Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 9, 2010

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

City Council (April 5)

Compost: The council directed staff to pursue a feasibility study and an Environmental Impact Report for a proposed anaerobic digestion facility that would be located in the Baylands, next to the Regional Water Quality Control Plant. Yes: Burt, Klein, Price, Shepherd, Scharrf No: Espinosa, Schmid, Yeh, Holman

Budget adjustments: The council approved the midyear budget adjustments that were proposed by staff and the Finance Committee for fiscal year 2010. Yes: Unanimous

High-Speed-Rail Committee (April 5)

Legislation: The committee heard a presentation from its Sacramento lobbyist on high-speed-rail-related legislation. Action: None

Board of Education (April 6)

Budget: The board voted to eliminate 12 full- and part-time staff positions, six of which are currently vacant. Jobs include a data-processing clerk, a landscaper and several secretarial positions. Yes: Unanimous

City Council Finance Committee (April 6)

Refuse rates: The committee voted not to raise garbage fees in Fiscal Year 2010-11. Yes: Unanimous

Energy efficiency: The committee adopted the Utilities Department's proposed 10-year energy-efficiency plan. Yes: Unanimous

Stanford Hospital: The committee discussed the fiscal impacts of Stanford University's proposed expansion of its medical facility. The committee also discussed the status of the city's negotiations with Stanford over a development agreement for the $3.5 billion hospital expansion. Action: None Recused: Klein

Ameresco: The committee failed to approve two motions for either one or two contracts with Ameresco to purchase electricity generated by landfill, with Klein and Espinosa supporting two contracts and Scharff and Schmid supporting one.

Planning and Transportation Commission (April 7)

High-speed rail: The commission commented on the California High-Speed-Rail Authority's draft Program Environmental Impact Report for the Bay Area-to-Central Valley segment of the proposed high-speed-rail line. Action: None

Utilities Advisory Commission (April 7)

Anaerobic digester: The commission discussed a proposal to build an anaerobic digestion facility adjacent to the Regional Water Quality Control Plant. The facility would convert local yard trimmings, food waste and sewer sludge to energy. Commissioners and staff said the waste-to-energy facility could be

very beneficial to Palo Alto and are scheduled to discuss the project

further once the feasibility study is completed. Action: None

Water supply: The commission heard an update about Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency activities. Action: None

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