|City Managers Weekly Report for the Week Ending March 30th, 2012
March 31, 2012
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending March 30th, 2012.
The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, April 3rd, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, and with the regular agenda beginning at 6:30 PM.
We learned this past week that the California State Parks Office of Grants and Local Services awarded the City of Richmond a $5 million Proposition 84 Statewide Park Program grant to develop a new park (Unity Park) along the Richmond Greenway.
This great news is the result of a collaborative effort by virtually every community group doing "green" work in Richmond. These groups came together in May 2011 to organize and plan the community outreach effort for this Prop 84 grant. The result, the "Festival of Ideas," consisted of two design tents set up on the Richmond Greenway for eight consecutive days to gather community input. The design tents were staffed by local residents who surveyed over 800 other local residents to determine what the community wanted to see on the Richmond Greenway. The design concept based on this input includes a community plaza, children’s play area, new landscaping, public art, restrooms, additional community gardens, benches, refreshed gateways and lighting. The design integrates Urban Tilth’s Edible Forest as a center piece for this park.
The City Manager’s Environmental Initiatives Division recently completed a LED lighting upgrade for Nevin Park. The Nevin Park lighting upgrade was the 34th City facility to receive energy efficiency lighting upgrades funded by the Federal stimulus grant also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Environmental Initiatives Division had previously completed lighting upgrades at the Richmond Museum of History and the Nevin Community Center. With the completion of Nevin Park, the Environmental Initiatives Division has completed lighting upgrades on the entire City block. The Public Works Department also partnered with Environmental Initiatives to troubleshoot power outages at one of the poles.
The project received an upfront energy efficiency rebate of $5,000 dollars and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 tons annually. The lighting upgrade has an estimated simple payback of 4.2 years and achieved a wattage reduction of eighty percent. The project is a great example of how the City is able to achieve better public safety, improve walkability, enhance recreation spaces and reduce operating costs through energy efficiency initiatives.
Please consider attending one of the many events at Nevin Community Center or visiting the Richmond Museum of History and seeing the upgraded lighting systems.
This past Wednesday, March 28th, the City of Richmond hosted the first convening of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP) project. The RHEP consists of the City of Richmond, Contra Costa County Health Services (CCHS), and the West Contra Costa Unified School District. The RHEP aims to support the long-term goals of Healthy Richmond by ensuring that these local government partners continue to build the necessary knowledge, capacity and institutional change that will improve health outcomes. This two-year effort is being funded by The California Endowment, building on their previously successful investments in Richmond.
The goal of the RHEP is to pilot implementation of the Community Health and Wellness Element (CHWE) of the General Plan and build key institutional partnerships with the goal of cross-sector collaboration to advance equity. The partnership will advance health equity for children and families through the development of a collaborative Health in All Policies strategy and Full-Service Community Schools strategy in Richmond for possible duplication in other cities and areas of West Contra Costa County. RHEP aims to build new working partnerships within and between local government institutions – City, County and School District – to facilitate systems change and enable these institutions to respond to and lead with community-based health equity initiatives.
We will continue to keep you informed as this project moves forward.
On Monday, March 19th, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff presented at a community meeting an Action Plan for upcoming work at the United Heckathorn site and opportunities for the community to become involved. The United Heckathorn site is located in the Richmond Harbor. Contaminants from the activities of several companies that formulated, packaged, and shipped pesticides at this location from the mid-1940s to mid-1960s persist on this site. In March 1990, the United Heckathorn site was listed on the Federal Superfund List and the EPA directed cleanup efforts including dredging and capping upland areas. Dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) and dieldrin have persisted despite the large-scale cleanup.
Activities to date include: an EPA presentation to City Council (January 24th, 2012), a meeting between the EPA Region 9 Administrator and City of Richmond, sampling, and preparation for installation of a flapgate in the Lauritzen Channel. The City of Richmond and EPA will continue to work to address cleanup of the United Heckathorn site.
Urban Tilth’s Cesar Chavez Celebration has been postponed to Saturday, April 14th, 2012, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. Please save the date! Cesar Chavez Day is a project of Urban Tilth in collaboration with the City of Richmond, the Friends of the Richmond Greenway, the National Parks Service: Rosie the Riveter Park, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond SPOKES, Live Real, Richmond College Prep Schools, Richmond Youth Works, Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, the Safe Return Project. This project was funded by the California Endowment, the Rails to Trails Conservancy and Acapulco Rock and Soil.
