot patrol and increased presence during peak weekend hours.

The businesses will cover the overtime cost of the officers to patrol the district Friday and Saturday nights, and to write any resulting reports after their shifts. The city hopes to reduce the overtime costs from regular officers staying after their shifts to help with disturbances or write reports.

Also during Wednesday’s meeting, the council voted unanimously to uphold determinations made by the Roseville Planning Commission Jan. 27 regarding the compliance of three impound yards.

The action was in response to appeals filed by Richard and Sandra Keller of Classic Tow Services, who claim the vehicle storage sites — at 701 Riverside Ave., 204 Kenroy Lane and 425 Clinton Ave. — are out of compliance with zoning regulations and their competitors are operating yards unlawfully.

“Our goal has been and continues to be to establish a fair and balanced playing field for all tow companies in Roseville,” said Richard Keller, owner of Classic Tow Service.

Keller originally brought his complaint to the city in December 2008 and then reintroduced it in September.

But the council sided with the commission and recommendations from the planning department that the yards are zoned appropriately, primarily because of their historical use as sites for automotive sales, vehicle storage or other related purposes.

Drew Pefferle, owner of Made in America at 701 Riverside Ave., expressed his dissatisfaction with the appeals during the meeting. He said towing companies have operated at his site for at least 25 years.

“I don’t think these zoning laws were made to put businesses out of business, especially by their competition,” Pefferle said.

Mayor Pauline Roccucci was absent from the meeting, which left Vice Mayor Susan Rohan in charge of running her first council meeting.

“Thank you all for your patience with my first meeting tonight,” Rohan said. “I appreciate your help.”

Here’s a look at some other items approved during the March 2 meeting.

Call for bids for Eureka Road/Interstate-80 Improvement Project: In an attempt to address increased traffic in the northwest area of Roseville, especially during weekday evening peak hours, the city is conducting a Eureka Road/I-80 improvement project.

The project includes constructing a fourth lane on westbound Eureka Road beginning 800 feet east of North Sunrise Avenue/Eureka Road intersection, widening lanes, converting free right-turn lanes into signal controlled lanes and creating additional left-turn lanes.

The $6 million project is fully funded by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act, and the city’s traffic mitigation fees. No general funds will be used.

Purchase of play equipment for Weber Park: The Parks and Recreation Department plans to renovate the Weber Park playground as part of a capital improvement program. The play equipment costs $30,320 and funding was approved in the 2005-06 budget and won’t impact the general fund, according to the city’s staff report.

Notice of completion of Saugstad Park to Darling Way bike trail project: A 180-foot long paved bike path on the east side of Dry Creek from the existing bike path in Saugstad Park to Darling Way is now ready for residents.

The city says the path will enhance recreational and commuter bicycling, walking and jogging, and improve access to transit services in the Riverside Gateway area. The project was funded with federal transit grants and local transportation funds.

Agreement with The Gun Room for ammunition disposal: The Roseville Police Department will now dispose of ammunition — including ammunition turned in by residents, and surrendered or unclaimed from completed court cases — at The Gun Room in Elk Grove.

The business operates an indoor shooting range open to the public and can use the ammunition. No public shooting ranges in Roseville provide a similar service. This no-cost agreement allows the city to avoid costs associated with the disposal of unwanted ammunition.

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