The West Covina City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting on May 5 virtually and discussed the city’s food service being transitioned to a delivery format and residents’ safety concerns.
Since large gatherings are prohibited, the West Covina Senior Congregate Meal Program made the transition from a dine-in service at the Cortez Community and Senior Center to a home-delivery service. City Manager David Carmany said that the West Covina Senior Citizen Emergency Food Program has served roughly 11,000 meals to residents during the month of April.
“Our part-time staff and our rec staff have all stepped up, and we’re running 10 routes [for] 500 West Covina residents every day,” Carmany said. To get on the waitlist to use this service, contact (626) 331-5366.
Drive-thru service for regional food bank boxes continues to happen every Wednesday, but with the addition of masks being given out.
“I can see them smiling in their eyes behind the masks,” Carmany said, referring to one of the compliments he received regarding the staff at the senior center drive-thru. He also said that over 400 Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Boxes were distributed.
The city is also giving out masks, gloves and hand sanitizer at the senior center on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Residents referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Gomez voiced their concern regarding increased foot traffic at night during the open communication portion of the meeting. They expressed their worry about heightened crime in their neighborhood on Virginia Avenue, which is between Barranca Street and Grand Avenue.
“Last week, multiple mailboxes were found open with mail stolen from one neighbor, and a car was broken into that same night,” Mr. and Mrs. Gomez’s email stated. “My concern after viewing our camera is that we do not see any police cars patrolling this area.”
Carmany stated that he would talk to the chief of police and discuss more surveillance of that area.
There was a proposed amendment regarding changing the municipal code of landscaping for businesses. It would modify the usage of the land, amend the standards of screen walls in commercial areas, change landscape standards and revise the separation standard of tattooing uses and residential uses. Changes included requiring parking areas to be screened from public streets and increasing distance guidelines for the businesses. The amendment was approved with a 5-0 vote.
City Director Jeff Anderson said these changes will allow for greater flexibility “for business owners that want to move or open a business, and also for landlords who are looking for tenants.”
Another resident brought up concerns about West Covina being unable to meet their tax revenue for the year.
“What is the city planning to do to meet this revenue shortfall? A large part of our community is made up of people who own or work for small businesses or are otherwise self-employed and they are the ones most affected,” the resident wrote.
Carmany said, “The budget was being met this year right up until March when we ran into this pandemic but now we have concerns regarding major revenue sources.”
He said that he has had informal and formal meetings with all the miscellaneous groups of the city to discuss ways to address the situation, and hopes a report will be available for the next city council meeting.
Another suggested amendment was about telecommunication facilities in the public right-of-way. These gadgets are responsible for carrying signals and allow for distanced communication. The proposed resolution was to make the telecommunication machines more aesthetically pleasing and change the height and distancing of the telecommunication poles. The amendment was approved with a 5-0 vote.
The next West Covina City Council meeting will be on May 19 at 7 p.m. and it will be streamed live on their Youtube channel.