Mayor and Members of the City Council:
This is the weekly report for the two weeks ending February 10, 2017.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21st. Enjoy the week off.
- 2. Miraflores Senior Housing Construction Loan Scheduled to Close
After a great deal of effort from all parties involved, and a great deal of patience and support from the community, the Miraflores senior development is getting ready to break ground. The construction loan closed on Thursday, February 9th.
The Miraflores development will occupy the former site of the three former Japanese American flower nursery properties in the Park Plaza neighborhood, approximately half a mile directly northwest of the El Cerrito del Norte BART station. The site is bounded on the north by a portion of the BART rail line, to the east by Highway 80, to the south by Florida and Wall Avenues and to the west by South 45th and South 47th Streets.
The 79-unit senior development is the first phase of a project that will eventually include an additional 85 to 105 single-family residences, and daylighting of Baxter Creek, which flows through the site.
The senior development will be a single building composed of a two-story, wood-frame structure. There will be keyless access control at the building’s main entry lobby with access to the apartments provided by a two-stop elevator and staircases on both ends of the building. The entrance to the building and residential units will be accessible to individuals with physical disabilities.
The senior apartment units are designed to allow for access by persons in wheelchairs. All kitchens will be designed to accommodate mobility impairments and include features such as easily accessible shelves, counters, appliances, and electrical switches. The development includes a community room that opens onto an outdoor courtyard garden with seating. There will also be a club room that will offer residents a quieter community space. A computer lab located on the main level will provide access to computers and computer classes. The resident laundry room will be centrally located as a part of the second floor community area close to the elevator lobby for resident convenience, and an exercise room is located on the first floor.
The project will be developed utilizing “green building” techniques and materials to the greatest extent possible. Project design concepts include the utilization of higher density development on infill sites, good solar orientation, and access to public transportation.
While the project was a long time in the making, we believe that it will have been well worth the wait for the seniors who take residence in Miraflores.
- 3. Special Meeting of Water Emergency Transit Authority
The Board of Directors of the Water Emergency Transit Authority (WETA), which is bringing a ferry terminal and commute ferry service to the Richmond community, is having a special meeting at the Ford Assembly Building in Richmond on Thursday, February 16th at 4:30 PM. Among the actions expected to be considered by the Board include awarding the contract for construction of the ferry terminal. This will be an opportune time to provide a warm Richmond welcome to the WETA Board and show our appreciation for their work.
I will provide more details regarding this meeting and the agenda when they are available. In the meantime, please save the date and plan to attend.
- 4. Budget Excellence Awards
Last week, the City of Richmond received both the Operating Budget Excellence and Capital Budget Excellence Awards from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) for its fiscal year 2016-17 operating and capital improvement budgets. This is awarded to municipal agencies in California whose budget documents meet high quality professional standards. The award program uses a peer-review process to evaluate documents based on meritorious and excellence criteria set forth by the CSMFO.
- 5. City and Non-Profit Partners Receive $500,000 Grant from the Coastal Conservancy to Implement Green Infrastructure Projects
The City learned this past week that The Coastal Conservancy awarded a shared grant of $500,000 to the City of Richmond, The Trust for Public Land, Groundwork Richmond and The Watershed Project to implement green infrastructure projects in Richmond neighborhoods to improve water quality, reduce flooding, cool the city, sequester carbon, and build climate resilience within the Iron Triangle and areas adjacent to Unity Park on the Richmond Greenway. As a part of this project, Groundwork Richmond (GWR) is planting 262 trees in local neighborhoods and The Watershed Project will build two new bio-swales.
Previously, GWR and the City of Richmond were awarded funding from Cal FIRE to increase the urban tree canopy and plant 750 trees city-wide. However, much more work is needed to plant in the 12,000 opportunity sites listed in the current tree inventory, especially in our most underserved communities who have the lowest percentage of green spaces in the city. The Coastal Conservancy grant will provide the resources necessary to expand this work in the communities that need it most. Trees planted will be drought tolerant and hardy to accommodate changing weather conditions.
