DELANO — The Delano City Council tackled several topics during its first meeting of the year on Jan. 16.

During council member statements, Councilman Joe Aguirre expressed his concern about smoke shops opening in the city.

“Are there regulations for these shops? Some smoke shops have closed. The city has a zero tolerance for medical marijuana and recreational marijuana shops,” Aguirre said. “It seems that they opened under false pretenses. We must hold them accountable. The amount of smoke shops seems to be like a franchise for them.”

Mayor Grace Vallejo said she received a call from a former marijuana shop owner.

“They told me that ‘we followed rules. We received the right permits to open. When the city asked us to close, we complied. However, there may be a smoke shop in town that is selling cannabis,’” Vallejo said. “We do not have enough people to check around town to see who is complying. What can we do?”

City Attorney Rachel Richman said complaints are used to examine issues like these. The names of individuals reporting a compliant are kept confidential, she added.

“If they sell it is a violation of their business license,” Richman said. “Administrative citations can help and forward any evidence to the police department and plan the next steps.”

The successor agency to the former community development agency of the city of Delano also had its meeting. The consent agenda passed, which included the recognized obligation payment schedule.

Once this meeting adjourned, the regular council meeting began.

During the consent agenda, Roberto Ibarra, a Delano resident, had a question concerning the resolution and lease agreement of a hangar at Delano’s municipal airport. He asked whether the airport would be relocating to the west side of town.

Vallejo said, “The item is concerning a lease agreement, not the moving of the airport.”

Aguirre pulled from the consent agenda item 12, which was concerning the awarding of a contract to Haaker Equipment Company for the purchase of a new sewer VAC-jetter combination truck.

City Engineer Downing explained that the item is to replace a spare. It will help if there is an overflow because of a storm.

The city has approved co-sponsorship along with Community Action Partnership of Kern for commodity distribution in January, February and March.

The city also approved a co-sponsorship to host the Delano Chamber of Commerce High School Dance on Feb. 10.

The city will be repairing some water tanks and a waterline project. A professional engineering services agreement with MKN & Associates for plant 2 tank was approved in the amount of $62,693.

According to city staff reports, work is scheduled January through March to make repairs and improvements to the tank.

The sewer and waterline repair project being performed by JM Pipeline Construction was approved in the amount of $400,000. The work was for off 8th and 9th avenues and Kensington Lexington Street alley.

By replacing the sewer and water mains in the alley, the city will be able to resurface the alley along with a larger project planned for summer.

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