Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 4, 2011

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

City Council (Jan. 31)

Thorwaldson: The council passed a resolution in honor of journalist Jay Thowaldson, who retired this week. Yes: Unanimous

Stanford: The council discussed the Stanford University Medical Center hospital-expansion project and the status of negotiations between the city and Stanford on a development agreement. Action: None

City Council (Feb. 1)

Interviews: The council interviewed candidates for three positions on the Library Advisory Commission. Action: None

Finance Committee (Feb. 1)

Refuse rate: The committee discussed the city's ongoing study analyzing the rate structures for refuse collection and the compatibility of the city's conservation pricing with Proposition 218. Action: None

Finances: The committee discussed the city's long-term financial forecast. Action: None

Utilities Advisory Commission (Feb. 2)

Photovoltaic: The commission discussed the implementation of feed-in tariffs for solar photovoltaic customers. Action: None

Water rates: The commission recommended approval of staff proposal to raise water rates by an average of 12.5 percent this year, with the exact rate increase varying by customers. The commission made several amendments, including a recommendations that no customer class gets a rate reduction at the same time as other customer classes get rate increases. Yes: Eglash, Foster, Keller, Melton No: Berry, Waldfogel

Strategic Plan: The commission approved the Utilities Department's 2011 Strategic Plan. Yes: Unanimous

Smart Grid: The commission approved a pilot project focusing on Demand Response for commercial customers. The program aims to provide customers with information about peak electricity-usage days and give them financial incentive to reduce usage on those days. Yes: Berry, Foster, Kelly, Melton, Waldfogel Recused: Eglash

High-Speed Rail Committee (Feb. 3)

Rail: The committee heard updates on Caltrain and high-speed rail from the city's Sacramento lobbyist. Action: None

Letters: The committee approved sending four letters to rail officials and legislators expressing the city's concerns about high-speed rail. Action: None

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