On Saturday, April 21st from 9:00 AM -1:00 PM, the City of Richmond will host a compost giveaway. Residents are invited to pick up 2 cubic yards of compost (about three 5-gallon buckets) each. Please bring your own containers. Compost is made in Richmond from food scraps generated through the residential food scrap composting program.
Music Therapy: The Disabled People’s Recreation Center (DPRC) hosted the 23rd Annual Maya’s Music Festival on Sunday, March 18th. The event is an opportunity to showcase the talents of the participants of DPRC as well as participants of other agencies serving people with developmental disabilities. The Richmond Recreation Complex was delightfully decorated with silhouettes of DPRC participants listening to music, dancing, playing instruments and singing. Titia Martin, the certified therapeutic music instructor, works throughout the year with each individual to find their niche in the music realm. The theme this year was "Feel the Music" and the audience of over 175 definitely felt the music.
Thank you to all who supported this phenomenal event.
Emergency Training: In collaboration with the Office of Emergency Services, the Shields Reid Community Center will host Community Emergency Response Team (CERT/REACT) classes for adults from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM, every Tuesday and Wednesday, April 3rd through the 26th. The classes provide participants an opportunity to serve their communities. Each class will cover a different action needed to help their neighbors and community in the event of a city-wide disaster. The class will teach participants what to do in case of an emergency. Classroom and hands on training will take place during the entire course.
Visit by Shimada, Japan Sister City Student Ambassadors: City of Richmond host families welcomed the Shimada Student Ambassadors on March 20th for a nine day visit. During the evening of their arrival, teacher Chimato Nakzawa and the six students were presented to the Mayor and City Council members. The ambassadors have been on non-stop visits throughout the City and to various schools within the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Some other points of interest have been the historical Museum of Richmond, a swim at the Plunge, shopping at Hilltop Mall and a tour of Civic Center and Point Richmond. They were especially excited to meet and take pictures with Richmond Police Officers, two of which were motorcycle officers. The Sayonara Dinner at the Richmond Senior Center was a wonderful gathering of over fifty people, which included Councilman Nathaniel Bates, host families, past Richmond ambassador students, Richmond Shimada Friendship Commissioners, the city manager, and other guests. The evening was filled with wonderful interaction and ended in a beautiful dance by one of the young ladies from Shimada.
Recreation Information Day, Easter Egg Hunt & Resource Fair: On Saturday, March 31st, from 9:00 AM to noon, the Recreation Department will host the annual Recreation Information Day. Participants can learn more about the programs the Recreation Department offers and non-profit organizations will also be present to provide resource information. Breakfast with the Easter bunny can be enjoyed at $5 for adults and $3 for children between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM., following which; children can participate free in the spring egg hunt between 10:00 AM and noon.
Facilities Maintenance Division: The electricians restored electrical power in Point Molate with the aid of an electrical contractor. Floaters were installed on the electrical lines in the southbound direction.
Wire theft repairs continued on Marina Bay Parkway, 4th Street and Carlson Boulevard.
The utility section continued providing janitorial services to 29 city-owned facilities; completed pest control in Disabled People’s Recreation Center (DPRC); and, completed cleaning and waxing the floors in the Art Center.
Parks and Landscaping Division: Parks’ crews completed irrigation repairs in Hilltop Green and Fairmede Parks; abated weeds on Richmond Parkway; managed vegetation and weed on Atlas Road in the Hilltop Assessment District; installed a chain link fence around Atchison Village baseball field; performed drain maintenance in Nicholl Park and ball field maintenance in John F. Kennedy, Nicholl and Wendell Parks; cleared Mira Vista Park creek; repaired vandalized benches in John F. Kennedy Park; and, completed landscape rehabilitation in the medians along Bayside Drive.
The Tree Crew continued with tree related task at 326 – 27th Street, 201 West Richmond Avenue, 3633 Ridgewood Way, and 917 Western Drive; responded to an emergency call out at 3527 Cerritos; and performed tree trimming for the Pavement Maintenance crew on San Jose Street between San Pablo and San Mateo Avenues.
Streets Division: The Pavement Maintenance crew dug out 40th Street at Roosevelt Avenue and Essex Drive near the corner of 7th Street; repaired guard rails at Garvin Avenue, and 3600 and 3800 Ohio Avenue; cleaned Castro Ranch Road for an upcoming bike race; and continued Class A pothole patching in various locations throughout the City.
Have a great week!
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