City Manager Update - April 3, 2020
The City Manager's Update is a regular news briefing that is provided to the citizens of Galt. The Update includes important City news, updates on key initiatives and projects, and how the City is delivering services and responding to any concerns from our community.
Thomas J. Haglund, Interim City Manager
BI-WEEKLY REPORT - April 3, 2020
COVID-19 Continues to Grow in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties
The number of infections related to the coronavirus known as COVID-19 continues to grow in Galt and Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. In Sacramento County, the total infection count as of the latest update on April 3 is 390 infected with 10 attributable deaths. Sacramento County noted four infections in Galt. As of April 3, San Joaquin County was reporting 180 infections and 10 related deaths.
The City continues to coordinate its emergency operations response to the pandemic on a daily basis. All of the City’s essential services remain fully operational including water, wastewater collection and treatment, building inspection for facilities covered by the gubernatorial executive order, and law enforcement services. The Galt Market opened for the provision of fruits, vegetables, and household essentials this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Approximately 30 vendors participated (usual participation level is between 250 and 300), were spaced apart, and the aisles were 25 feet wide. Hand washing stations and signage regarding social distancing were also provided. Next week, the placement of vendors will increase in distancing and provide for 50 foot aisles. The Market provides an opportunity for the community to obtain necessary produce, dry/canned goods, and household essentials in an open air format. Customer traffic will be monitored to provide for social distancing.
The City has developed a small business COVID-19 related assistance page at http://www.ci.galt.ca.us/residents/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-information. The page is geared toward providing support to local businesses through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will update this page as additional resources become available.
The City was notified by CalWaste that consistent with industry recommendations, they have suspended curbside bulky waste collection until May 3. Bulky waste consists of very large items that residents can place curbside twice per year for pick-up. The suspension of this service is directly related to the COVID-19 threat. Bulky items must be handled individually by CalWaste personnel. Since the COVID-19 virus is known to live on surfaces for varying periods of time, CalWaste has determined it is in the best interest of employee health to temporarily suspend the service. CalWaste will keep a running list of requests for the service and attend to those through coordination with each requestor when COVID-19 concerns have subsided. Handy Hauler services will continue because this service does not require personnel to come in contact with the contents.
The Utilities department recently purchased two pieces of equipment to be used in Utilities and for projects throughout the City. The first piece of equipment is a used 2013 JLG Telehandler with a 43’ boom and a 7000 lb. capacity. This will increase the abilities of the maintenance staff to efficiently work on fixed equipment and move materials. This will allow the ability to lift loads high in the air or reach over buildings to remove/replace motors and equipment. The second piece of equipment is a 2020 Toyota Viper lift truck (forklift) with a 6600 lb. capacity. This allows staff to be able to handle materials around the wastewater plant with minimal personnel. This makes a more efficient and safe way to handle materials. Both pieces of equipment will help comply with all State of California requirements
HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Effective April 1, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act goes into effect. This is a new Federal law signed by President Donald Trump on March 18. The new law provides for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or Emergency Family Medical Leave, subject to eligibility requirements. In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public sector employers are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed.
These benefits are only in effect through December 31 with no carryover of benefits after that date unless amended by law. Individuals should contact their employer regarding their eligibility for these new benefits. More information can be found on the United States Department of Labor website: https://www.dol.gov/.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Virtual Recreation Webpage - A website has been created for residents to refer to for activities to help keep busy during the shelter in place mandate. http://www.ci.galt.ca.us/city-departments/virtual-recreation-and-healthy-life-resources. This page has items for youth, adults and seniors and includes information and videos from some of the special interest instructors who work with the City.
Adult Softball, Youth Softball, City Tots, and SOAR After School Program – Since no definite start date can yet be determined, all of the programs listed above have been suspended or cancelled. Participants for both of the softball programs will receive full refunds. Participants for City Tots and SOAR will receive partial refunds for March and full refunds for all subsequent months. The Parks and Recreation Department will be working with the Finance Department to process these payments as soon as possible.
Special Interest Programs – Instructors have been notified that programs through April must be cancelled. If any payments were made, they will be refunded (some Stagehand Theater participants have requested that April payments be applied to the June class).
Gora Aquatic Center – Registrations are still being accepted for Galt Gators and the Learn to Swim program. If the Galt Gators season resumes, it will start later than the scheduled April 13 date and will have the fees pro-rated to reflect the new start date. The Learn to Swim program is scheduled to begin on June 8.
The lifeguard class scheduled for April 4 – 10 has been put on hold. If the class can be offered in May or June, students will be informed of the date change (refunds will be made to those who ask or if classes cannot be rescheduled for this season).
- All playground structures have been taped off and are now closed due to COVID-19.
- Staff is disinfecting park restrooms and frequently touched areas in the parks.
Special Events and Rentals
All special events and facility rentals have been cancelled due to the shelter in place order through April 30.