04-20-15 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: April 20, 2015
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA General Membership Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT

Kelly Cohen
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Rick Sloan
Andrea White

  1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones
  2. County Supervisor Don Nottoli
    Supervisor Nottoli stated that the Syufy group is still committed to going forward with The Landing at the site of the drive-in theaters.  They are currently working on redeveloping the Howe about Arden site that they also own.  Some of the use permits for The Landing are expiring, and the Syufy group are planning to renew the permits with similar uses.  Supervisor Nottoli thanked the BRECA Steering Committee and stated that they represent the community well.
  1. East Area Sheriffs and Rancho Cordova Police
    Michael Goold, Chief of Police for Rancho Cordova, stated that community members are an integral part of community safety.  He stated that crime overall is going down, primarily robberies and auto theft.  However, there has been an increase in felonious assault.  Proposition 47, which reclassified some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, has created challenges.  Instead of spending time in jail, the perpetrators now get tickets.  Also, the police have lost the ability to collect DNA samples from this group.There were many questions from the audience, and Chief Goold or one of the police or sheriff’s officers responded.  One question was what about the recycling thieves.  Chief Goold stated that this is going down.  The audience disagreed.  Chief Goold stated that they must catch people in the act.  Taking recyclable materials from County bins is a misdemeanor.  Another question concerned a person on Hyannis Way who takes recycling and also steals bicycles.  Chief Goold said they are aware of the situation.  Another questioner stated that there are also bike thieves on Alcosta Way, and asked if she should send pictures of people.  One of the officers responded yes, but be careful not to make yourself a target.  Another questioner asked how to get through to the East Area Sheriff’s if you see a crime in progress.  One of the officers responded to call 874-5111, option 1.  Another person commented that the police and Sheriffs have been to the Alcosta house many times.  One officer commented that one time they found 12 people living there.  Another question was about increasing the presence of squad cars.  Chief Goold responded that they do not have the resources in the County area.  They are asking for more funding for Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officers, but are now using patrol officers as POP.

    Another question concerned a large property that has been abandoned for about 8 years, and is unsecured and used by homeless people.  The owner was approached, but was unresponsive.  What can be done about this?  An officer responded that this sort of thing is best done through County Code Enforcement.  They can assess fines and get a response.  Supervisor Nottoli commented that there was a house on Mira Del Rio Dr. that was closed and is now reopened, and that administrative penalties can be heavy.  Jose Mendez, with County Code Enforcement, commented that the County sometimes ends up being the property manager, mowing the lawns and doing other maintenance.  Barry Chamberlin, a Supervisor with County Code Enforcement, commented that Code Enforcement does a lot of different things, from rental housing conditions to non-running cars.  He said that the community is their eyes and ears.  County Code Enforcement has 25 people for the whole unincorporated county.  He stated that 75% to 80% of cases are solved with a letter or inspection.  In more difficult situations, there are court processes, but that takes a while.

    A further question concerned the motels on Folsom Blvd., and that there are children there, in what is effectively low income housing.  One of the officers responded that everyone on the Police/Sheriff’s team knows about Vince’s (Motel).  He stated that they go to Vince’s a lot.

  1. County Parks Rangers
    Stan Lumsden, chief of County Parks Rangers, stated that they have 21 rangers.  Two of them are assigned to illegal camping.  At any given time there are about 400 to 600 illegal campers on the American River Parkway.  He stated that the Parkway is very unique, and not many places have anything like it.  If someone sees a problem on the Parkway, they can go to the web site sacparks.net and make a report on the oak leaf.  Parks will respond.  He stated the most common problems are bikes on dirt trails and dogs off leash.  An audience person asked where are bikes legal.  Chief Lumsden responded that they are only legal on paved surfaces or on the top of the levee, which is considered a maintenance road.  Another member of the audience asked if coyotes are protected.  Chief Lumsden responded that coyotes and other wildlife are protected, but coyotes will eat almost anything.  Another audience person thanked Parks for putting a Port-a-Potty at the Gristmill parking lot and maintaining it.
  1. Neighborhood Watch
    Heidi Herrera, Neighborhood Watch co-ordinator for Rancho Cordova, talked about forming a Neighborhood Watch group.  She stated that a Neighborhood Watch involves neighbors getting together and getting to know each other and their routines.  Neighbors can then identify suspicious behaviors.  Actually forming an official group requires getting roster of people and a map to Ms. Herrera.  If someone gets a group of neighbors together, she can come talk to them.A question was asked about getting a Neighborhood Watch sign.  Ms. Herrera stated that it costs $30 for the sign and $15 to put it up.  Another question was how many people in a Neighborhood Watch group.  Ms. Herrera stated that it typically is around 10 to 15 people.  A question was asked about the Alcosta Way house and what can be done.  Ms. Herrera suggested keeping a record of activities and sending the record to the POP officer.  Ms. Herrera also recommended several crime prevention tips, including taking belongings out of your vehicle, leaving porch lights on, and walking around at night carrying a cell phone.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 26, 2015, at the Rancho Cordova Library

