04-22-14 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 22, 2014

PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California

MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones

2. Keri Blaskoski, County Department of Planning, Development and Review

Keri Blaskoski, with Sacramento County Department of Planning, Development and Review described current planning efforts along Folsom Blvd., specifically around the Light Rail stations at Butterfield and Hazel. She distributed a handout on the concepts. The County is planning for “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD) around the Light Rail stations in order to maximize Light Rail ridership. In concept, TOD amounts to higher density residential and mixed use (shopping below, residential above) development. One question is what this would look like in the BRECA area. BRECA’s input includes moderation of densities (on the order of 12 to 20 dwelling units per acre), parkland on site, “blend and meld” with existing development, and not over two stories north of Folsom Blvd. and three stories south of Folsom Blvd. The County is working on an environmental document for TOD around the Hazel and Butterfield sites. The County has just received a Cal Trans grant for the streetscape (see Jim Schubert, below). When the environmental document is wrapped up, the County will communicate with BRECA’s working group.

3. County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Supervisor Nottoli stated that he has been the County Supervisor for this area for 20 years. The supervisorial district includes about 300,000 people. County planning wants to be prepared for private sector and public sector investment as the area comes out of the recession. There could be more restaurant and shopping opportunities. He noted that the Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance banning outside growing of marijuana. It will also consider inside growing and concerns of medical marijuana users. He stated that the County budget situation is improved, and no more layoffs are anticipated. In conclusion, he thanked BRECA and other members of the community for all they do to make the community a better place. (See also questions in item 5, below.)

4. Jim Schubert, Sacramento County Senior Landscape Architect

Jim Scubert, Senior Landscape Architect for Sacramento County, described planned streetscape development on Folsom Blvd. around the Butterfield Light Rail Station. He stated that the County has received a planning grant from Cal Trans, which will be followed with additional grants for construction. This would include street lighting, runoff, and sidewalk projects. A small step now is to plant small trees along the south side of Folsom Blvd. between Butterfield Way and Bradshaw Road. Currently there are larger trees including oaks and walnuts that have to be topped because they are under the power line. The trees to be planted would be smaller trees, such as crepe myrtle, photinia and toyon. The problem at this time is lack of water; there is no budget to bring in water. Possibly they could do truck watering two or three times per week during the summer. They would like to do something quickly, e.g. within a month. Planting would be paid for by a County Road Fund, costing around $15,000.

There were some questions directed to Mr. Schubert. One question was whether the utilities are to be moved underground. Mr. Schubert responded that this would not happen with this project, but might be pursued in the streetscape master plan. A second question was whether the County is planning a sidewalk for the south side of Folsom Blvd. Mr. Schubert responded that this would be in the streetscape plan. Another question was whether the future sidewalk would hurt the trees. Mr. Schubert responded that it might, but that the smaller trees could be transplanted. A further question was whether the older trees would be removed. Mr. Schubert responded that this would be done only if they were beyond hope.

5. Questions for Supervisor Nottoli

Jerry Jaggers, with Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, polled the audience as to how many drove to the meeting (most) and how many people walked (two). He stated that it is a disgrace that there is no public transportation to the Rancho Cordova Library (the meeting site). Supervisor Nottoli responded that Regional Transit (RT) has had cutbacks over the last several years. With the budget improving, they are looking at re-establishing or re-configuring services. When light rail was extended from Butterfield to Sunrise, a station at Horn Road (opposite the library) was considered. However, it would cost about $ 1 million. Buses would be a more likely solution to the problem. Another audience member suggested a shuttle service that would run only when the library is open, on the hour or half-hour. Supervisor Nottoli stated that this was a good idea that he would take back to RT.

Another question concerned the status of The Landing, with approvals expiring and a permit for the drive-in theaters extended. Supervisor Nottoli responded that the state had extended the time periods for entitlements at the city and county levels. It is his understanding that Syufy (owners of the drive-in site) is talking with retailers, and is still committed to redevelopment of the site. He has no idea when the proposed project would break ground.