GWR will be responsible for planting and ensuring that trees stay healthy for a minimum of two years after their planting (the toughest period in the life cycle of a tree). Additionally, The Watershed Project will take on the role of building rain gardens and vegetated swales to alleviate neighborhood flooding and filter polluted street runoff, as well as educating and engaging the community in understanding how these systems affect us. Work is scheduled to be completed by early 2019.
The City of Richmond is fortunate to have such capable and generous partners as The Trust for Public Land, Groundwork Richmond and The Watershed Project, all of whom have done a tremendous amount of outstanding work in the community.
- 6. ECIA Grant Program Applications Now Available
In 2014, the Richmond City Council approved the Chevron Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA), which invest $90 million dollars into the Richmond community over 10-years. The ECIA allocated $6 million for a competitive grant program, designed for non-profits and governmental agencies who serve Richmond in the areas of community, youth, and youth sports. The ECIA has grant awards that range from $2,500 to $50,000, and applications for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 are now available.
To kick-off this opportunity, the City has scheduled a Grant Writing & Information Workshop for Thursday, February 16th, and a Financial Management and Budgeting Workshop for Wednesday, February 22nd. Both events will be held in the Richmond City Council Chambers at 440 Civic Center Plaza from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
To access the ECIA grant application, guidelines, and more information, please visit the ECIA Grants webpage at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/eciagrants.
- 7. Government Alliance for Racial Equity (GARE) Training for City Staff Complete
With the direction and support of the City Council, in January 2016, Richmond joined the Government Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE) initiative, a joint project of the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society and the Center for Social Inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley. GARE is a national network of government agencies working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all people. GARE defines racial equity to mean that “we eliminate racial disproportionalities so that race can no longer be used to predict success, and we increase the success of all communities.” Richmond joined 15 other northern California governmental jurisdictions in a year-long learning commitment with a goal of systemically focusing on advancing racial equity.
This past January, Richmond’s multi-departmental team received a beautiful plaque commemorating the completion of the 2016 California Advancing Racial Equity program. Richmond’s team will continue to participate in GARE through quarterly trainings in 2017 and will work on the development of a racial equity action plan and toolkit to be used in policy and budget decisions, as well as a capacity building plan to help institutionalize equity within our jurisdiction. Staff plans to present their findings and proposals to the City Council during the first quarter of 2017 and are looking to receive input on the development of these plans from the community and City policymakers.
City of Richmond GARE Team (pictured left to right): Chris Whitmore, Johann Frazier, LaShonda White, Trina Jackson, Donna Newton and Ryan Smith (Not pictured: Adam Lenz, Gina Baker, Tim Jones and Miguel Flores)
- 8. City of Richmond and the Richmond Promise Present at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Last week, Mayor Tom Butt and Richmond Promise Executive Director Jessie Stewart made a presentation on city-based Promise programs at the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference (NPSG). The annual conference draws a national audience of local elected officials and city and county staff; state and federal agency leaders; professionals in planning, transportation, public health; developers and bankers; sustainability and equity advocates; and many others committed to building safer, healthier, and more livable communities everywhere.
Their panel was facilitated and framed by Mayor Butt, and they were joined by leaders from the Long Beach Promise, the Kalamazoo Promise, and the National College Promise campaign. Eloy Oakley, former President of Long Beach City College and current Chancellor of California Community Colleges, was a special guest.
While the NPSG is traditionally a city-planning and community development oriented conference, this panel provided a unique opportunity to share the concept of Promise initiatives with non-educators, policymakers, and practitioners, and emphasize the opportunity we all have to play in stepping outside our professional silos to build systems that support high quality education in our communities. Panelists shared lessons learned, tips for implementation, and the value-add of investing in education as a strategy for long-term community health and vitality.
Ms. Stewart reports that the panel was well received and a special highlight was sharing dinner together and having the opportunity to connect across Promise sites. Our fellow Promise communities are strong partners and very open to share best practices, support, and learn from one another. Thank you to Mayor Butt and Jessie for representing Richmond!
