By Steve Dreyer
Poway can expect a significant increase in two years in the cost of contracting with the county for law enforcement services, the City Council was informed Tuesday night.
During discussion of the terms of a new five-year contract with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Public Services Director Mark Sanchez noted that, starting in 2014-15, the way costs are distributed among the nine contracting cities will change. The system will shift from a shared-cost formula to one where Poway will be charged the true costs of running a substation in the city, he said.
That shift will result in annual costs for Poway increasing by about $700,000, according to Assistant City Manager Tina White.
Law enforcement is the city’s biggest annual expenditure, currently costing $9.6 million. White said the overall cost increase over the five-year contact, which is retroactive to last July 1, will be about $2 million.
The Poway station is staffed with approximately 50 sworn officers, plus support staff.
City Manager Penny Riley said the formula change was supposed to take effect this year, but credited Sanchez and White with negotiating the delay.
The four council members attending the meeting unanimously approved the new five-year contract. Mayor Don Higginson was absent.
In other matters, the council:
• Postponed until the Feb. 5 discussion on whether to change city policy and remove the council as the final authority in reviews of applications for minor developments within the Hillside Ordinance/Ridgeline Overlay Area. Mullin is proposing that the final decision rest with city staff. No changes in the development rules are proposed.
• Learned that Kristen Crane, the city’s utilities administrator, has taken over as interim city clerk following last month’s resignation of Linda A. Troyan, effective Jan. 3. The council will appoint a permanent replacement in the near future, according to Riley.
• Approved spending $96,676 to replace 25 of the city’s 214 aging traffic intersection monitoring cameras (not “red light” cameras)and monitors.
• Approved to complete the new outdoor amphitheater at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.
• Approved a conditional-use-permit-allowed construction of a 2,064-square-foot addition to the Poway Country Preschool at 14411 Norwalk Lane.
• Approved plans to install cell phone antennas on the city’s Boca Raton water tower at 17301 Butterfield Trail. The city is negotiating with the vendors for lease payments.'
Pre-recorded Poway City Council meetings can be viewed on Cox Channel 24 and Time Warner Channel 19. Broadcast times are 6 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday and 3 p.m on Saturday and Sunday.