With approval of the new city budget behind it and a meeting to begin crafting a response to the grand jury report not yet on the horizon, the city council is probably looking forward to considering less meaty, less controversial matters at this evening's 6 p.m. meeting in city hall. 

If the council adopts a couple of negative declarations during a public hearing, it will set the stage for moving forward with a Bethel Avenue widening project and bike lanes between Annadale and Jensen avenues.

A negative declaration is a document that says upon completion of an initial study there is no substantial evidence that the project will have any significant effect on the environment. It also says that an environmental impact study is not really necessary. Although the proposed project is subject to review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) before work begins.

Funding for the project has already been secured, according to city engineer Josh Rogers.

The project involves "rehabilitation of the existing pavement and widening of the roadway, including replacement of damaged curb and gutter, sidewalk and other concrete improvements ... and vegetation and tree removal on Bethel Avenue between Annadale and Jensen avenues," Rogers wrote in a memo to the council. 

The reporter can be contacted by email at or by phone at the Herald at (559) 875-2511.

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