Another question was whether the designation of residential mixed use in the Folsom Blvd. plans means that the motels would be eliminated. Supervisor Nottoli responded he is aware of problems with the motels, and that if a more profitable project comes along, it could buy out the motels. However, there is no way to force out the motels.

A further question concerned safety on Regional Transit (RT). Supervisor Nottoli responded that he has heard many similar comments, and that RT is working on security issues with additional officers and cameras. He suggested that greater activity on off-peak hours would help suppress nuisance behavior.

6. Sergeant Steve Dutra and Deputy Vitaly Prokopchuck, East Area Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Dutra from the East Area Sheriff’s Office stated that he is the supervisor of the East Division Problem Oriented Policing (POP) unit. He stated that they receive many requests for help, so it may take a while to respond to calls: they have to prioritize. He noted that they are working with RT in Rancho Cordova and at Butterfield. He introduced officer Vitaly Prokopchuck, who invited questions from the audience.

There were many questions on a wide variety of topics from the audience and responses from Sergeant Dutra and others.

The first questioner stated that she had been calling on a problem house near their house, and had given the phone number of the landowner to the Sheriffs, and wanted to know how many times they had to call to get a response. Officer Prokopchuck responded that they can only do so much with landowners, and the questioner may have to consider a neighborhood lawsuit. Carl Simpson, chief of code enforcement for the County stated that if they get a call on a house that is “VOA” (Vacant, Open and Accessible) they can go out in three days and board it up. He also stated that they try to recover costs from landowners, and know there are problems with transients living in vacant houses. However, they do not do prosecution, and budget cuts limit their ability to respond.

Another person commented that they want to thank the POP officer for coming out and working on people raiding recycling bins. Sergeant Dutra commented that Officer Prokopchuck had come out and cited some people and warned another.

Another person stated that the house across the street from theirs has high turnover in occupants and had been characterized by a Sheriff’s deputy as a “meth flophouse.” She wanted to know what could be done to get rid of the problem. Carl Simpson responded that it sounded like a joint code and POP issue. Code would respond to multi-family issues in a single family neighborhood, while POP would respond to drugs. Officer Prokopchuck stated that they knew the house and had made an arrest there.

Another person commented that the Blow Lounge had put railroad storage containers next to the fence behind their house. Carl Simpson stated that the Blow Lounge is in violation, as the containers are too close to the fence, and they have been cited and have 10 days to rectify. He stated that the owners of the Blow Lounge had used the excuse that the containers were to reduce noise from the Lounge.

Another person asked whether better street lighting would help with problems in the area, and commented that there are no street lights in the eastern part of the Riviera East neighborhood. Supervisor Nottoli stated that it depends on when an area was developed. The standards were upgraded in the late 1960s or early 1970s. He stated that a low income area in the county had received a Federal grant to install streetlights. The project cost was about $370,000, or about $4,000 per streetlight. Sometimes an area can set up a local assessment district to pay for the work.

Another person asked about the hotels on Folsom Blvd. Officer Prokopchuck stated that they have been sending in officers on a daily basis. The owners of the hotels are very co-operative. They have provided lists of guests, and kicked out problem people. Another question concerned who issues vouchers for the hotels. Officer Prokopchuck stated that the State and County issue vouchers, and not all people who get vouchers are bad people. An audience member commented that, for example, if a person’s house burns down the Red Cross will give them three day vouchers. She suggested that maybe a group could be formed to work on the problems at the hotels, and talk with the owners.

Another person complimented the County for coming to pick up a big pile of trash that had been left outside of a nearby house.

7. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 27, 2014, at the Rancho Cordova Library

08-27-13 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

DATE: August 27, 2013

PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California

MEETING TYPE: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Kelly Cohen
Rene Hamlin
Stan Mofjeld
Jim Morgan
Rick Sloan

1. Welcome from Acting Chair Kelly Cohen

2. Minutes of July 23, 2013

Stan Mofjeld made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for July 2013. Rene Hamlin seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

3. Reports

a. Treasurer’s Report

Kelly Cohen (Treasurer) reported that the BRECA bank account had a balance of $3,777.00

b. American River Parkway Coalition

Kelly Cohen reported that at the recent meeting of the American River Parkway Coalition there were discussions of a software program called Parkwatch that the Save the American River Association (SARA) has decided to buy and the upcoming hearing on the County budget, scheduled for September 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

4. Old Business

a. BRECA Picnic

Sunday, September 29, 2013 was confirmed as the date for this years BRECA potluck picnic. Volunteers were taken for various tasks for the picnic.

b. From the Floor

Joe O’Connor clarified that the rate increases in the most recent California American (Cal Am) Water rate application for Sacramento are 10.33% for 2015, 4.04% for 2016, and 3.22% for 2017, for a total of approximately 18.5%. The increases he quoted at the last meeting were for California as a whole. Joe also noted that there are 33 special requests in the most recent application that normally would not be included in a general rate application. The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) is protesting these special requests. One of the special requests is to consolidate the Sacramento and Larkfield districts. This would have the effect of lowering the rates in Larkfield and increasing the rates in Sacramento. This has been tried before, and is inconsistent with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) guidelines. Joe also pointed out that there will be an extensive CPUC process with the rate increase request. It will include one or more public hearings before an Administrative Law Judge and an alternative (probably lower) proposal by the DRA. Chuck Pineda stated that large properties north of the American River still have flat rates, and that this is an unfair subsidy. It was pointed out that these properties may not be part of the Cal Am service area, so there would not necessarily be a subsidy. Also, there is a state requirement for all public water systems to use meters eventually.

Stan Mofjeld reported that the survey work on the upstream end of the Mayhew-Gristmill levee by the Corps of Engineers had been completed. Those property owners who did not agree with the Corps’ request for a year of access allowed the surveyors onto their properties verbally for one day. Surveying was done to approximately 30 feet onto the properties. It was suggested that alternative proposals for the tie-in from the upstream end of the existing levee to high ground could be released in about one year.

5. New Business

a. BRECA Newsletter

Jim Morgan stated that he would like to see a BRECA Newsletter for the membership come out in October. There was general agreement with this proposal. Volunteers were taken for articles for the Newsletter.

b. From the Floor

There was considerable discussion about the desirability or lack of desirability of various businesses in the area. In particular, the pool hall and the newly opened pawn shop on Folsom Blvd. were characterized as attracting undesirable people. Concern was also expressed about the clientele of the motels on Folsom Blvd. It was noted that, in the current economic situation, some businesses must cater to lower income people.

6. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at the Rancho Cordova Library.

04-23-13 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 23, 2013

PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California

MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Paul Bowers
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones

2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Supervisor Nottoli stated that the County Department of Transportation is planning to plant short trees on the south side of Folsom Blvd. between Butterfield Way and Bradshaw Road. He also stated the Bradshaw Landing project is “still alive” but slowed by the economy.

3. Commander Rosanne Richeal, Sacramento County Sheriff and Rancho Cordova Police

Commander Richeal stated that they are aware of problems with the “Blow Lounge” on Folsom Blvd. She also stated that theft is increasing immensely, but they do not really know why. One possibility is “realignment” of State and County incarceration responsibilities. Some people are being released early, and many were imprisoned for theft. She urged people to participate in Neighborhood Watch programs, and to let the Sheriff’s department know what is happening in terms of crime, so they can send people out. She also stated that they still have a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) team that can deal with specific issues such as nuisance abatement and transient camps.

4. Deputy Chief Chris Holbrook, Metro Fire Department

Deputy Chief Holbrook stated that funding for the fire district is down by $24 million/year. They have received concessions from unions, especially in regard to retirement. Due to a Federal grant, they have 44 new firefighters starting service. He also stated that response times have improved.

5. Division Chief Carl Simpson, Sacramento County Code Enforcement

Division Chief Simpson stated the Code Enforcement enforces Sacramento Municipal Codes concerning abandoned vehicles, junk on properties, etc. Sometimes they do not have the tools to deal with problems caused by businesses, such as loud music coming from the “Blow Lounge.” The Sheriff’s department has received many calls, but can’t always confirm the noise level. Possibly there are other issues there, such as underage smoking that could be investigated. Possibly also they could talk to the property owners and get limits on noise or hours.

