Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fox 40 visits the Lodi Animal Shelter

Channel 40's Andria Borba visited Lodi for a report on the win-win relationship the City of Lodi has with People Assisting Lodi Shelter (PALS).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kevin Donnelly sworn in as Lodi fire chief

Kevin Donnelly officially became the City of Lodi's fire chief on Thursday, in a ceremony that was attended by Lodi firefighters, fire chiefs from neighboring agencies, and Donnelly's family and friends. Here's a video of his swearing-in by City Clerk Randi Johl, and Donnelly's comments afterward. Running time is just under 4 minutes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grape Bowl update: Lighting upgrades, wheelchair ramps under construction

The Grape Bowl has new lights, has a new wheelchair ramp under construction, and may have an all-weather surface ready to play on by mid-summer of 2010.

The new lights were installed last week. They provide roughly three times the amount of light while using a third of the electricity of the previous lights. Not only are these lights energy-efficient, they can be turned on and adjusted via a secure Internet connection, making it convenient for City staff to work on the lights remotely for the convenience of Grape Bowl users.

Here are a couple pictures of the new ramp that will make it easier for individuals in wheelchairs to get from the handicap parking area to the stadium's top level. The grade is less than 2 percent.

The ADA work is scheduled to be completed in March, the same month the City Council is tentatively scheduled to put the all-weather surface project out to bid. The new field surface is being paid from development impact fees collected in previous years to provide community facilities.

With the City Council's approval, the turf would be installed in June-July, after high school graduations and before high school football season begins.

The improvements are designed to make the Grape Bowl more user-friendly and attractive for the competitive and recreational athlete, and other large-scale events, such as outdoor concerts.

Last year, George Thorogood & the Destroyers performed at the Grape Bowl, the first concert by a nationally known artist at the venue in 30 years. The Parks & Recreation Department is continuing discussions with concert promoters in hopes of bringing other well-known acts to the Grape Bowl later this year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Electricity bills lower this month, even with extra charge

Because of a billing error by the agency that sells the City of Lodi Electric Utility most of its power, the energy cost adjustment in February, May and June will be slightly higher than it would be otherwise.

But what you may not know is the energy cost adjustment, or ECA, will still be about even with last year’s charges, so your electric bill will see little if any difference overall compared with 2009’s charges.

That’s because Lodi’s power costs are stabilizing after several years of erratic price swings in the aftermath of California’s attempt to restructure the way power was bought, sold and delivered. In addition, a slow economy has reduced demand for energy, resulting in lower prices.

The extra piece of the ECA, which will be included in February, May and June bills, was caused by a miscalculation at the Northern California Power Agency in late 2009. For three months, another utility was improperly billed for some of Lodi's transmission charges – the cost of sending power long distances over high-voltage power lines.

When the mistake was recently discovered, NCPA billed Lodi for the previous transmission charges. Although this charge could be collected from customers in one month, the City will instead spread this one-time charge over three months, resulting in a negligible difference in electricity bills.

For instance, the ECA in February 2009 was 5.43 cents a kilowatt hour. Even including the make-up charge this month, the ECA for February 2010 is 4.07 cents a kilowatt hour. For a resident using 700 kilowatt hours of energy this month, the overall result is an electric bill that is $9.52 lower in 2010 compared to 2009.