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

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

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

12-28-10 Meeting Minutes

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

DATE: December 28, 2010
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
    1. Speed Bumps
      Kelly Cohen reported that the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, a set of speed bumps, had been approved by the Board of Supervisors.  A vote (by mail) conducted by the County had a 70% response rate and was 76% in favor of the plan.  Work should start this coming summer.  Kelly described the different kinds of speed bumps: speed tables, humps, and lumps.
    2. Crime Check
      Kelly Cohen reported that data for the BRECA area indicate that about 9 or 10 crimes per month are typical.  Kelly distributed a handout showing the locations and types of crimes for 9-24-10 to 12-1-10.  The most common crimes were burglaries from residences, businesses, and vehicles.
    3. Riviera East Park Playground Equipment
      Stan Mofjeld reported that at the beginning of the year one set of playground equipment had been removed from Riviera East Park.  BRECA has lobbied the Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) to replace the equipment.  Despite funding difficulties, it is now anticipated that new playground equipment will be installed by late spring of 2011.  There will also be improvements to the walkway and access.  Gay Jones commented that the CRPD had secured a good deal for the equipment, which is priced about one-half off.  There was discussion about lights being out in the Park.  Rick Sloan (a CRPD Board member) indicated that he will inquire about this problem.
    4. Flood Protection
      Jim Morgan reported that most work on the Mayhew Levee and Drain projects is complete.  Consequently, most people in the former 100 year flood zone are now out of the zone, and can drop flood insurance or secure flood insurance at a lower rate.  BRECA urges people to keep their flood insurance.Jim Morgan also reported that the major remaining issues for the projects are the lack of tie-in from the upstream end of the levee to high ground, and restoration of the Kansas Access staging area.  These two issues became stalled earlier this year, and BRECA requested and had a meeting with Supervisor Don Nottoli and staff for the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA).  It was agreed at this meeting that the upstream end tie-in will be added to the list of Lower American River projects that are to be completed in the future as funding permits.  A list of these projects is to be published on the SAFCA web site.
    5. California American Water Rates
      Joe O’Connor reported that California American (Cal Am) water rates had increased about three fold over the last several years.  Cal Am is asking for an additional 43% increase in the next three years.  Cal Am is a utility that is regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  The Division of Ratepayer Advocates will conduct an independent evaluation of the rate increase request.  Increasing costs are driven by deferred maintenance by the previous owners (Citizens Utilities), as well as additional state requirements, and changing to more use of surface water.  Cal Am is allowed an 8% profit on justifiable costs.  There will be public hearings and opportunity for written comments.  Joe stated that it is a good idea to attend hearings and comment as it draws attention to concern about the rate increase.Joe also commented that the new rate structure is 70% by volume, while about 80% of costs are fixed costs.  There was discussion about going to a public agency rather than a private supplier.  However, this can be quite expensive as the existing owner must be bought out.  Also, there is a tendency to under-invest to keep rates low.
    6. Regional Parks
      Gay Jones reported that Sacramento County budget cuts had a severe impact on the Regional Parks.  In response, a “Grass Roots Working Group” was formed to obtain stable and adequate funding for Regional Parks.  The Working Group is considering several alternatives, including an independent parks district, a dependent parks district still under the County, and a ballot vote to force the County to spend a specific amount on Regional Parks.  There was discussion of some issues, and general support for adequate funding for Regional Parks.
    7. From the Floor
      Stan Mofjeld stated that he is concerned about possible loss of the Park and Ride at the Butterfield Light Rail Station due to construction of high density apartments.  Joe O’Connor commented that the objective is to get Federal subsidies to expand Light Rail.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on January 25, 2011, at the Rancho Cordova Library