|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending October 7th, 2011
October 7, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending October 7th, 2011.
The next meeting of the City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18th. Enjoy the week off.
The City offices will be closed on Monday, October 10th, in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.
This past Monday, Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency (S&P) lowered the underlying ratings of three outstanding bond issues of the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency (RCRA). Both the 2004 and 2003 Series bonds were lowered to “A” from “A+,” and the 2010 bonds were lowered to “A-” from “A.” Citing the decline in assessed value of the past two fiscal years as a factor, S&P stated that the current levels of debt service coverage are still considered good. It should be noted that all of the affected bonds remain in the “A” category, reflecting S&P’s opinion that the RCRA’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligations is still strong. Additionally, as fixed rate debt, the interest rate on all of the bonds will remain unchanged.
“Cities of Service” is a bi-partisan coalition of mayors across the nation that have responded to the Edward M. Kennedy Service America Act by working together to find ways to harness the power of volunteerism to solve the nation’s most pressing challenges.
Last month, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation awarded a Cities of Service Leadership Grant to the City of Richmond. Under the grant program, Rochelle Monk, Community Affairs Coordinator in the City Manager's Office, will be designated as the “Chief Service Officer” because of her extensive experience working with neighborhood groups in Richmond, and will develop and implement a high-impact service plan over a two-year period. This service plan is intended to engage stakeholders, recruit volunteers, and address the city’s most pressing areas of need by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteerism, and accelerate the movement of services and produce measurably results. The City's commitment to using service as a serious strategy will assist to increase resident awareness and make the promise of service a reality in the Richmond community.
The Richmond Public Library will be among the non-profit organizations and City agencies represented at the Iron Triangle Legacy Family Day tomorrow, Saturday, October 8th. Library staff will have an interactive story time that will have train-themed stories and a guitar sing-along. The library will be promoted through library card registration, program information, and a book and photo display of the Iron Triangle.
Thousands of dollars in rebates, grants, and low-interest loans are available to residents to improve their home’s comfort and energy efficiency, and the City of Richmond is helping to get the word out. The City is co-hosting a free workshop where property owners can learn how to obtain federal stimulus funding and PG&E rebates to make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient through the new Energy Upgrade California program.
At this workshop, attendees will:
The workshop is sponsored by the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito and San Pablo, in conjunction with Energy Upgrade California and Contra Costa County. Visit https://energyupgradeca.org/overview for more information on Energy Upgrade California.
Interested persons may RSVP at www.westcountyenergy.eventbrite.com for “The Smart Approach to a Comfortable Home and Lower Energy Bills,” to be held on Wednesday, October 12th, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Richmond Environmental Initiatives Division of the City Manager’s office at 620-5537.
The Climate Action Plan Community Meeting will be held on Monday, October 24th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the Richmond Auditorium Bermuda Room. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about climate change basics and the City of Richmond’s climate efforts to date, and provide input on what they would like to see in the City of Richmond’s climate action plan. This input will help develop both the framework for the climate action plan, and the criteria to be used to select a consultant to assist the City in development of the plan.
Refreshments will be provided at 5:30 PM and interested persons my RSVP at 621-1554 or www.richmondenvironment.org.
Engineering Services and Veolia continue work on the 2011-12 annual sewer pipeline repair and rehabilitation projects. Last week, the project contractor, Ghilotti Bros. Inc. (GBI), replaced approximately 1,000 linear feet of failing 6” Sanitary Sewer pipelines with 8” pipelines. Work was performed on Center Avenue between Carlson Boulevard and 31st, and on 29th Street between Ohio and Center Avenues. GBI is currently working on replacing approximately 400 linear feet of failed sewer line on Ohio Avenue between 27th and 29th Streets, and will be moving to Florida Avenue between 35th and 37th Streets. Additional work was performed on Rheem Avenue, including the replacement of 500 linear feet of 8” Sanitary Sewer pipeline.
This work is being administered by Veolia, and Engineering Services has been actively involved in the project to facilitate public outreach efforts and ensure that City standards are being met. The City is also using Twitter (http://twitter.com/CoR_Engineering) to notify interested residents of upcoming work locations, as well as placing information on the City’s website.
Next week, work will continue on Center Avenue between 35th and 37th Streets. Work on Rheem Avenue will continue between 24th and 26th Streets continuing to the east. Work is expected to be completed in the area by October 28th. Pipe lining work will continue on Ripley Avenue at 7th Street and Hawthorne Avenue, and at Barrett and Nevin Avenues.