6. General Discussion of Issues

A lively discussion of various issues ensued.

POP officer Tyler Neff stated that they have asked officers responding to complaints about the “Blow Lounge” to contact Bonnie Domeny and find out if the music level is OK. He stated that they need documentation, and appreciated that the Domenys had allowed officers in their yard.

One audience member stated that he understood that a six feet tall masonry wall is required behind the strip mall, and this has not been done. Carl Simpson stated that they are exploring that avenue. Another audience member stated that acceptable noise levels vary by time of day. Jay Domeny stated they appreciated Tyler Neff’s effort to come in their house, as the noise is all through the house.

Another audience member stated that massage parlors and a pawn shop are getting dumped in the area, and asked if there are limits on some kinds of businesses, such as number of massage parlors. Carl Simpson stated that that is a Planning Department issue. Don Nottoli stated that pre-existing liquor licenses are in place. He also talked about the recycling business that was causing concern at the last BRECA General Meeting, which has now gone, and stated that they often chase such businesses from one location to another.

Discussion returned to the Blow Lounge, and Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Stephens commented that people who live behind the Lounge need to get together and document the problem.

Another audience member stated that she lives on Sparks Way, and there is a house with a camper and dead BMW in the front yard. She stated that she believes people are selling and using drugs in the camper, and that 40-year old people on bicycles come and go. Another audience member stated that she lives on Linda Rio and there is a motor-home that often parks on the street, then goes away for a while, and then comes back again. Deputy Stephens commented that he would give them his contact information. They need community help to work on issues: he emphasized “report, report, report.” His e-mail is wstephens@ sacsheriff.com, and his phone is 875-5710. If it is an emergency, and the person is calling from a cell phone, 911 goes to the Highway Patrol, but one can also call 874-5111, which is the Sheriff’s emergency line. He also stated that there is a bimonthly neighborhood meeting hosted by the Sheriffs and Rancho Cordova Police.

Another audience member commented that there is no bus service from the Rancho Cordova Library to the Butterfield Light Rail Station, and children have to walk a long distance. Don Nottoli stated that he had talked to Mike Wiley (General Manager of Sacramento Regional Transit) about this, but that previous bus use was low, so it is hard to argue for resuming service. He also commented that the bus would be cheaper than a new light rail station at the Library.

Commander Richeal commented that the Sheriff’s Department has only one deputy on property theft, who is centrally located, and they receive 15,000 calls (not clear over what period). They do triage, and look for patterns of reports.

Another audience member asked how the POP officers are different from regular patrol officers. Deputy Stephens responded that regular patrol officers respond to calls for service, but that POP officers concentrate on particular problems.

Another audience member asked what is the situation with regard to the proposed Riverstone Square and The Landing developments. Don Nottoli responded that for commercial properties the conditions stay in place for a long time, if they can live with them. Judy Robinson (County Planning) added that the State legislature has approved subdivision map extensions, and Riverstone Square has received three renewals for two years each. The property is listed for sale, but no developers have appeared.

Another audience member asked how to get gaps in the sidewalk on Folsom Blvd. filled in. Judy Robinson responded that there had been workshops recently concerning Folsom Blvd., and sidewalks were identified as a high priority. They are applying for CalTrans grants for “complete sidewalks.”

Another audience member asked what is the time frame for the bushes on Folsom Blvd. Don Nottoli responded that they should be planted this fall.

7. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 28, 2013, at the Rancho Cordova Library

04-24-12 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 24, 2012
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE: BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from the Acting Chair Kelly Cohen

2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli

Supervisor Nottoli touched on a number of areas of concern to the community. He noted that upcoming changes to the Supervisorial Districts were influenced by citizens’ input, in particular the desire to keep communities south of the American River together due to shared interests. He stated that the County budget continues to be difficult, and that the County is trying to provide services with reduced resources. He also noted that BRECA has had an influence on local matters, such as the landscaping at the north-east corner of Butterfield and Folsom.

