Sat04192014

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Council approves city holiday closures

The Los Altos City Council Oct. 8 unanimously approved a one-week closure of city offices during the holiday season.

The council opted to close city hall and the Hillview Community Center offices Dec. 25 through Jan. 1. Essential city services, such as police, fire and maintenance, will remain open and operational during the one-week hiatus. Building inspection services will also remain available on request. Affected city departments are expected to resume normal hours of operation Jan. 2.

In past years, Los Altos traditionally closed city hall, the city’s Municipal Service Center and the community center early Dec. 24 and 31, with full-day closures Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

A city staff report on the item outlines several reasons justifying the closure, noting that other nearby cities, including Los Altos Hills, have instituted similar closures because of “the low number of citizens seeking municipal services during this holiday time period.”

The report added that affected Los Altos programs and services – excluding public safety services – received 110 visitors Dec. 24-31 last year, spanning city hall, the community center and the Municipal Service Center. That number, according to the report, equates to an average of seven visitors per site, per day.

Approximately 75 percent of calls to the city last year were related to winter storm problems or emergency situations handled by Maintenance Services, the report added.

The report concluded that the closure will also result in a small savings to the city in reduced utility costs, as well as a reduced liability for accumulated leave time by employees.

PG&E project scheduled in south Los Altos

A three-day PG&E project has been scheduled in November to extend the height of two electric transmission towers in south Los Altos.

Work on the towers – one located at the intersection of Fallen Leaf and Louise lanes, the other at the PG&E easement adjacent to Stevens Creek off Holt Avenue – is slated Nov. 17-19.

According to city and PG&E officials, the work is needed to provide additional clearance between transmission wires and the ground.

Residents and visitors in the area can expect to see crews using cranes to lift and install extensions to the top or mid-section of existing transmission towers. Power lines will be de-energized and rewired as part of the work. Residents should not experience an interruption in service during the project.

Residents with questions or concerns can call Customer Outreach Specialist Pamela Stevens at (408) 282-7530 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Water district hosts open houses

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is scheduled to host two open houses for residents to provide an overview of and answer questions about its Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project.

The first open house is slated 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Covington School multipurpose room, 201 Covington Ave., Los Altos. The second is set for 2-5 p.m. Saturday in the Mariano Castro Elementary School multipurpose room, 505 Escuela Ave., Mountain View.

The project, which aims to provide natural flood protection for more than 1,600 nearby properties, is funded by the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection parcel tax, passed by county voters in November 2000.

Work on the project stretches more than 10 miles along the creek, starting at San Francisco Bay’s southwest shoreline and winding through Mountain View to Foothill Expressway in Los Altos. Four of five project design features are slated for construction starting next summer, including floodwalls, channel widening, a new diversion structure and a flood-detention basin at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.

For more information, visit valleywater.org.

– Town Crier Staff Report

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