- 9. RichmondWORKS is Recruiting for a New Medical Assisting Program
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Services (KPSAHS) is located in Richmond and launched a new Medical Assisting program offering instruction in first aid, law and ethics, phlebotomy, medical business practices, and hands-on training in a medical clinical setting. This training program was developed to address the growing demand for Medical Assistants. Richmond residents who are interested in a career in the health industry are strongly encouraged to apply.
Anyone interested in Medical Assisting and other programs can visit KPSAHS at www.kpsahs.edu or call (510) 231-5000.
For information on RichmondWORKS and WIOA Training Services, please visit www.richmondworks.org or call (510) 307-8014.
- 10. City Manager Chronicles
I have listed below some of the topics for meetings that I attended during the past two weeks in the hope that it provides an idea of the varied issues with which our organization deals routinely.
Meetings of note these past two weeks included:
- Met with union leadership and staff members from paratransit and the City Manager’s office to discuss the status of the paratransit program;
- Attended the promotional ceremony and swearing-in for members of the Richmond Police Department;
- Met, together with Mayor Tom Butt and Planning and Building Services Director Richard Mitchell, with Eddie Orton and members of his staff to discuss operations at the Craneway Pavilion, and development opportunities in Richmond;
- Participated in the monthly finance upate with Finance Department staff members;
- Met together with Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, Planning and Building Services Director Richard Mitchell, and Building Official Chris Castanchoa, with representatives from the “Burnt Ramen” facility to discuss the process for getting the facility in compliance with building safety codes;
- Met with former UC Berkeley Vice-Chancellor for Real Estate Bob LaLanne to discuss the Richmond Field Station;
- Met with the Chevron Refinery Manager and staff members to discuss the status of the Chevron Modernization project;
- Met with new Economic Development Commissioner Brian Briggs, together with Economic Development Manager Janet Johnson, to discuss various opportunities in Richmond;
- Met with representatives from Blume Distillation, together with Planning and Building Services Director Richard Mitchell, to discuss their potential project in Richmond;
- Met, once again, with union leadership and staff members from paratransit and the City Manager’s office to discuss the status of the paratransit program;
- Met with the architect for the Family Justice Center, together with Development Project Manager Craig Murray, to collect information regarding financial close-out of the project;
- Attended a tour of the new Amazon distribution facility in Richmond, together with Mayor Tom Butt, members of his staff, and Employment and Training Director Sal Vaca;
- Attended a meeting of the rent regulation implementation team to review the status of this project;
- Met, together with Finance Director Belinda Warner, with financial policy analyst Tom Sgouras and Haas Institute staff member Wendy Ake, to discuss policies related to accounting for pension liabilities;
- Attended the League of California Cities City Managers Department meeting.
These meetings were in addition to attending the regular management staff meeting, agenda planning, reviewing staff reports to the City Council, doing department head “check-ins,” having discussions on various personnel matters, and having short discussions with staff, community members, members of the press, etc.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the substance of these or any other topics.
- 11. City Hosts Sign-Up Workshop: Free Home Solar Systems for Qualifying Richmond Residents
On Wednesday, January 25th, the City of Richmond, Environmental and Health Initiatives Division, in partnership with the nonprofit Grid Alternatives, hosted a sign-up workshop for the City’s new solar energy program, funded through a partnership between the City of Richmond and the State of California. The program provides free solar energy systems to income qualifying Richmond homeowners.
The sign-up event included an overview of program details, the application process, and Richmond’s Home Improvement Loan Program, as well as a Question and Answer session. There were 55 households in attendance, and an additional 33 households who were interested in the program but could not attend that evening.
Interested Richmond homeowners who qualify for the program can still apply by visiting www.gridsolar.org/richmond/, or calling GRID Alternatives at (510) 731-1333. Due to the volume of interest, GRID Alternatives appreciates your patience as they respond to all inquiries. If you are interested in the free home solar program, but your roof is in need of structural repair, please contact Jene Levine-Snipes, Housing and Community Development, at (510) 307-8132 or by email at email@example.com.