Chrisp Company has completed laying out the traffic striping and will begin installing permanent final traffic striping on the 30 segments of recently slurry-sealed streets in the next few weeks. More notably, elements from the Bicycle Master Plan will be incorporated on the following street segments:
Note that Carlson Boulevard’s bike lane striping will be deferred until after environmental clearance has been received and after the Bicycle Master Plan is adopted by City Council, scheduled for November 1st.
The Planning and Building Services Department will be hosting the last of four educational sessions on key technical subjects critical to understanding the methodology for analyzing impacts of the proposed Chevron Revised Renewal Project and other projects. This session will cover the basic concepts and methods used to evaluate a proposed project’s potential effects on the environment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). An overview of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD) CEQA Guidelines, which provide specific guidance about assessing significant impacts on air quality and public health, will also be provided by BAAQMD staff. The session will be held in the City Council Chambers on October 19, 2011 from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM.
On September 22nd, the City of Richmond hosted the West Contra Costa Disaster Readiness Summit for agencies who serve people with disabilities and the elderly. Attending were 81 agency representatives from across the county including residential housing, senior agencies, educational institutions, community-based, and faith-based organizations. During the summit, attendees learned the importance of emergency planning and also developed an emergency operations plan with help from a specialist in their field.
On September 24th, the Contra Costa Emergency Preparedness Fair was held at the Del Norte BART Station. The theme of this year was – “Ready, Set, PREPARE!” Representatives from 55 agencies participated, including El Cerrito Fire and Police, the City of Kensington, Richmond Fire, the City of Richmond’s Office of Emergency Services, Richmond Police, Supervisor John Gioia’s Office, Chevron, Contra Costa County (CCC) Animal Services, CCC Health Services’ Haz Mat Division, CCC Medical Reserve Corps, American Medical Response, American Red Cross, Kiwanis Club, RecycleMore, and the YMCA. The 1,500 adults and children who attended this year’s fair learned many great emergency preparedness ideas.
Tennis: The Youth Tennis Center staff, in collaboration with Peres Elementary School, has developed a program aimed at African-American boys, grade levels 2, 3 and 4. Staff transports between 8 and 10 students from Peres Elementary School every Monday, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and Wednesday, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, to Nicholl Park for intensive tennis instruction, positive competition and other activities. While the tennis instruction helps promote healthy physical, social and cognitive development of the students, the program also provides a foundation for standards of excellence in leadership and direction.
Line Dancing: The popular line dancing class at the Booker T. Anderson Community Center has been expanded from Saturdays at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, to an additional class every Wednesday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Participants can choose to pay $5 for the season, or $20 for a full year.
Parks and Landscaping Division: This week, crews performed mulching vegetation in the Cutting Boulevard median from Broadway to Bayview Avenue; repaired the fence at the Shields-Reid Park; planted perennials in front of the Shields-Reid Community Center; performed vegetation management on the Richmond Parkway; and groomed and swept the synthetic field at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Next week, crews will continue working at the Marina Bay Trail project; clean up at Rydin Road; fertilize and aerate turf in the Marina Bay; and initiate fall renovation work at the North Richmond Baseball Field.
Crews trimmed trees along the following blocks: 4000 and 5000 Nevin Avenue, 12000 San Pablo Avenue, 5000 Burlingame Avenue, and 600-29th Street. Next week, they will be trimming trees on 12000 San Pablo Avenue.
Facilities Maintenance Division: Electricians continued replacing lighting in the Marina District and continued troubleshooting the power outage in the Parkview Neighborhood in partnership with PG&E.
Carpenters installed an audible alarm system in the children’s department at the main library, and supported the repair of a mini sinkhole on Santa Rita Road behind De Anza High School. The Utility section scrubbed and waxed the Pt. Richmond Community Center.
Streets Division: This week, paving crews completed paving on Nevin Avenue from 37th Street to 45th Street. Next week, crews will work on grinding on Nevin Avenue from 46th Street to Carlson Boulevard.
Equipment Services Division: The division decommissioned and auctioned off thirteen old vehicles, reducing the City’s fleet size. A new striping truck was put in service to improve pavement striping maintenance.
The City of Richmond’s has a NEW “My Dashboard” feature available on the City’s website. This module allows website visitors to personalize their dashboard to stay updated on news, events and information they care about.
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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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