|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending November 18th, 2011
November 19, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending November 18th, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 22nd, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular agenda at 6:30 PM.
As I previously reported, Subaru operations began at the Port of Richmond on November 7th, with the first of what we expect to be many shipments, this one unloading 888 cars. As you may recall, the Port entered into an agreement with Subaru to be its west coast port of entry at the Point Portrero Marine Terminal, where an 84-rail car-capacity facility was completed last year to handle Honda vehicles. The Subaru partnership is expected to bring 40 new jobs to Richmond as well as $5 million in revenue.
The American Basketball Association (ABA) has a new gem to add to its crown, the Richmond Rockets. Richmond’s new hometown team is now undefeated with 2 wins as of this writing. Last Thursday’s defeat of the Bay Area Matrix at the Civic Center Auditorium was not only the first game of the Rockets’ season but also their introduction as a new team in Richmond. On November 12th, the Rockets blasted off to Sacramento to gain one more win against the Sacramento Heatwave. The Richmond Rockets are not only winning games but are winning the hearts of locals. The next game is scheduled for November 18th at 7:30 PM at the Richmond Auditorium. Go Rockets!
A video featuring various community leaders and members welcomes the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to the City of Richmond. The video highlights the benefits of being located in Richmond and the opportunities that LBNL would mean for the Richmond community. Videos feature the city manager; Dr. Bruce Harter, West Contra Costa Unified School District superintendent; Jennifer Lyle, director of Building Blocks for Kids; Jordan Simmons, director of East Bay Center for the Performing Arts; Menbere Aklilu, owner of Salutés Restaurant; Wayne Ellis, vice president of Local 159 Plumbers’ Union; Scott Shackleton, assistant dean of the Richmond Field Station; and Tierra Andrews, Richmond BUILD graduate and construction intern. You can view the clips at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/lbnl. LBNL is expected to make a decision on the preferred site for their second campus by the end of November.
On November 16th, the Engineering Department submitted an application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for approval of a quiet zone (West Six) at the S.4th Street/Cutting Boulevard crossing. We anticipate that the FRA will approve a quiet zone at this crossing upon expiration of the 60-day comment period.
Establishment of the West Six quiet zone is part of the Port’s obligation to establish quiet zones at all of the crossings between the Richmond Parkway and Cutting Boulevard, a condition of approval of the Conditional Use Permit for the Pt. Potrero Marine Terminal auto facility expansion project.
To date, there are seven quiet zones in Richmond:
All of the paving on Carlson Boulevard is complete. This was a major milestone in a challenging project that has been underway for the past two years. In addition to placing almost 20 thousand tons of asphalt, this multi-phase project involved several major utilities and the need to maintain continuous traffic flow on a very busy thoroughfare. As a last order of work, the contractor has begun raising all of the manholes and water valves up to the new grade of finished pavement. Following the city’s required one-week waiting period for new pavement, the final striping and crosswalks should be applied next week, weather (and especially temperature) permitting.
Six weeks after the Coastal Clean-up in September, 28 members of a local Cub Scout troop performed a trash assessment on Shimada Strand, just west of Meeker Slough and the mouth portion of Baxter Creek. The scouts categorized 700 pieces of trash to help the stormwater program with its short-term trash reduction plan and stormwater permit compliance. Trash from fast food or convenience items comprised one-third of the trash collected. Almost one-half consisted of other plastic and polystyrene items. The scouts found a significant increase from previous assessments in plastic shot gun waddings (little plastic pieces eliminated after firing a shot gun) along the shoreline. Previous assessments along Shimada Strand were conducted in the spring and summer months. The waddings probably washed up on shore from other parts of the bay and perhaps the delta.
Since 1976, Richmond Paratransit has been providing low-cost transportation services to seniors and persons with disabilities in the Greater Richmond Area with wheel-chair accessible vehicles. Starting January 3rd, 2012, the cost per trip will increase due to the rising cost of fuel and operations. Also, for security reasons, drivers will no longer accept cash, checks, or tickets but only the new coupons.
New fare and purchase information is as follows:
Please note Richmond Paratransit will be closed for business from December 26th through January 2nd, 2012.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes starting January 3rd, please contact Richmond Paratransit at (510) 307-8026.
The City of Richmond and Marin Energy Authority will host a Community Workshop to inform all Richmond residents and community members about the City’s evaluation of Community Choice Aggregation.
Community Choice Aggregation is a system that allows local government to procure electric energy for residents and businesses. The City is considering an option to join the Marin Energy Authority and participate in the only Community Choice Aggregation program in California: Marin Clean Energy. Marin Clean Energy provides 27% renewable energy, over 10% more than PG&E provides, at comparable rates.
Please consider attending a workshop to find out more about the Marin Clean Energy Program and provide input for the City’s evaluation of participating in Community Choice Aggregation. The meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Please RSVP at: http://ccacommunityworkshop.eventbrite.com. More information can be found at: www.richmondenvironment.org
Members of the City of Richmond’s Environmental and Health Initiatives team, Lina Velasco, LaShonda Wilson, Gabino Arredondo, and Jennifer Ly received scholarships from PolicyLink, a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing equity, to attend Equity Summit 2011: “Healthy Communities, Strong Regions, A Prosperous America” in Detroit, Michigan on November 8-11.