- 12. Richmond Promise Crescent Park & Spring Workshops!
As the application deadline of March 10th approaches, the Richmond Promise team will be hosting workshops to assist high school seniors and their families complete their financial aid and Richmond Promise applications.
Crescent Park Workshops
These workshops are open to Crescent Park residents.
College & Financial Aid 101 Workshop
- Date: February 8th
- Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
- Location: Crescent Park Computer Lab
Financial Aid & Richmond Promise Workshop
- Date: February 13th
- Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
- Location: Crescent Park Computer Lab
These workshops are open to all high school seniors and their families.
Spring Student & Family Workshops:
- Dates: March 1, 2, 7, 9, & 10
- Time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
- Location: 450 Civic Center Plaza
Events are free, and no RSVP is required.
The Richmond Promise Scholarship is due on March 10th! Please encourage the eligible high school seniors in your life to apply!
The application can be found at www.richmondpromise.org.
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-620-6531.
- 13. Richmond Fire Helps Tally County Homeless
According to a Contra Costa County 2016 report, the sight of tents, shelters assembled from blankets, tarps, chicken wire and littered debris is repeated at approximately 40 locations throughout our county. In some locations, there are clusters of homeless shelters in the San Pablo-Richmond-El Cerrito corridor; even along (and sometimes right under) our interstate highways. Earlier counts show the unsheltered homeless population in Contra Costa County shrunk by 26 percent between 2011 and 2016. There are 45 percent fewer homeless individuals in West and Central Contra Costa County, and 33 percent more homeless in East County.
Members of the Richmond Fire Department assisted with the 2017 “Point in Time” count of Contra Costa County’s homeless population. The survey of our city’s homeless population was conducted at the Richmond Rescue Mission (located at 200 Macdonald Avenue). Every January, Contra Costa’s Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) conducts a comprehensive point-in-time count of families and individuals living homeless. The point-in-time count tallies information about people sleeping in emergency shelters and transitional housing as well as people sleeping in vehicles, abandoned properties, or other places not intended for human habitation. It provides a one-day snapshot of the County’s homeless demographic, which includes data about the numbers of families, children, the chronically homeless, and our veterans; it also delineates these groups based on gender, ethnicity, and race.
Counties hoping to receive federal dollars to help fight homelessness are required to conduct surveys at least every two years. Information from the surveys, and the resulting federal funding, assist Contra Costa County and its cities to tailor their homeless services to the population’s needs.
*Data courtesy of Contra Costa County Homeless Services Division
- 14. Goodrick Avenue Bay Trail Gap Closure Project Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Declaration (IS/MND) Report Available for Comment
On January 12, 2017, the City of Richmond Planning Division released the Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the Goodrick Avenue Bay Trail Gap Closure Project. The City of Richmond proposes to construct a 0.3-mile Class I bicycle and pedestrian trail along the eastern side of Goodrick Avenue, north of Richmond Parkway (proposed trail or project). The proposed trail would connect the existing Class I San Francisco Bay Trail (Bay Trail) segment along the Richmond Parkway to a new 1.5-mile segment of the Bay Trail north of the project site. The proposed project would be a segment of a continuous Bay Trail alignment that extends from Buchanan Street in Albany to Atlas Road and San Pablo Avenue in Richmond.
The project alignment and all proposed improvements would be located within the existing Goodrick Avenue public right-of-way. The proposed trail would consist of a 10-foot-wide paved trail with two 2-foot-wide gravel shoulders. Existing accessible curb ramps at the northwest corner of the intersection of Goodrick Avenue and Richmond Parkway would be replaced to comply with current accessibility and Bay Trail design guidelines. Wayfinding signage would be installed at the Goodrick Avenue and Richmond Parkway intersection. In addition, the crosswalks across Goodrick Avenue would be striped to provide a safer crossing for cyclists and pedestrians in the area.
