In the coming months, Lodi's abandoned and homeless cats will have larger quarters in which to eat, sleep, play and do what cats do.
In other actionDuring their regular meeting Wednesday, Lodi City Council members also:
• Approved plans and specifications, and authorized advertisement, for bids to widen Lower Sacramento Road between Harney and Kettleman lanes.
A median proposed to be installed outside the Lower Sacramento Road entrance to the Food 4 Less drew criticism. More than five spoke out against the project, all taking issue with the island that will prevent southbound drivers from turning left into the SunWest shopping center from Lower Sacramento Road as they do now. After a discussion that lasted close to an hour-and-a-half, the council voted to allow staff to work with tenants of the center for possible alternatives.
• Approved a new 75-foot-high electronic display sign for Key Advertising, Inc. on Beckman Road. After being delayed since April, the council on Wednesday unanimously approved the sign with a new operating agreement outlining various requirements. Among other things, the sign is expected to advertise community events, broadcast Amber Alerts dictated by the California Highway Patrol and show the current time and temperature.
• Voted in favor of an $82,154 agreement with an outside firm to administer the city's workers' compensation claims between Oct. 1, 2004 and Sept. 30, 2005. It is a 2 percent increase over the current annual fee.
• Authorized Interim City Manager Janet Keeter to increase the appropriation for engineering services associated with the Killelea Substation reconstruction project at a cost of $51,000.
• Approved a $160,523 purchase of 10 self-supporting steel poles for the Electric Utility Department.
• Recognized Amanda Rausch as this month's Teen of the Month, a program sponsored by the Greater Lodi Area Youth Commission. Rausch is a student at St. Mary's High School.
• Heard presentations regarding this year's Hospice Tree Lighting, the 9th Annual Parade of Lights, both set for Dec. 2, and the Adopt-A-Child Christmas program.
• Postponed meeting behind closed doors to discuss a union contract with the Police Dispatchers Association.
By 10:45 p.m., the City Council had not yet discussed paying for groundwater monitoring wells. The cost is estimated at $600,000, or more.