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Council Members Meet For First 2017 Session
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An oath of office, an audit report and an update on groundwater sustainability were all on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Escalon City Council meeting.

The session, scheduled after The Times went to press, was the first meeting of 2017 and was held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 due to the observance of the Martin Luther King. Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 16.

Along with a number of staff reports, the meeting was also to include the oath of office for new reserve police officer Jonathan Blount and council members were to hear a report from Clendenin Bird & Company on the city’s audit for the past fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2016.

A public hearing was scheduled to take comment on the possibility of adopting a resolution electing to serve as a Groundwater Sustainability Agency pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the council was also to consider entering an agreement with Ground Zero Analysis Inc. for groundwater monitoring services.

The council was also expected to adopt the 2016 edition of the California Building Standards Code, consider and approve appointment of councilmembers to various committees and commissions and consider extending the urgency ordinance banning recreational marijuana.

Meanwhile, in earlier action the council authorized the use of the senior meal site room at the Community Center for a special tax assistance program and that is scheduled to begin next week.

The VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, program offer free tax help to those considered low- and moderate-income. This year, the Escalon VITA site will be at the Community Center, in the senior meals program room, on Wednesdays from Jan. 25 through April 10. Hours are 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., by appointment only. Call 209-783-VITA (8482) to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Also, the city has issued a reminder to local businesses that all business licenses expired on Dec. 31; renew by Jan. 30, 2017 with the city to avoid penalties. Call 209-691-7422 for more information.