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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending April 16th, 2010
April 17, 2010

Mayor and Councilmembers:

This is the weekly report for the week ending April 16th, 2010.

1.             Meeting Notes

The next City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, April 20th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the Housing Commission at 6:25 PM, and with the regular City Council meeting agenda scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

2.             Sinkhole on Via Verde at El Portal Drive in the El Sobrante Area

Yesterday (Thursday) evening, emergency crews responded to the report of a major sinkhole affecting the roadway on Via Verde at El Portal Drive in the El Sobrante area.  Fire Chief Michael Banks handled the matter as the Incident Commander for Emergency Services, with Interim City Engineer Edric Kwan, Wastewater Manager Chad Davisson, Public Works Director Yader Bermudez, and other staff, contractors, and utility companies involved in stabilizing the situation.

The following is an update on this situation as of the end of the day on Friday:

·       The portion of the storm drain culvert along the length of the sinkhole is damaged.  It seems that the culvert may have collapsed or was eroded and may have caused the sinkhole, but further investigation is needed on its exact cause.  The culvert conveys creek waters under Via Verde and under El Portal streets.

·       O.C. Jones (Contractor) is cleaning out settlement in unbroken downstream section of storm drain culvert.  O.C. Jones will pump and by-pass upstream creek through cleaned out storm drain culvert and discharge into downstream creek.  This is critical as the creek waters are rising and will rise further with next week’s forecasted rains.

·       The West County sewer line under and along Via Verde is broken.  West County is by-passing sewer around the sinkhole.

·       The EBMUD water line under and along Via Verde is exposed but not ruptured.  Their by-pass around the sinkhole is estimated to be completed by Friday evening.

·       O.C. Jones will remove the vehicles from the sinkhole after EBMUD completes the by-pass line to avoid any potential damage to the exposed waterline.

·       Nichols Consulting Engineers was on-site this morning to take field notes for developing a temporary Via Verde by-pass road.  The solution may be to sheet pile along the edge of the sinkhole to stabilize the remaining roadway then place a temporary bridge made of I-beams and trench plates in case the sinkhole enlarges.

·       O.C. Jones is installing erosion control in preparation for next week’s rains and securing the perimeter to prevent civilians from entering site.

·       The apartment complex manager has been notified to remove parked cars along sinkhole and to barricade parking spots.

·       After access is restored to the subdivision and utilities are re-routed, Nichols Consulting will develop plans to restore the roadway and culvert.

Until further notice, Via Verde at El Portal Drive will be closed and access on Via Verde Road is limited to foot traffic only. 

The Fire Department distributed informational flyers to the affected neighborhood about the road closure. We will update the residents on the temporary road re-opening once work is completed.

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3.             Supplemental Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (SERAF) Lawsuit Against State of California

The California Redevelopment Association (CRA) lawsuit against the state of California regarding the taking of redevelopment agency funds for non-redevelopment purposes was argued before Judge Lloyd Connelly of the Sacramento Superior Court on February 5th and the supplemental briefing he requested was concluded in early March.  He has had the case under consideration since March 2nd.  On March 30th, the CRA filed a motion for a preliminary injunction/stay, asking the court not to require redevelopment agencies to make payments to SERAF on May 10th, as required by ABx4-26, until the court makes its decision.  That motion is set to be heard on April 23rd.  However, Judge Connelly has notified CRA that the hearing date for the motion on the preliminary injunction has been cancelled because he intends to rule on the merits of the case on or before May 4th.

We will keep you informed.

4.             “One Richmond” Collaborative Networking Meeting

As you may recall from back in January, Don Lau, Vice President of the YMCA of the East Bay, Joan Davis, President and CEO of the Richmond Children’s Foundation, Terrance Cheung, Chief of Staff for Supervisor John Gioia, and I helped convene a meeting of representatives of various community collaborative efforts.  At that initial meeting, spokespersons for these efforts had the opportunity to present their projects and share their experiences, key learning outcomes, and best practices.  Attendees expressed an interest at that time in keeping this project moving and in scheduling a follow-up meeting in about three months time.

