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Low-Flying Planes Concern Council

Escalon has seemed to become part of a flight path … and some city council members have voiced their concerns about it.

During discussion at the recent Escalon City Council session, councilman Ed Alves questioned why there seems to have been a preponderance of low-flying commercial-type airplanes over the city in recent weeks.

“Amazon has cargo planes that are coming in daily to the (Stockton) airport,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor explained.

Alves said while that seems good for business, he does want to see what recourse the city has in requesting a change in the flight path to divert the aircraft away from the heart of the city. He said if the city “waits too long,” they might not have a say in it, but if they act quickly, they could possibly get a change in the path the planes take to approach the airport. Alcantor said she would look in to the situation and options for the city and report back to the council at a later date.

Meanwhile, council members said they were generally pleased so far with how the new – albeit temporary – roundabout is working at McHenry Avenue and River Road.

“I personally am really liking the roundabout,” said councilman Jeff Laugero. “Traffic seems to be flowing pretty well.”

“I have had overwhelming compliments on it,” added Alves.

Alcantor said though there were initial reservations expressed about it by many residents, those seem to have been assuaged by the first few weeks of the roundabout being in place.

“All the feedback has been positive,” she said.

To that end, Alves asked about the possibility of extending a turn lane farther up McHenry – there will be a turn lane up to Jones as part of the bridge replacement project over the Stanislaus River. After Jones Road, the turn lane would be the city’s responsibility.

“It’s definitely something we should think about,” Alcantor agreed of extending the middle turn lane from Jones northward into the city. “I can ask our contract engineer to look at it.”

In other action, Police Chief Mike Borges said the department’s recent prescription drug drop off resulted in about 40 pounds of prescription pills being turned in and another 21 pounds of liquid medications. Though it was lower than last year, Borges said it was a good turnout, with those outdated or unneeded medications disposed of properly.

Alcantor also told the council that she is working on the initial budget for 2016-17 and will put together some potential meeting dates for the council and for the public to review the proposal.