The Tracy City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to purchase a 60x105-foot high-tension membrane structure from Sprung Instant Structures, Inc. as the central feature of the city’s Temporary Emergency Housing Project at 370 Arbor Ave.

When the city authorized the capital improvement project for the project in September 2020 it opted to include the high-tension membrane structure as it would take about six weeks to build, as opposed to 11 months for a steel building. The 6,300-square-foot Sprung structure will cost $455,000.

The city approved a $2 million contract 2 weeks ago to prepare the Arbor Avenue site, and has another $4.2 million to build the homeless shelter complex, including this structure and an administration building, restrooms, showers and a laundry room.

Assistant City Manager Midori Lichtwardt noted that more contracts are still to come before the council for approval, including the contract to install city infrastructure on the site, such as utility lines and storm drains, as well as contracts for driveways through the site and the other buildings.

On Tuesday the Tracy City Council took action on the following matters:

• Presented certificates of appointment to the Transportation Advisory Commission to Rajpal Dhillon and Tim Silva. Dhillon is a new member, and Silva has been on the commission since December 2013.

• Agreed to receive $67,412 to provide free rides to people using city buses during promotions for the Tracer bus system in town over the next 2 years. The money comes from the state’s Low Carbon Transit Operations Program authorized by the state legislature in 2014, and is distributed through the San Joaquin Council of Governments. SJCOG received more than $2.3 million from the program, and most of the money is going to the San Joaquin Regional Transit District and San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. The program is designed to encourage use of public and mass transit as a way of reducing carbon emissions from automobiles.

• Agreed to hire AECOM of Los Angeles to update the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan at a cost of $152,000. It will be the plan’s first update since 2011, and will incorporate objectives spelled out at a city council workshop in October 2021. Those objectives include outreach to innovative industries and green technologies, business retention, public-private partnerships, revitalization of West Valley Mall, proactive zoning around public transit, arts and education opportunities, stakeholder workshops, and future plan updates and performance reviews.

• Accepted a $495,735 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to pay utility bills that went unpaid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city estimates that unpaid bills just for wastewater treatment service over 2 years added up to about $1.5 million. The grant will be applied to arrearages accumulated by 1,851 residential and commercial customers between March 4, 2020 through June 15, 2021. The city previously accepted federal money to cover unpaid water and garbage collection bills, and estimates that the total assistance provided so far for people who could not pay their bills during the pandemic now adds up to about $1.8 million.

• Appointed council members Eleassia Davis and Dan Arriola, with Mayor Nancy Young as the alternate, to interview applicants who would represent Tracy on the San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District Board of Trustees. It’s an 11-member board with four representatives from the county and one representative from each of the county’s seven cities, with the Tracy seat currently vacant.

• Contact the Tracy Press at or 209-835-3030.

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