The City of Richmond has released the Urban Agriculture Assessment, an implementing action of the Community Health and Wellness Element of the General Plan 2030. The City guided development of the assessment prepared by MIG in collaboration with PolicyLink, Contra Costa Health Services, University of California, Berkeley, Richmond urban agriculture organizations, and the greater Richmond community. Funding for the assessment was provided in part by The California Endowment.
The City of Richmond, Bay Area LISC, Kaiser, and Urban Tilth presented at the 15th annual Food Justice: Honoring Our Roots, Growing the Movement Conference in Oakland on November 5-8 hosted by Community Food Security Coalition. Shasa Curl from the City Manager’s Office, presented on the session titled, “Role of the Intermediary,” highlighting the City’s partnerships with TCE, Kaiser, LISC, and several local CBOs in the Community Health and Wellness Element implementation.
The City of Richmond’s contract with Republic Services for solid waste post-collection services, which includes recyclables, green waste, hazardous waste, transport, and disposal, expires at the end of 2013. The City of Richmond has been participating in strategic waste planning sessions with RecycleMore, the agency that represents West Contra Costa cities, and member cities to plan for post-collection services for 2014 and beyond. All member cities have passed City Council resolutions committing to a joint service procurement process to leverage the volume of waste to ensure the best services at the most competitive prices. The public is welcome to attend RecycleMore monthly board meetings generally held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM at the City of San Pablo Council Chambers. Meeting packets are available here: http://www.recyclemore.com/content/board-meeting-minutes.
Aquatics: On October 27th, the Richmond Municipal Natatorium, otherwise known as “The Plunge,” was highlighted on the popular television series, “Eye on the Bay.” Brian Hackney, the host, stopped by the Plunge for a short interview with Arecia Yee, Aquatics Coordinator, and a glance at the beautiful facility.
Floating Pumpkins: The Recreation Department held its annual floating pumpkin patch at the Plunge on Saturday, October 29th. Over 150 guests enjoyed the water and picked a floating pumpkin to take home.
Chrisp Co., the subcontractor for Ghilotti Brothers, Inc., has completed the edge lines (edge of pavement) and left turn lane (channelization) striping on Carlson Boulevard, Marina Bay Parkway, Cutting Boulevard, Canal Boulevard, Castro Street (partial completion) and the Richmond Parkway.
Parks and Landscaping Division: During the past week, crews completed vegetation clean up on Lobos Court; pruning around the Civic Center Plaza; completed the landscape rehabilitation on Robert H. Miller and Blume Drives; repaired a damaged fence on the Richmond Parkway; constructed a new pathway for the Richmond Police Department; and the tree maintenance crew removed multiple trees on Bissell Avenue and throughout the city.
Next week, crews will begin work on sidewalk grinding to reduce tripping hazards; continue with the Bay Trail landscape rehabilitation project with additional planting; continue weed abatement and managing vegetation along the Richmond Parkway; and will complete the center medians rehabilitation project on Robert H. Miller and Blume Drives.
Facilities Maintenance Division: This week, work began on installation of perimeter lighting at Shields-Reid Park. Electricians repaired circuits within the Council Chambers; repaired a conduit hit on Hillview Drive; repaired a street light conduit on Robert H. Miller Drive; and continued to provide support for the repairs of the Point Molate high-voltage transformers that provide power to the Point Molate wastewater treatment plant.
Carpenters made repairs to the auditorium hardwood flooring; began working on the wall of the museum where there had been a leak; and removed recyclables from the main library reading room.
Painters completed the painting of a portion of the auditorium hallway; washed the north wall of the Parchester Community Center; and painted the newly-installed storage shed at the May Valley Community Center.
Stationary engineers repaired boilers at the auditorium and the museum; repaired the stove at the senior center after a small fire; replaced a furnace at the corporation yard; and cleared a sewage line at Fire Station 63. The utility workers waxed floors at the Richmond Art Center and prepared to wax the floors at Booker T. Anderson and May Valley Community Centers, as well as the Senior Annex and the Recreation Complex.
Streets Division: During the past week, paving crews completed San Jose, Van Fleet and San Joaquin Avenues to the west end, as well as Chanslor Avenue from 1st to 4th Streets. Next week, crews will be working from the pothole list.
There will be no street sweeping of the Richmond Annex, Parkview/Panhandle Annex and Eastshore areas due to the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday.
The City and Veolia continued work on the 2011/2012 annual sewer pipeline repair and rehabilitation project. A summary of work in progress is listed below:
Any questions related to the ongoing 2011/2012 annual sewer pipeline repair and rehabilitation project may be directed to Mr. Fadi Alabbas at (925) 323-8937. Those interested may also follow our daily Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/CoR_Engineering.
The City’s website has a utility that allows access to documents on a subscription basis. The Notify Me utility can be accessed by using the following link: www.ci.richmond.ca.us/list.aspx
The following list summarizes the published documents that can be subscribed to on the City of Richmond’s website. I have listed the total subscribers by document for your review.
If you have suggestions for other documents that should be added to our Notify Me collection, please let us know.
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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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