Street repair money, business licenses on council’s docket

How to spend road improvement dollars and the city staff’s time is on the agenda for Merced’s City Council today.

The city has about $1.5 million for road improvement projects. Staff identified M, R, V, G and B streets as roads that could be fixed at varying costs. The council will select the projects that fit into the budget.

Also, a change in how often business licenses are issued could save processing time and costs for both the city and businesses.

The Finance Department licenses businesses quarterly, which makes it unique in the area. Atwater, Modesto, Los Banos and Madera, as well as Merced County, issue licenses annually basis. Savings would ensue from switching to yearly schedule. The tax rates would not change.

Also on the agenda is a request to schedule a public hearing for new water conservation measures.

The measures include decreasing watering days to two per week, shrinking the time people can water by four hours and requiring fundraising carwashes to be held where the water can be recycled.

There will be a closed session at 6 p.m. to confer with labor negotiators and legal counsel regarding potential litigation, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s threat to sue the city if it does not switch from an at-large election system to a by-district system for City Council seats.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St. City Council meetings are streamed live on the city’s website, The live broadcast of the meeting is also on Comcast’s Government Channel 96.

The council agenda is posted at the city’s website.