Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the two weeks ending February 18th, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, and Study Sessions beginning at 5:30 PM (note the special start time). Of note on the agenda is a presentation on the Point Molate EIR (presentation of material, with an opportunity for questions only – there is no City Council action publicly noticed on the agenda). As a courtesy to members of the public that are interested only in hearing the agenda item on the Point Molate EIR, the item is specifically identified on the agenda as not beginning prior to 6:45 PM.
- 8th Annual Chinese New Year
The Senior Center hosted over 400 seniors, their families, City staff, the Commission on Aging, Recreation and Parks Commission members, and volunteers for the 8th Annual Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, February 5th, at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. The White Crane Lion and Dragon Dancers (the group chosen to close the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade) began the program and were followed by festivities which included performances from participants of the Senior Center classes, a fashion show, and line dancing. Dinner was served by the Richmond Fire Department and volunteers from the community.
- State Assembly Joint Budget and Finance Committee Hearings
On February 7th, Community and Economic Development Agency Director/Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Steve Duran and Redevelopment Director Alan Wolken attended the state assembly joint budget and finance committee hearings on Governor Brown's proposal to end Redevelopment and Enterprise Zones in California. As with the state senate hearings last week, the legislative analysts’ report reinforced the Governor’s proposal. Over 100 cities and redevelopment agencies were represented, and Mr. Duran was able to address the committee as to some of Richmond’s concerns.
- City Receives the Excellence in Operating Budgeting Award
The City of Richmond’s Operating Budget submission to the California Society of Municipal Financial Officers (CSMFO) Budget Awards Program has been reviewed and has been selected to receive the Excellence in Operating Budgeting Award.
The Budget Awards Program is designed to recognize those agencies that have prepared a budget document or a communication tool that meets certain standards. The City’s peers judged our submission as meeting the awards criteria.
Congratulations to Andrea Miller, Budget Administrator, and to the Budget staff including Connie Valentine, Markisha Guillory and Bertrum Jones.
The California Youth Energy Services (CYES) organization is working with the City’s Environmental Initiatives Division to provide Richmond residents an opportunity to save money, help the environment, and support young people all at the same time. CYES is a partnership between the City and Rising Sun Energy Center. They are currently offering free Green House Calls to residents in Richmond. Their professionally trained Youth Energy Specialists will visit residents, install FREE energy-saving equipment like CFL light bulbs and efficient shower heads, and provide residents with a personalized energy-saving plan.
Green House Calls are available from February 14th to March 11th, 2011 in the afternoons. Reserve yours quickly! Call 510-776-6370 to sign up, or visit the CYES website at www.risingsunenergy.org.
- Engineering Services Capital Improvement Project Updates
- Traffic Safety Program: A public meeting was held on February 10th to solicit input on the draft Traffic Safety Study. The traffic engineering consultant Kimley-Horn Associates (KLH) presented the study results that included improvement details, design strategy and the implementation process for the improvements. A draft list of improvements was provided to the Neighborhood Council Group at the at the Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council (RNCC) meeting on February 14th. A call for bid for traffic safety improvement should be released in early March. KLH is preparing the construction documents that will include the 16 top ranked locations for improvements. Detailed information for the selected construction locations were covered in the public outreach power point presentation. The same information has been placed on the Engineering Services’ webpage.
- Roosevelt & McLaughlin Sewer Pipe Rehabilitation Project: There is no work on San Pablo Avenue this week due to weather. A crew has been dispatched to clean up the site and address erosion control issues at the Hacienda parking lot staging area. To date, five new sanitary sewer maintenance holes and 1,500 feet of new 18” and 20” HDPE sewer main has been installed from the tie-in at the existing sewer main south of Macdonald Avenue through the intersection of Barrett and San Pablo Avenues. As soon as clear weather is forecast, excavation will continue on San Pablo Avenue north of Barrett Avenue to the tie-in at Roosevelt Avenue. Most of this work will take place during daylight hours, with the work in the intersection of San Pablo and Roosevelt Avenues taking place overnight to minimize traffic delays.
- May Valley and Parkview Series Street Light Replacement: The Parkview Neighborhood Council Meeting that was scheduled for February 15th was cancelled due to the absence of the Neighborhood Council President and other members. The presentation of the project to the neighborhood council has been rescheduled for March 15th.
- Bay Trail Project (Dornan Tunnel to Cutting Blvd.): Engineering has received a verbal confirmation for the award of our grant application for $20,000 for the design portion. This grant will be used in conjunction with a $5,000 grant received from Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC). These funds will help leverage the required $20,000 City match.
- Storm Water Program Updates
- Green Streets/Cleaner Stormwater Forum: On February 16th, Engineering Services participated in this forum by presenting the Greenway/Ohlone Gap Closure project as an example of greening our streets while improving the quality of stormwater runoff. The forum was designed to bring project designers, engineers, planners and other interested parties together to discuss projects, compare goals, hear about the latest issues and discuss the challenges and opportunities of green stormwater retrofits. Engineering staff was able to network with outside agencies such as California State Water Board, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), San Francisco Bay Estuary and Watershed. This type of networking is useful especially if we will be seeking additional funding for the restoration of Baxter Creek.
- Bay Area-wide Trash Capture Demonstration Project: The City of Richmond received the fully executed contract from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) this week for the Bay Area-wide Trash Capture Demonstration Project. The City is allocated $84,465 to install Water Board approved full trash capture devices. Staff will submit to the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, overseeing the ARRA funds, areas and vendor choice for trash capture devices. Present projects include both a gross solid removal device (GSRD) to capture trash from a large area before it enters the bay, and smaller trash inserts in specific storm drain inlets in our commercial areas to catch trash before it enters the creeks. Then ABAG will contract directly with the vendors for projects up to amount of the allocation. This allocation has already been increased from the original $76,625 that the City Council approved on December 7, 2010. As other agencies do not use their full allocation, more funds will come available. The storm water National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requires we install full trash capture devices for our commercial areas. This demonstration project will help us assess which approaches are best in which situations.
- The Facilities Maintenance Division continues painting portions of the Nevin Community Center in anticipation of the “New Grand Opening” on March 1st, and the Art Center’s 75th Anniversary.
- The paving crew completed the resurfacing of South 18th Street from Ohio Avenue to Cutting Boulevard last week. This week, the crew performed dig outs on Chevron Way at Castro Street; 23rd Street and Florida Avenue; the Richmond Parkway and Sierra Ridge Avenue; 18th Street between Hellings and Dunn Avenues; and at 713 Williams Drive in Parchester Village.
- The Parks Division will start fertilizing most of the city’s parks, and vegetation management along Atlas Road and on Barrett Avenue between 8th and 10th Streets, along Peres Elementary School, and the Richmond Parkway soundwall. They will continue working on the irrigation system along the new UPRR fence, to start planting vines along the fence. The tree trimming crew will trim trees along Carlson Boulevard, Potrero Avenue and 25th Street.
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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