At the May 17 Los Banos City Council meeting, the council gave authorization for the city manager to execute a contract with Ronny’s Inc to provide city landscaping and accepted a transfer of property for future development.

“We have gone the route of contracting for a number of benefits,” Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Joe Heim said, leading the presentation, “including the financial efficiency of it and to provide beautification and the overall enhancement of the community.” The landscape maintenance contract can also potentially result in an increase in property values and improve standards of living.

Heim clarified that the contract provides services and maintenance to parks, planters and complexes. Parks include sports fields, residential parks, the Fire Station, the Community Center and City Hall, while complexes include locations such as 7th Street Ballpark, AG Sports Complex, and Oliveira Park fields. Planters include medians, rights-of-way, wall planters, trails and landscape surrounding facilities.

The five-year contract includes not only landscape maintenance but also irrigation maintenance, according to the agenda packet. The funding sources for the contract come from both the General Fund and the Lighting and Landscape Districts.

The Landscape Maintenance Services are expected to begin on July 1.

The council also accepted grant deeds (transfer of property) from the Los Banos Designated Local Authority, the successor entity to the former Los Banos Redevelopment Agency. This transfer of property to the City of Los Banos included a 2.02-acre parcel located at 201-799-H Street (between 2nd Street and 4th Street) and a 1.222-acre parcel located at 715 2nd Street. Both properties are located along the Los Banos Rail Trail.

City Attorney William A. Vaughn mentioned that the City of Los Banos had previously accepted 15 parcels from the DLA since the summer of 2021. “Those 15 properties we have accepted thus far primarily are along the Rail Trail after they have been remediated from arsenic related issues as a result of the use of that Rail Trail as a railroad,” Vaughn noted.

These final two parcels that the DLA are offering to transfer to the City are suitable for commercial development, but not for residential development due to the level of remaining arsenic, Vaughn specified.

The 2.02-acre parcel is undeveloped while the 1.222-acre parcel is asphalted. Both of the parcels have received clearance from the Department of Water Resources, Vaughn noted.

“The city already owns property to the north of the parcel,” Vaughn said, “so this will be a very good addition in order to come up with development for that block.”

With the City Council’s acceptance of the grant deeds, Los Banos now has a total of 17 parcels that have been transferred from the DLA. 

Among the consent agenda, several items were passed, such as the authorization for the city manager to execute a contract with AD ART, INC. for the replacement of the digital signs at the Community Center and the appointment of Stephanie Austin to the Measure P Citizens Oversight Committee, with a term ending on Dec. 31.

Malina Duran

Malina Duran’s email is