City to begin work on old 7-Eleven


Sonora City Council members Tuesday will consider selecting a construction company to transform a former downtown convenience store into a fire museum and senior lounge.

The council will meet Tuesday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

The council last month approved final design plans for the project on the Rother's Corner property across from Sonora City Hall, 94 N. Washington St. An architect hired by the city estimated the project's cost at $187,000.

Bids for the project close Tuesday afternoon. City officials will recommend a bid to council members at Tuesday's meeting. The project is slated for completion in the spring.

The city will pay for the project through the Sonora Redevelopment Agency. The agency is used by the city to spruce up and renovate blighted areas in the city. The former store has been boarded up and the property used as a parking lot since the store closed in 2001.

The building will be redesigned to house the city fire department's relics and to provide a new home for the Marion Barber Senior Lounge, now in cramped quarters on Stewart Street.

Parking spots on the property will remain.

City Council members Tuesday also will:

? Consider two Sonora Planning Commission recommendations. The first is a subdivision map for Martin and Dennis Minners, who plan on dividing two undeveloped lots into seven lots on the west side of the Hope Lane extension north of Bourbon Street.

The second is a parcel map allowing Sonora Community Hospital to divide 10 acres into three parcels for medical office buildings. Two physician groups plan on building offices on two pads. The hospital plans to build on the third pad once long-term improvements are made to Mono Way.

The commission and city staff recommend the council approve both requests. Public hearings are scheduled for both items.

? Consider approving an agreement that will continue the city's representation on the Central Sierra Partnership Against Weeds. City arborist Bill Seldon has represented the city in the partnership the past five years. The group's goal is to help public agencies and residents to address noxious weed problems in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

The only cost associated with the city's involvement is staff time, according to a memorandum to council members by City Administrator Greg Applegate. The group is funded through grants and offers periodic workshops.

? In closed session before the meeting, council members will consider a claim by Steve Bailey of Soulsbyville regarding the flash flood that hit Sonora on Nov. 8. Bailey, who owns a rental on the 300 block of North Washington Street, claims water running off of South Stewart Street flowed onto his property and soaked soil behind a retaining wall.

The wall collapsed that night or the next day, Bailey claims. He is seeking $2,214 to replace the retaining wall.

The city's insurance company and city staff have recommended that the claim be denied.

Contact Jason Eck at