3. Commander Rosanne Richeal, Sacramento County Sheriff and Rancho Cordova Police

Commander Richeal first introduced the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officers with her, Charles Gayley and Sergeant Wayne Stevens. She then addressed a number of questions that had been suggested by BRECA. She stated that, statistically, people in the area are safer now than 5 years ago, due to an overall national decrease in crimes. She suggested looking at SacSheriff.com for crime mapping, and handed out a map of the locations of recent crimes in the area. She stated that neighborhood watch groups are important. Sergeant Stevens stated that there are monthly meetings at the Sheriff/Police station for neighborhood watch and community members, with schedules on the Ranch Cordova Police web site. The officers repeatedly emphasized “report, report, report” as they have no way of knowing if crimes are occurring unless people report the crimes.

Commander Richeal commented that the motels on Folsom Blvd. in the area were responsible for over 100 calls last year. She noted that the police helicopters are based at Mather Field, which is why people in our area hear them frequently. One of the officers with Commander Richeal stated that there is a situation with 911 calls from cell phones, which all go the California Highway Patrol, who do not know the area. He suggested cell phone users call the Ranch Cordova emergency line at 874-5111.

Sergeant Stevens stated that there are problems with transient (homeless) camps. These are difficult to deal with due to limited staffing and the requirement that the homeless people be able to recover any seized property. Officer Gayley noted that they had cleaned up three camps on Folsom Blvd. in the area last week.

A member of the audience inquired about people pilfering from recycling bins. Sergeant Stevens commented that the impact on recycling was minimal, so there is little incentive to put resources on the problem. The exception is if someone comes on private property to do that, which could be a prelude to burglary. In that case, the incident should be reported to police or sheriff. Another member of the audience commented that there is a recycling center at Folsom and Bradshaw, which encourages pilfering. Supervisor Nottoli commented that this is a widespread problem and the County recently adopted new rules about where recycling centers can be located.

4. Lieutenant Richard Desmond, California Highway Patrol

Lieutenant Desmond stated that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) does traffic enforcement in the unincorporated County. Within Ranch Cordova traffic is handled by the local police. There are some grey areas. For example, if something is stolen from a car, it should be reported to the Sheriff. However, if the car is stolen, it should be reported to the CHP. For traffic complaints, such as speeding or loud cars, call 464-1450. This month the priority is distracted driving, such as using a cell phone or texting that is not “hands free.” He noted that there is an exception in the law, and one can make an emergency call (911) using a regular cell phone.

5. Barbara Fairbanks, Sacramento County Code Enforcement

Ms. Fairbanks stated that the Code Enforcement phone is 875-5656. Code Enforcement covers a number of areas, including junk and rubbish, illegal parking, problems with rental houses, housing issues, vacant houses, weed abatement, and various other nuisances. However, there are only 12 officers for all issues in the County. In response to questions from the audience, she stated that there are different ways to approach housing issues, including letters to the property owner and renter, and, after 15 days, enforcement. She stated that during fire season the fire department can become involved in weed abatement if weeds are too close to a house. She stated that on private property, the County usually does not cite unregistered vehicles. A trailer unattached to a vehicle on the street will get a ticket, but this is done by Parking Enforcement, not Code Enforcement. Barking dogs are a nuisance, but not handled by Code Enforcement. Supervisor Nottoli suggested calling animal control. Ms. Fairbanks stated that drug problem houses are the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department. Also, groups of neighbors can use small claims court to go after owners. She also stated that one can call 1-800-252-4613 to report wayward shopping carts.

