Politics

City Council members have signed off on an $8 million contract to build a replacement mid-Island fire station and emergency operations center.

The approval, on a 4-1 vote, followed a wide-ranging discussion about what the city should be doing to better prepare for a disaster. Richmond-based Alten Construction was the winning bidder.

Once shovels hit dirt, construction of the two facilities, which will sit on a 0.57-acre site at the corner of Grand Street and Buena Vista Avenue, should be completed within 12 months.

Alameda’s Planning Board offered critical approvals Monday for a plan to develop a 68-acre slice of Alameda Point with new homes, commercial space, acres of parks and transit.

The seven-member board voted unanimously to move forward with a development plan for Site A, which is expected to serve as the long-awaited catalyst for revitalization of the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

“I am in support of this project,” Planning Board president Mike Henneberry said just moments before the vote. “It respects the past and positions us well for the future.”

The Planning Board voted unanimously Monday to approve a development plan for Alameda Point's 68-acre Site A. Here's the tweet by tweet, and your reactions.

City Council members agreed in principle on new rules intended to strengthen its process for mediating rent disputes but stopped short of passing an ordinance on Tuesday.

Council members said Tuesday that they are prepared to approve rules that would enshrine the existence of the city’s Rent Review Advisory Committee in the city’s code, require landlords to provide renters information about the committee when they hand out rent increases and require landlords and tenants to participate in scheduled rent dispute hearings.

City Council members narrowly approved four-year contract extensions for police and firefighters on Wednesday that include a trust to help cover Alameda’s ballooning retiree medical bills.

After five hours of heated debate punctuated at some times by the burble of a fire radio from one of the many safety workers who packed council chambers Wednesday and another by a shouting match in the hallway outside, council members voted 3-2 to amend the contracts to establish and fund a trust and extend them until December 18, 2021.

Alameda's City Council narrowly okayed a plan to extend public safety contracts by four years, including a new trust fund for retiree health costs that both the city and workers will pay into. Here's the tweet by tweet.

Alameda’s City Council appears set to sign off on a new ordinance requiring companies purchasing large grocery stores to retain workers for at least 90 days if the stores’ ownership changes.

Council members expressed unanimous support Tuesday night for a proposed ordinance requiring stores over 15,000 square feet to post ownership changes and retain workers for 90 days after a sale or transfer takes place.

Proposed by City Councilman Jim Oddie, the ordinance is modeled on a 2005 ordinance passed by Los Angeles lawmakers that survived a state Supreme Court challenge and has also been adopted by San Francisco, Santa Monica and Gardena.

Council members said goodbye to two top officials, got a detailed update on plans for Alameda Point's Site A - and wrapped up before midnight with a few items left on the table. Here's what happened, in tweets.

The city has prepared an $80.5 million general fund budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that contains no cuts, a projected $1.4 million surplus and a fund balance of more than $30 million. But salaries and benefits are expected to push the city’s spending to increase to $83.1 million in 2016-17, which could mean some depletion of the balance or cuts are in the offing.

The city has inked a tentative deal with its public safety unions to establish a trust fund to help cover its unfunded retiree health liability.

Union members are to vote next week on amended contracts that include a new trust fund for retiree health benefits for Alameda's current police and fire employees.

The City Council will consider the new contracts at an April 29 budget hearing.

City Manager John Russo announced the tentative contract deal at Tuesday night's council meeting. Additional details are due out next week.

The tentative deal would amend and extend police and fire contracts to 2021. Existing contracts are in effect through 2017.