The second such meeting was held today (Friday) at City Hall.  One specific agenda item was to discuss potential partnership interest for two specific federal grant opportunities that are being pursued within the community.  These grant programs are Promise Neighborhoods and Choice Neighborhoods.  The Choice Neighborhoods grant will be pursued by the NURVE (Nystrom United Revitalization Effort) collaborative, of which the City and the Housing Authority are participants, and which involves an investment in public infrastructure, education, housing, and related programs in the Nystrom area.  The current NURVE project participants were interested in determining what organizations, beyond the current partners, are interested in being part of the collaborative effort and federal grant application and this was discussed at the “One Richmond” meeting.

We will continue to keep you informed as these efforts continue.

5.             Point Richmond Retaining Wall Project

As part of the current Capital Improvement Program, Engineering Services has put out to bid the second phase of the Point Richmond Retaining Wall project on April 9th.  The base bid includes the deteriorated retaining walls above and below 53 Scenic Avenue.  Bid opening is scheduled for April 20th.

6.             Broadband Comprehensive Community Infrastructure Grant

As discussed in my prior weekly report, the City of Richmond has now applied for round two of the Broadband Stimulus Grant.  The City of Richmond’s broadband accessibility project is a partnership between the City of Richmond and community anchor institutions to bring broadband service to residents of underserved neighborhoods in central Richmond through high-speed fiber connections to these anchor institutions.  The project will also broadcast free wireless service to residents in the vicinity of these anchor sites.

Along with the city’s application, nine other cities in California have applied in round two, of which four have applied in the same Comprehensive Community Infrastructure category.  The other four cities include the City of Concord, the City of Oakland, the City of Ontario, and the City of Riverside.

7.             Pipeline to Contract Connections Business Expo Sponsored by EBMUD in Oakland

The Finance Department’s Purchasing Division, in collaboration with Employment and Training, attended the Pipeline to Contract Connections Business Expo sponsored by EBMUD on April 13th.  The local vendor community was invited to this event to learn about upcoming projects, contracting procedures and resources available through the participating public agencies, which included the City of Richmond, Alameda County, the Port of Oakland, the City of Oakland, BART and other local agencies.  The vendor turnout was very impressive with approximately 250 to 300 vendors visiting the city’s table at this event.  All vendors were instructed on how to register on the city’s BidsOnline System to be automatically notified of contract opportunities.

8.             Violence Prevention Curriculum and Certificate Program

Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) staff has been part of a regional effort to connect community based initiatives with a formal community college based curriculum.  This week, we learned that the Peralta Community College District's Council of Instruction, Planning and Development (CIPD), approved the establishment of a violence prevention curriculum and certificate program.  This was the second step after the College of Alameda's Curriculum Committee adopted the curriculum on March 16. 
Now that the curriculum has been approved, a planning process will begin so that students with interests in violence prevention can enroll for the first class this coming fall semester.

In the long run, efforts like this will help involve a broader community in knowledge-based violence prevention programs.

9.             Public Works Updates

·        The re-roofing of Richmond Fire Station #62 (1065 - 7th Street) is now complete.  Currently, city staff is repainting the inside of the Fire Station.

·        The Bayview Library was badly flooded during the February storms.  All the abatement has been completed. The floor contractor has been selected to replace the damaged carpet and work should be completed by next week.

·        The Electrical Department continues to monitor the series street lights in the Parkview area (Campbell, Fallon, Creely and Fleming Avenues) to watch for any outages.  There were two poles reported out this week.

·        The Streets Division could not perform the anticipated paving this week due to weather conditions.  Instead staff addressed the various potholes and digout work around the city. 

·        Two functioning solar powered parks light poles were installed at the back of Kern Play Lot and next to the basketball court at Atchison Village.

10.        Recreation Basketball

The Youth Sports section, girls 12 and under basketball team, is participating in the North American Youth Sports (NAYS) tournament in Modesto on Saturday, April 17th.

11.        Website Update

The City of Richmond has 27 NEW Facebook fans this week for a total of 433 fans.  The city’s Facebook page had 566 visits this week compared to the 561 visits last week.

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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!


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Bill Lindsay
City Manager
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804-1630
Phone:  510-620-6512
Fax:  510-620-6542
E-mail:  bill_lindsay@ci.richmond.ca.us