6. Jim Rodems, District Administrator, Cordova Recreation and Park District

Jim Rodems, District Administrator for the Cordova Recreation and Park District, reviewed “what’s new” in the District. Mr. Rodems was recently appointed to his post. He stated that the District has been in “budget turmoil” with both layoffs and hiring for vacant positions. He stated that safety in parks is critical, and that they work with the Sheriff and have private security. They are trying to get all the lighting in the parks working, but don’t want too much light, as it attracts troublemakers. One need they have identified is for more community meeting rooms. In response to a question about off-leash dogs in parks, Mr. Rodems stated that there is a need for better signage in the parks. Staff people can tell dog owners to leash their dogs. For Parks issues, call 362-1841 or e-mail

7. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 22, 2012, at the Rancho Cordova Library

12-20-11 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: December 20, 2011
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Rick Sloan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Discussion of Topics – Note: topics were requested by people in attendance at this meeting
    1. Neighborhood Flooding History
      Maryann Frantz requested information on flooding history of the neighborhood.  In particular she was interested in standing water last year around Butterfield Way and Yuma Circle.  It was stated that there have been incidences of standing water due to insufficient capacity of the local storm drainage system.  Also, a few years ago, there was a flood event around Mira Del Rio Dr. and Stoughton Way from sewer pipes that cross the river.  This was due to a confluence of unusual events, including a heavy rain and incomplete sewer pipes near the sewage treatment facility.  It was noted that there have not been any instances of flooding from the American River since the levee was constructed in the 1970s.
    2. Soil Born Farms
      Maryann Frantz stated that people from Soil Born Farms can pick excess fruit from people’s trees in the neighborhood.  It was suggested that this could be put into the Newsletter.
    3. Increase in Regional Sewer Rates
      Kelly Cohen stated that she had seen in the newspaper that Regional Sewer rates are projected to increase greatly.  Jim Morgan commented that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWCB) had imposed more stringent operating conditions on the Sacramento Regional Sewer District.  These conditions include reducing ammonia and microorganisms that can cause illnesses in the outflow.  It is projected that these will necessitate a tripling of Regional Sewer District rates.  Joe O’Connor noted that there is a problem with lack of prioritization: this may not be the most important problem for the Delta, but it is one that there is a legal mechanism for addressing.
    4. Tree Round
      Fernando Alexander inquired what the “tree round” is all about.  It was stated that it is a slice from the biggest oak tree cut down to make way for the new Mayhew-Gristmill levee.  It is on display outside the library.  There are various ideas for a plaque to explain what the tree round is about.  Jim Morgan pointed out that the tree did not have to be cut down, and could have been saved by having a short segment of camouflaged flood wall instead of levee.  However, the Corps of Engineers did not want to do this.
    5. California American Water Rates
      Jim Morgan requested an update on California American (Cal Am) Water rates.  Gay Jones stated that Cal Am is continuously pushing for higher rates.  Joe O’Connor reviewed the status of the Cal Am rate request.  He stated that there is a complicated system of regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  The Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) has conducted an independent evaluation of the rate increase request.  The new rates were to have been in place by January 1, 2012.  However, it appears they may not be in place until March of 2012.  If so, the rates would be made retroactive.  There is a new application for a capital structure with a higher cost of capital.  Cal Am and the DRA have come to a compromise agreement on this issue.  Present cost of capital is 8.04%.  Cal Am had requested an increase to 9.68%.  The DRA argued that there is minimal risk, so cost of capital should not be that high.  A rate of 8.41% was agreed to, and will be presented to the CPUC for approval.  The schedule of hearings for the main rate request has not yet been set.  Possibly there will be a decision in March.  Originally Cal Am had requested a 40% increase over three years.  The DRA is now recommending 10-11% over three years.Jim Morgan asked what BRECA can do about this issue.  Joe stated that there is nothing to be done about the cost of capital.  However, after there is an “action” by the Administrative Law Judge of the CPUC, it will go to the full CPUC and BRECA can write a letter to the CPUC.
    6. BRECA Banner
      Rick Sloan stated that he has a bid for a BRECA banner and a table cloth with a banner.  The total cost would be $250.  Rick made a motion to approve this expenditure.  Stan Mofjeld seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    7. Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer Presentation
      Gay Jones stated that the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer can come to the April BRECA meeting.
  3. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on January 24, 2012, at the Rancho Cordova Library