It’s Eureka City Council day! File photo: Andrew Goff

The Eureka City Council will convene for yet another jam-packed meeting this week. Granted, most of the items on Tuesday’s agenda are likely to play out in long, drawn-out discussions surrounding municipal code and whatnot, but these are important discussions nonetheless! 

I’m sure LoCO can find an item or two that will interest you. Let’s take a peek at that agenda, shall we?

EaRTH Center Agreement

The California State University Board of Trustees has tentatively agreed to chip in up to $5 million in funding to cover development costs for the forthcoming Eureka Regional Transit & Housing Center, or EaRTH Center.

In February, the Eureka City Council gave staff the green light to move forward with the ambitious transit and housing development on two city-owned parking lots on Third Street between G and H streets, behind Lost Coast Brewery. Over the past few months, Servitas, the student housing development firm that led the design of the facility, has been working with Cal Poly Humboldt and the CSU Board of Trustees to finalize a pre-development agreement for the project. 

“The CSU Trustees have tentatively agreed to provide up to $5 million in development costs and enter into a master lease agreement guaranteeing 95% occupancy of the 96 student housing beds over the term,” the staff report states. “Over the term of the master lease agreement the revenue from the student housing will contribute 80% of the total operating revenue necessary to fund the project.”

Most of the project’s funding will come from a tax-exempt bond that will be repaid through the operating revenue from the project. All excess revenue – aside from operational and debt costs – will go back to the city. The money will be used to subsidize the project’s affordable housing and fund the shuttle service that will serve to project to make up for the loss of two downtown parking lots. After about ten years, the project’s revenue is expected to increase and exceed the funding necessary to subsidize affordable housing and shuttle service.

The council will consider staff’s recommendation to authorize the city manager to negotiate an agreement with the CSU Board of Trustees surrounding revenue sharing during Tuesday’s meeting. 


Changes to EPD’s Command Structure

The council will also consider a change to the Eureka Police Department’s command structure aimed at improving operations and efficiency in the department “by adding increased capacity for administrative oversight and decision making” to provide more direct support for staff.

Currently, EPD’s command structure consists of one police chief and two police captains who oversee patrol operations and administrative functions. The proposed reorganization would establish two new classifications to replace the captain positions: police commander and assistant police chief. The modified structure would provide more direct administrative support and operational oversight to the chief of police, according to the staff report.

“This stratification of operational and managerial oversight will allow for a more responsive and streamlined administrative functionality at the executive level, while increasing managerial capacity and oversight capability for department personnel,” the staff report states. “Additionally, the City sees this restructuring as an opportunity to provide more stratification within the administrative/support classifications in the department, thereby creating more opportunity for advancement, and incentive for retention.”

If approved, the organizational realignment would deallocate two vacant police sergeant positions and one vacant police captain position, and reclassify the second captain position – which is currently filled by Brian Stephens – to assistant police chief.

The staff report notes that the reorganization “was designed to be cost-neutral.” The police commander’s salary will range between $97,267 and $118,229 annually. The assistant police chief will bring in between $112,407 and $136,631 annually.

The matter appears on the council’s consent calendar and will likely be approved in a single motion unless it is pulled by a council member for further discussion.


The council will also endure a final public hearing to amend municipal code to prohibit new digital signs in the coastal zone, a second review session for the update to the city’s Coastal Use Plan and consider an amendment to the 2019-2027 Housing Element.

​​The Eureka City Council meets on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at Eureka City Hall — 531 K Street. The agenda can be found here.