FAIRFIELD — An $807,500 consultant’s contract for a south downtown Fairfield and West Texas Street plan has won City Council approval despite reservations about accepting funds from regional government.
“We do need a plan for these areas,” Councilwoman Catherine Moy said.
But she said taking money from OneBayArea concerns her and asked if the regional agency could direct high density housing and other developments for Fairfield.
Brian Miller, an associate planner for Fairfield, said of the funding: “They’re basically no strings attached.”
He said the only requirement is to finish the plan by June 2016 and that the document address such matters as streetscapes, which Miller called a common planning practice.
The OneBayArea program uses federal highway funds to pay for planning, said a city staff report. The Solano Transportation Authority distributes a portion of the money.
An effort by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments to guide regional development evolved into the OneBayArea grant program, according to the city staff.
Councilman John Mraz raised concerns about the Solano Transportation Authority’s role, saying the agency “is telling us what to do in this city.”
The Davis office of Berkeley-based MIG Architects will prepare the planning document while working with three other firms on the plan for south downtown Fairfield, including land between Highway 12 and Kentucky Street as well as the County Justice Center and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro said he understood concerns about the involvement of other agencies but that driving along West Texas Street and in downtown shows “the real need for change.”
Councilwoman Pam Bertani said of the work: “It’s high time we have a plan.”
Fairfield requested proposals from more than
200 consultants and received proposals from seven.
Resident Brian Thiemer told the council that the out-of-town consultants will be paid an average of $250 an hour.
He said of the government grant funding: “I just don’t want people to think it’s free money.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.