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City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending October 27, 2006

Mayor and Councilmembers:

This is the weekly report for the week ending October 27, 2006.

1.         Meeting Notes

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th.  Note that the City Council previously moved its first meeting of November to November 14th due to the election being on November 7th.

2.         Update on the Point Molate Development Project

I have attached to this e-mail an update from Upstream Point Molate, LLC concerning the status of their proposed development project.

3.         Issuance of Wastewater Revenue Bonds

This last Thursday, the City closed on its Wastewater Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series A and B, which were previously approved by the City Council. This represents an important milestone for the City of Richmond, as its first entry into the public capital markets since its financial ratings were restored.  It also represents a major step toward the City's longstanding goal of modernizing and improving its wastewater utility to protect the environment and to better serve community members.  The initial rate for the City of Richmond, Wastewater Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2006B is 3.42%.  Congratulations are in order for the Finance Department staff (Jim Goins and Susan Segovia), City legal staff (Everett Jenkins), underwriter Stone & Youngberg (Sohail Bengali), bond counsel Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (John Knox), and financial advisor Tamalpais Advisors (Jean Buckley).

4.         Castro Cove Cleanup Project

Last week, I provided you with information concerning the Castro Cove Cleanup project.  As you recall, environmental agency representatives are in the process of developing a remediation plan for a 20-acre area of the cove, and are in negotiations with Chevron to reach a settlement for natural resource damages associated with the contamination, which would be in the form of a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP).  As you may also recall, I indicated that City staff members have met with representatives of these agencies, and have discussed possible SEP projects that might be funded using proceeds from the natural resource damage settlement.

This past week, I discussed with a representative from one of the environmental agencies a process to obtain Richmond community input regarding the remediation process, the damage assessment, and a SEP.  In particular, we discussed scheduling a City Council study session in the near future to obtain City Council comments and additional comments from community members.  Such a study session would be scheduled in the near future, perhaps in January, following the agencies’ additional work to determine the settlement amount for natural resource damages.

We will keep you informed as our conversations continue.  In the meantime, we would welcome your input regarding candidate SEP’s.

5.         Residential Fence Data Base

Vallier Design, the consultant retained by the City to create a photo data base of residential fences, completed the task last week. This data base will provide Planning Department staff with an additional tool to assist homeowners with their efforts to improve and secure their homes. The next step is to produce a brochure containing photographs of attractive fences that have been installed in the City.  This information will be placed on the Web site and distributed to local fabricators.

6.         Civic Center Design Review

This past Wednesday, the Design Review Board reviewed plans for the Civic Center. The project scheme was conditionally approved, and Board chair Whitty appointed a subcommittee to work with the architect to further refine the design.

7.         General Plan Update

The next General Plan community meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 30th in the City Council Chambers.

8.         San Pablo Avenue Joint Planning Meeting

This past Tuesday, Planning and Building Services Director Richard Mitchell attended a meeting with planning representatives from other East Bay Cities that are linked by San Pablo Avenue.  Representatives from ABAG, MTC, Caltrans and the East Bay Community Foundation were also represented. The meeting was chaired by Assemblywoman Lonnie Hancock.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the prospect of coordinating efforts to create design standards and improvement objectives for the street.

9.         Finance Department “REBELS 4 A CAUSE”

The Finance Department’s team, “REBELS 4 A CAUSE”, consisting of city employees along with their friends and family members, received over $3,000 in donations for Making Strides for Breast Cancer.  Nice work!

10.       Richmond Plunge and The Maritime Child Care Center (Have You Voted Today?)

As reported previously, the renovation of the Richmond Plunge and the Maritime Child Care Center are two of 25 projects that qualified for a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  This grant has a different twist to it in that the public can vote to select the winners, with the winning projects dividing $1,000,000.  The public can vote for a project on line by logging onto http://www.partnersinpreservation.com/index.php and following the directions.  Please remember that you may cast one vote per day for these projects until the end of October.  As of today, the Plunge was in 6th place in the voting (same as last week), and the Maritime Child Care Center was in 20th place (same as last week).

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.

Have a great week.