This Week’s City Council Roundup 1/12/2021

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The Burbank City Council met virtually on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 and opened the meeting with the adjournment of retired City of Burbank Fire Engineer, Alan Moore. Moore passed away in October of 2020 after a two year battle with cancer.  Moore was a Burbank High School graduate of 1968 who then served the US Army in the Vietnam War before joining the Burbank Fire Department in 1981. 

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Mayor Frutos announced that the city office will be closed on Monday, January 18th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The City Council will not be meeting on January 19th and will return the following week on January 26th.  

A workshop is being held for the Downtown Burbank Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Specific Plan. The Virtual Visioning Workshop is to be held on Thursday, January 21 and the public can find more information on it at www.downtownburbanktod.com.

The City Clerk’s office is open again for passport services by appointment only. You can make your appointment on the City of Burbank website. The City Clerk’s office is also accepting applications for two open positions on the Transportation Commission Board. The deadline for the first spot is January 15th at 5:00pm and the deadline for the second spot is January 25th at 5:00pm.

The City of Burbank WorkForce Connection is providing free services by appointment including helping with disability and unemployment claims, job listings, and other employment-related resources. To make an appointment call 818-238-5021.

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Mayor Frutos presented four certificates during the Council meeting, the first being a certificate to Mahmud “Mike” Abdelghani, in recognition of 40 years as a Burbank community member and business owner.  Abdelghani came to the United States in 1972 and received a Biology degree from UCLA before starting the chain of Donut Princes in Burbank. 

The next three certificate recipients were presented to the winners of the 2020 OurBurbank Holiday Decorating Contest. The contest had over 40 entires in the categories of Residential, Youth and Commercial. The winners are as follows: Residential-Tina Shaefer, Youth-Izzy Price, Commercial-The Bobnes Group Real Estate.

Mayor Frutos also presented a proclamation declaring January 18th, 2021 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the City of Burbank.  The proclamation certificate was presented to Marsha Ramos from the Burbank Human Relations Council.

Kelly Linden, Chief Executive at St. Joseph Medical Center spoke on behalf of the hospital during this time of crisis. Linden shared to the council that thousands of people have been admitted to the hospital with COVID, in fact 50% of all hospitalizations right now are COVID related. The hospital has doubled their critical care capacity and added triage tents to support the emergency department.  Additionally, there is a contingency plan in place to extend the bed capacity and supplies should there be a rise in cases. 2500 physicians and staff members have been vaccinated and will be receiving the second dose soon. Linden expressed that it is a challenging time for the hospital but the staff is working so hard and spirits are in good standing with the vaccines being administered.

Another report was presented by Executive Director of the Hollywood Burbank Airport, Frank Miller.  Miller announced that the Passenger Replacement Terminal which is to require $1 Billion for new access ways, roadways, parking structures and support facilities will be placed on hold due to the lack of passengers coming through the airport. Since COVID-19, the airpot has seen a 98% decrease in passengers and a 76% decrease in the last three months.  The airport has suspended the project while they look for other ways to help fund it.  Miller reported that employees of the Hollywood Burbank Airport are in Tier 2 Phase 1B for the vaccine but are taking all health precautions in the meantime, including opening vending machines with sanitizers, PPEs and other safety items for passengers.

Miller also announced that a creation of a Citizen Advisory Committee will be established to specifically study the noise issues resulting from the airport. Burbank will have 3 appointees on the committee but will wait to study the impact until the number of flights have increased. Right now the airport is at 25 flights a day, from 95 previously.  The Hollywood Burbank Airport is in good standing financially due to the Care Act passed by Congress resulting in $10 Billion for airports. The Hollywood Burbank airport received $21 Million and with cutting budgets and delaying projects, they were able to control expenses and use available funding to budget the balance. Miller was happy to announce that the airport has not had to furlough any employees and does not plan to in the future.

The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously by the Council with one vote. The calendar consisted of the approval of several meeting minutes, the adoption of a resolution approving the Title VI Program Triennial Update for BurbankBus per the United States Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration Title VI Requirements and Guidelines for Federally Funded Sub-recipients, and the adoption of a resolution extending the local emergency caused by COVID-19.

Finally, a report was presented to council by Executive Assistant to Burbank Water and Power, Lindsay Kramer. Kramer’s report was a first step in mitigating the outages caused by Mylar balloons.  The metallic finish of the balloons are a conductor of electricity that can create arcs and sparks leading to fires, downed power lines, and a hazard to employees.  Since 2000, Burbank has seen 206 outages due to Mylar balloons making it the #1 cause of outages in the city.  In the last five years there have been 36 momentary outages and 19 sustained outages.

There are currently two laws, SB1990 and AB2450, requiring permanent marking of warnings on the balloons and on store windows as well as weights to secure the balloons at the time of sale.  The release of Mylar balloons is considered a criminal offense and can result in a fine of up to $100, and a misdemeanor after three offenses. BWP is using educational material and banners on their social media and website to continually get the word out on the dangers of these balloons. Glendale has passed a law banning the sale of Mylar balloons with helium while Hermosa beach has banned the sale of them completely.  The city council unanimously voted to have staff continue with their efforts in providing information for an alternative action regarding outages caused by Mylar balloons with the City of Burbank.

The next City Council meeting will be Tuesday, January 26th at 6:00pm.