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Chico City Council to Talk Drive-Thru Restaurants, Police on Campus

"We know the importance of that, I think council knows the importance of that, and I think it will be a slam dunk ... the mere presence of those officers, that will be beneficial for our schools and school safety," said O'Brien.

Posted: Aug 7, 2018 3:48 AM
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 6:21 AM

Chico, Calif.-- Tonight, the Chico City Council will decide whether or not to approve Chico Unified School District's plans to put three police officers on the high school campuses this school year.

Pending the council's decision tonight, you'll probably be seeing a school resource officer here at all three high schools when school starts up next week.

Last May, the CUSD applied for a grant through the California Department of Justice Tobacco Law Enforcement Grant, so while we often think of tragic school shootings and preventing them when we hear about armed police on campus, this is actually driven by a push to educate kids about tobacco use and keep it off of campuses.

Tonight, Chico's Police Chief Mike O'Brien is advocating for the move - these resource officers would be under his department.

"The last main hurdle will be council - I think they'll be supportive, we're talking over 1.5 million dollars - to support this porgram. We know the importance of that, I think council knows the importance of that, and I think it will be a slam dunk ... the mere presence of those officers, that will be beneficial for our schools and school safety," said O'Brien.

The school board has already approved receipt of the grant as of July, and the chief says he already has people lined up to start in these positions, one of his Sergeants and two officers and already ready to go, and then they'll back fill those positions.

They can apply for a grant extension in 2020, meaning the new positions will be secured for several more years.

Also on the agenda tonight is a plan to build a new Enloe facility on East Avenue.

Another tem is considering an appeal from businesses owners of a plan to open a Subway drive-thru restaurant on Nord and West Sacramento Avenues.

The space here where the city zoning administrator approved a place to create a horseshoe drive-thru for a Subway restaurant.

But neighboring businesses do not like this idea and they're presenting their concerns to City Council tonight.

The biggest problem they have, is that they believe that the area is just so small that it will cut into parking, congest traffic at the intersection and block their delivery trucks.\

"I welcome urban renewal, I welcome this buyer, it's going to create new business for all of us - but the drive-thru is going to create huge challenges, they're not going ot have the time of the tolerance when there's a hug line of cars backed up to the stoplight to come to our businesses," said Kona's owner Dave Whyte.

Since we first reported on this, a historical and architectural review board has reviewed the site here, and the city Community Development Director is asking that Council deny the appeal, saying the businesses don't have any legal rights to more than half a dozen parking spots each, and they have no guarantees of delivery truck access to the rear.

Some council members feel this will be on ongoing discussion.

Other important matters before City Council tonight include the continuing battle over the fate of Chico Scrap Metal.

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Winds will not be as strong today, but the Red Flag Warning for high fire danger will continue through 5pm. Pleasant conditions are ahead for your Saturday, but then a more substantial wind event will bring extreme fire danger back into our forecast from Sunday through Monday.
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