City approves Reward in Moreno murder
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

About five people, besides the council and city staff, attended Tuesday's Fillmore City Council meeting, which was completed by 7:00 p.m. There were a number of items approved; a reward for information leading to the conviction of a crime, and another to ensure continued train service and filming in Fillmore. Also discussed was the problem intersection at Santa Clara and B Street, and a settlement agreement on the tax sharing contract.

Ventura Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the shooting death of Adrian Moreno on January 11, 2014. To date no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting. The Fillmore City Council discussed also offering a one thousand dollar reward for the convictions of those involved to which Council Member Rick Neal responded, "I think one thousand is low, I'd like to see it bumped to ten thousand." Council Member Diane McCall added, "I think whatever we need to do to get people talking." City Manager David W. Rowlands informed the Council that if the person convicted is a minor, the parent or guardian shall be liable and levied for the amount of the reward. The reward will be paid within 30 days of a conviction. Councilman Steve Conaway then offered the $2,000 he has in Council Travel Expense Money be moved to the reward fund. All members agreed and the measure for a Fillmore City $10,000 Reward was passed.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and Fillmore and Western Railroad are currently in a legal dispute which may lead to Fillmore and Western Railroad no longer providing tourist and filming operations. Rowlands reminded the Council how important the trains are to the economy of the City, drawing people to the area from all over the state. "The tourist train draws film and production companies .....television, commercials, movies are filmed using the tourist train," Rowlands told the Council. Neal responded, "I'm in support of this....the people of Fillmore like having the train." Conaway added, "It's incumbent on us to lobby for this." McCall agreed, "This is very important for filming." A resolution was agreed upon and sent to VTCT.
Planning and Community Development Director Kevin McSweeney addressed the Council about the Intersection Study for Santa Clara and "B" Street. He asked the Council to approve a traffic engineer study to determine if a stop sign is advisable. The cost of the study is $2,500 with an additional $1,500 if a 24 hour traffic count and 4-way warrant study is needed. The funding for the study would come from the Street & Drains Fund (Street and Maintenance) which has $30,000 remaining. The pedestrian study would count how many students are passing through to cross the street and what time is needed to safely cross.

City Manager Rowlands met with Marco Ruanon, Chief Office of Freeway Operations, to discuss the issue. Caltrans will be doing a follow-up warrant study and has ordered a School Signage Package for the 126 corridor. These are school signs alerting drivers to students in the area. Caltrans anticipates it will be one month before they are installed.

Caltrans presented two possibilities that could be installed at that site; if the intersection does not meet the criteria for a signal light, then a High-intensity Activated cross Walk (HAWK) is suggested. The HAWK is a new type of signal first used in Tucson, Arizona. It is a combination of a beacon flasher and traffic control signaling technique. When not in use, the HAWK traffic signal is dark to motorists, and a solid orange raised hand indicating "Don't Walk" is displayed for pedestrians. When a pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button, motorists see a flashing yellow signal for several seconds. After the flashing yellow interval, the traffic signal displays a solid yellow- much like a conventional traffic signal- alerting motorists to get ready to stop. Much like traditional traffic signals, the walking person symbol soon changes to a flashing orange hand with a countdown display showing the number of seconds left to cross the street. As with all pedestrian crossing signals, pedestrians should not start crossing the street if the flashing orange hand and the countdown timer is showing.

Rowlands informed the Council it would take a minimum of one year for the installation of a traffic signal or HAWK signal due to the various requirements, permits and design review with Caltrans. The funding for the study was approved and passed.

The Council also approved a Settlement Agreement with Ryan LLC which will result in a payment to the City in the amount of $33,548.22 resulting from a Tax Sharing Agreement with Hawaiian Gifts. The City should receive the funds within 30 days.

Conaway made a special request to thank the residents of Fillmore for their patience while the City's street’s are being paved. All around the City streets are being improved and upgraded.