All council members were present for the Tuesday, Jan. 17 City Council meeting. Open session started at 5:55 p.m. and ended at 7:52 p.m. Here's what you missed:
Captain Jones of the Carson Sheriff’s Station offers snapshot of accomplishments in 2022. Captain Damon Jones presented general statistics of the Carson Sheriff station and the city's crime rate for the year 2022. Overall, crime as a whole has increased in the City by 7%, mainly due to a rise in aggravated assaults' which the Captain had to touch on at a previous council meeting earlier in the year. But deputies have been working hard throughout the year to keep the City safe and Captain Jones let the council and the public know that they appreciate working in Carson. “We as a station are very grateful to stand alongside the council and the residents," said Jones, "we are looking forward in 2023 to servicing this great City.” The sheriff station has been very busy throughout 2022 as shown by these key highlights:
Carson Sheriff Staff deputies responded to over 37,000 calls throughout the year.
Officers made over 600 proactive stops, mainly to enforce traffic but also resulted in the confiscation of illegal guns and drugs.
Nearly 13,000 reports were made. Captain Jones reminded the public that these reports are key to giving teeth throughout the rest of the judicial process.
Deputies made over 3,000 arrests in the City.
Sheriff Station issued over 80 warrants.
50 citations were issued for illegal fireworks. One such citation resulted in the confiscation of over 1000 pounds of illegal fireworks.
Carson Sheriff Station helped over 600 families with either a toy or food donation.
Captain Jones and staff held over 30 'Coffee with the Captain' and other commmunity meetings where they shared information on catalytic converter thefts and fentanyl abuse.
City of Carson Crime Rates in 2022 compared to 2021:
Crime as a whole increased by 7%. Mainly due to s a surge in aggravated assaults according to the Captain.
Car crime, including vehicle burglaries increased by 10%
Homicides decreased by 25%
Rapes decreased by 3
Arson decreased by 30%
over 50 less larceny thefts
45 more reported car collisions. Captain Jones mentions that speeding is the leading cause of car crashes and urges residents to slow down and follow the laws of the road.
ARPA Second Quarter Spending Report includes a $500,000 increase for Small Business Grant Program. The second quarter spending report of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) revealed that the $1 million originally allocated to the City’s small business grant program could be insufficient to assist the number of applicants who applied to the program. After a quick motion from Mayor Pro Tem. Jawane Hilton, followed by an unanimous vote from the rest of the council, an additional $500,000 was re-allocated to the program. However, the $500,000 had to be drawn out from the original ARPA allocations of the Slurry Seal Project, the Community Engagement Initiative, and the Broadband RFP. The City of Carson received $17.8 million through ARPA in March 2022 which must be allocated by the end of 2024. The new ARPA allocations are as follows:
Premium Pay: $8.1 Million
City-wide Slurry Seal: $3.5 Million approx. $3.39 Million (-$112,737)
Tyler Munis ERP Upgrade: $2.1 Million
Small Business Grants: $1 Million $1.5 Million (+$500,000)
Small Business Loan Forgiveness: $764,000
Non Capital Items for Community Services: $758,000
Broadband RFP: $500,000 $250,00 (-$250,000)
Wi-Fi at City Parks: $350,000
EOC Upgrade: $330,000
Community Engagement (PIO/Carson Event Center): $183,000 $45,737 (-$137,263)
The spending report also included an overview of ARPA spending on a national level. As of Dec. 7 2022, $39.3 Billion of ARPA funds were spent across the nation:
Government Operations (Wages, Equipment, Inventory): $16.9 billion (43.2%)
Community Aid (Food Assistance, Non-Profit, Family Support): $4.3 billion (11.1%)
Public Health (Covid Response, Mental Health): $4.3 billion (11%)
Infrastructure (Sewer, Broadband, Roadways/Highways): $3.9 billion (10.1%)
Housing (Homelessness, Rental Assistance): $3.6 billion (9.3%)
Economic & Workplace Development (Small Business and Economic Support, Tourism): $3.2 billion (8.2%)
Public Safety (Police, Violence Reduction, Fire): $2.7 billion (7.1%)
SoCalGas Representative warns of severe natural gas price hike. Natural gas customers will notice a rate increase of double or higher in 2023, according SoCalGas' Public Affairs Manager, Victor Ibarra. During the public comment period, Ibarra warned that customers will notice higher than usual costs due to ‘unprecedented’ reasons not under the company’s control. He explains that SoCalGas does not set natural gas prices nor does the company profit from natural gas prices increasing. The costs associated with the commodity (natural gas) are set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and varies on a month-to-month basis. SoCalGas sells gas to their customers at cost and only makes money through distribution. According to SoCalGas’ website, the procurement rate for gas rose 312.7% higher than this time last year and an overall transportation rate increase of 8%.
Ibarra pointed to several assistance programs to help customers pay their gas bills including the Gas Assistance Fund (GAF), a one-time grant for low-income households up to $100. SoCalGas recently contributed $1 million of funding to GAF to help continue the program. The Gas Assistance Fund and several other assistance programs can be found here.
Council Meetings may go back to Zoom after all five City Clerk department employees test positive. The next council meeting, scheduled for Feb. 7, may be held virtually via zoom after all five employees in the City Clerk’s department tested positive for COVID 19. Under the COVID 19 update, Councilmember Jim Dear informed the public of the virus’ spreading across the department and urged the rest of the City Council to consider holding the next meeting via zoom in order to prevent an outbreak at city hall. Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes explained that the City’s disaster council will be discussing the matter and will make a recommendation for the council to consider for the next meeting.
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Celebration Community Planning Meetings. Volunteers needed - Every third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Gala Ball - Feb 25, at the Carson Event Center
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Street Fair - Jul 29, on Carson Street
City of Carson 55th Anniversary Tour De Carson - Aug 12
Free Filled Sandbags Pickup - at Carson Corporate Yard 18601 S. Main Street, (310) 847-3520