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category 94.5 K-Wine News]

Lawmakers decide to raise gas taxes and car registration fees to pay for crumbling roads. The bill passed 27-11 in the Senate and cleared the Assembly with 54 votes, barely squeaking thru both houses. The Assembly was short votes needed at first, but eventually won what was needed with one Democrat saying no. Governor Jerry Brown is solidly behind the bill, something he had been pushing saying there had not been a gas tax increase in 23 years, which according to the Los Angeles Times has led to a backlog of billions in repairs or replacement needed across the state. The Senate Republican leader was against the move saying it was giving almost $1 billion to districts as sweeteners to win votes, while the Senate Pres. Pro Tem said roads have been battered for decades and neglected and it had to be addressed.

The state transportation package the legislature passed means money to improve local roads. The bill that barely passed the legislature last night to bring in 5 billion a year by way of a gas tax, car registration and other fees. The bill basically passing along party lines with The Senate Republican Leader calling it the biggest tax increase in state history, blaming the Democrats for neglecting the roads for years. But North Coast State Senator Mike McGuire says it’s time to stop kicking the can down the crumbling road. Lake County will get about 3 point 7 million a year for roads over the next decade and Mendocino County gets more than 5 and a half million a year.

Representatives for the city of Willits and the Chamber of Commerce trying to get help from local legislators after businesses lost money because of the construction of the Willits bypass. Assemblyman Jim Wood introduced a bill to amend part of the legislature’s Streets and Highway Code for transportation, telling his colleagues the recently completed bypass had a negative impact on businesses, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and more. The Willits News reports if Wood’s successful getting the bill amended, it would mean, a city or county could be eligible to get funds to revitalize a city or business district because of a loss of tourism business resulting from highway relocation. The bill’s been referred to committee and will be heard at the end of the month.

The Ukiah City Council takes the advice of a consultant and moves closer to bringing a hotel to the downtown area. The Daily Journal reports the council’s having staff reach out to developers for proposals to build an upscale hotel without using a consultant for further work, unless absolutely necessary. The city already forked over $25,000 to a consultant to see if the city could support an upscale hotel, and the answer was yes, and one with a restaurant, and possibly a meeting room too. The newspaper reports the city will consider approaching developers and talk to local property owners to see if they can drum up local interest, which the City Manager calls a request for qualifications, not proposals.

The Gov. Jerry Brown wants to make things clearer in the interpretation of the law for both medical and recreational marijuana. Brown’s office put out a document this week with solutions about major differences of the laws regulating each industry. The document proposals also included as an amendment of sorts to the Governor’s 2017-18 budget. It goes to the legislature for a vote before the Governor gets it again. The Governor approved regulations, which were signed into law, for medical marijuana which has been sold in Calif. for more than 20 years. There are some differences when it comes to recreational pot though regarding its distribution, the size of farms and licensing.

The city of Willits reaching out to the county and state to get some money to fix battered roads which have been left damaged for 2 decades. The Willits News reports FEMA has made money available for areas hit hard by the storms in January which flooded streets and homes. There’s also money from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services so the city is sending estimates in regarding damage at the water plant on Quarry Road, a maintenance road to the sewer plant, a culvert failure and tons of potholes and a possible sinkhole in the city. The city’s Public Works Director says they’re getting bids from private contractors because of the amount of work.

A rain record’s broken in Santa Rosa. It’s officially the wettest year on record for the city since record keeping started back in 1902. The National Weather Service reported more than 55.75 inches of rain since Oct. 1st. The last record in 1983 was just below it, at 55.68 inches. The Press Democrat reports there’s been 92 days of rain since the beginning of Oct., which adds up to nearly half of the days in the calendar. Rain is expected to keep coming too, at least thru tomorrow.

More info on the closing down of the Fort Bragg Grange building and property. As you may recall, the building locks were changed and members of the Fort Bragg Guild were locked out. The Advocate Newspaper reports all Calif. Granges lost their membership to the National charter in 2013. So the local Guild took over, but some from the Calif. Grange say the building and its property belongs to them. Now some members of the Guild say when they were locked out of the building last month, they saw a member of the Grange changing the locks. There was even a Facebook fight this week between members. There will apparently be a meeting soon with a membership vote on whether the status will continue as the California State Grange or as a California Guild.

Stairs for the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg to be fixed sooner rather than later. The City Council is going to put the stairs reconstruction project out to bid mid-May. The Advocate Newspaper reports there’s a estimate for the repair for sturdier stairs. The cost of construction is going to be between $150,000 to about $175,000. The stairs will mostly be made out of concrete to last longer. The money will come from Measure AA funds, the Transient Occupancy Tax increase and thru a special revenue fund. The contract for the final work could start as early as June.

The public’s invited to the yearly Clearlake Clean Up Day. The event, from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 22nd at Austin Park. There will be bags and tools for trash cleanup there. There will also be some cleaning of store fronts and e-waste disposal available. Lake Co News reports the city’s Public Works Director says they do it every year ahead of the spring tourism season. Last year up to 200 volunteers showed up who picked up 220 yards of waste, at 31 tons, plus 160 tires and five yards of e-waste.

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