Review and Comment Period: Comments on the IS/MND, sent in writing, must be received by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 10, 2017, at the following address or email:
City of Richmond Planning Division
ATTN: Lina Velasco
450 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 4046
Richmond, CA 94804
A copy of the MND is available for review online at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/goodrickbaytrail. Copies are also available for review at the following Richmond locations:
- Richmond Public Library - Main Branch 325 Civic Center Plaza
- Planning and Building Services Department, City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor. The Planning Department public counter is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM and Friday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
- 15. Information Technology
For the week ending 02/03/2017
Twitter and Facebook Statistics
Followers are up
KCRT DATANET OF THE WEEK
City of Richmond Mobile APP UPDATE
The City of Richmond’s mobile phone app is available on the Apple App store and Google Play store.
This City of Richmond mobile app provides Richmond’s community members with one-stop access to City services and information via mobile devices. The app allows quick and real-time reporting of neighborhood-related issues; viewing the City’s Events Calendar; finding addresses and phone numbers of local businesses, city departments and council members. Locating one of Richmond’s numerous parks, and welcoming libraries and community centers, including reserving rental space for that special occasion are all done with ease!
You may view the City’s mobile app on YouTube: https://youtu.be/i4W1wVvB9fw
The City of Richmond is looking forward to feedback from the community on this upgraded Mobile App. We welcome your comments at email@example.com
- 16. Engineering/CIP Departments
Paving crews worked from the outstanding pothole list, filled and delivered sand bags, and performed storm patrol.
Street sweeping staff performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the fifth Monday and Tuesday and the first Wednesday through Friday in the Carriage Hills North Side, El Sobrante Hills, Greenbriar, Hansford Heights, Via Verda, San Pablo Dam Road, Bristole Cone May Valley, Vista View, and Clinton Hill I neighborhood council areas as weather permitted.
Signs and Lines staff repaired 40 signs and poles, installed 42 new signs and poles, fabricated four new signs, installed pavement markers, and painted 90 feet of curbs.
- 17. Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations
Abatement crews removed homeless encampments, cleaned sidewalks of debris, continued to remove graffiti and tons of illegal dumping throughout the City.
Homeless Encampment Removal
Painters completed the new storage area of the Booker T. Anderson Community Center.
Utility Workers set up various rooms for events and maintained 29 City-owned facilities.
Electricians replaced a traffic light pole, installed new lights in the women’s restroom at the Main Library, fixed poles and bollard lights in the Marina, replaced security lighting on the Senior Center, repaired LED traffic lights on Marina Bay Parkway and Regatta Boulevard, and replaced failing lighting in front of the Kennedy Swim Center.
LED Light Replacement
Parks and Landscaping Division:
General maintenance crews weeded and trimmed Burg Park, removed trash from the Greenway, repaired fencing on the Greenway, performed irrigation repairs in various areas, weeded Cutting Boulevard circle, fixed restroom sinks in Nicholl Park, weeded Humphrey Play Lot, and removed graffiti from John F. Kennedy Park.
Maintenance at Humphrey Play Lot
The tree crew cut or trimmed trees on West Richmond Avenue, Burlingame Avenue, Lucas Park, and at Pt. Molate.
Tree Removal at Pt. Molate
Hilltop District crews performed storm clean up, continued with weed abatement on Richmond Parkway, continued maintenance around Hilltop Mall business area, trimmed trees on Hilltop Drive, conducted weed abatement at Vista Del Mar Park, and conducted general maintenance around Country Club Vista and Bay Vista Parks.
Hilltop Drive Tree Trimming
Marina Districtcrews repaired turf at Marina Green Park, completed planting at Rosie the Riveter Memorial, and continued planting along the Bay Trail.
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!
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804
You can sign up to receive the City Manager’s weekly report and other information from the City of Richmond by visiting: www.ci.richmond.ca.us/list.aspx