BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 08-25-09


DATE: August 25, 2009
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

Paul Bowers
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Rick Sloan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Guest Speakers: Pete Ghelfi and Lizette Crosbie
    Lizette Crosbie, with the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), is taking over responsibilities for the Mayhew Levee and Drain site mitigation and restoration work.  She distributed a handout that summarized some of the proposed work.For the upstream oak and elderberry mitigation and transplantation site, near the Gristmill entrance, the Corps of Engineers is expected to maintain the site until December 2010.  At that point, if the transplants are doing well, SAFCA will assume responsibility.  Lizette stated that the large gap through the middle of the site is a sewer easement.  SAFCA proposes to plant native grasses and wildflowers in the gap, if the sewer district approves.

    At the Kansas Access staging area, it is proposed to remove the top pad of soil, and check for bentonite.  Borings are being done to see how deep the pad is.  The current estimate is about 6 inches.  SAFCA thinks that the site needs to be remediated, but what this consists of is not clear.  SAFCA is working with the Corps to modify the revegetation plan that was previously posted on the SAFCA web site.  A modified revegetation plan was distributed.  The modified plan maintains a grassland or open space area for most of the site, with trees to be planted next to the vegetation free space (road) adjacent to the levee.  Pete Ghelfi requested that BRECA send a communication indicating whether BRECA concurs with this plan.

    There was discussion about the erosion of the trail that leads from the Kansas Access to the river.  SAFCA, the Corps, and County Parks will be meeting to develop a plan to address the problem.  Several possibilities were discussed, including rock, soil, biodegradable fabric, and various vegetative plantings.

    At the downstream mitigation and transplantation area, near the Mayhew Drain, SAFCA expects to take over after 2010.  SAFCA proposes to remove invasive weeds, and plant understory California native plants, similarly to the upstream area.

    Gay Jones stated that there were other areas that had been damaged by construction and related activities.  Pete Ghelfi stated that they were not aware of this problem, and that SAFCA and the Corps need to see the areas.  It was agreed that BRECA representatives would accompany SAFCA, Corps, and County Parks staff on a site walk in the near future.

    Pete Ghelfi discussed the situation at the upstream end of the levee, where there is a pathway for water to go around the levee at certain flows.  The Corps thinks that this needs to be fixed, although it is not required by Corps or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations.  Fixing this situation would involve constructing a berm that would tie in to high ground of the back yard of a house about 100 feet upstream.  Alternative paths for this structure are being discussed.

    Pete stated that the Mayhew Drain closure structure work is on track, and should be finished this year.

    Pete also discussed FEMA 100 year certification.  SAFCA is preparing a submittal to FEMA.  One unexpected complication was that a large storm drain was discovered that crosses under the Mayhew Drain from downstream.  This necessitated additional studies to assess the condition of the drain pipe and possible leakage around the pipe.  No problems were found with the pipe.  SAFCA plans to submit a certification request to FEMA in the near future.

    There was discussion of how BRECA should proceed.  It was agreed that a small group of people would meet to write a letter to SAFCA concerning the revegetation plan for the Kansas Access staging area and other issues.  The membership of this group is to be Gay Jones, Jim Morgan, Joe O’Connor, and Kelly Cohen.

  1. Minutes of July 2009
    Kelly Cohen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for August 2009.  Lori Christensen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer’s Report
      Kelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA checking account is $5,286.63.
    2. Cordova Park District
      Rick Sloan reported that the Cordova Recreation and Park District has a very tight budget.  There is money only for maintenance and repair.
    3. Metro Fire District
      Gay Jones reported that the Metro Fire District is selecting a new chief.  Due to budget shortfalls, three fire stations that had low usage are being closed, except for emergency medical response.
    4. Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC)
      Paul Bowers reported that there have been no meetings of the Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) for two months.  This is likely due to lack of building activity.
  1. Old Business
    1. Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA)
      Jim Morgan reported that the Notice Of Preparation (NOP) for an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of the proposed Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA) has been delayed.  The most recent information indicates that it may come out in about 30 days.Jim also reported on the meeting of the ad-hoc Butterfield SPA committee.  A handout was distributed.  Two additional conceptual alternatives for the SPA were presented.  One would emphasize a market-oriented approach, by zoning the area south of Folsom Blvd. as residential mixed use allowed, instead of mixed use required.  A second alternative would be for a job center south of Folsom Blvd, with no residential mixed use.
    2. BRECA Newsletter
      Jim Morgan reported the Newsletter is coming along.  Distribution is planned for after Labor Day.
    3. BRECA Picnic
      Lori Christensen stated that the date for the picnic had been changed to Sunday, September 27, 2009.  After some discussion of conflicts, the date was changed to Saturday, September 26.  [Note: the date was subsequently changed back to September 27.]
    4. Folsom Blvd. Tree Planting
      Gay Jones reported that she and a staff member from the Sacramento Tree Foundation had inspected the area between Folsom Blvd. and the light rail tracks for suitability for tree planting.  The Tree Foundation staff person suggested some species that would work in that area, including crepe myrtle.  The process for moving forward on this includes agreements with Sacramento County and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).  An agreement with Regional Transit is not required.
    5. California American Water Rate Increases
      Joe O’Connor reported on a recent meeting concerning proposed water rate increases by the California American Water Company.  The meeting was held before a Public Utilities Commission administrative judge and a court reporter, and was well attended.  Most of the public comments revolved around the question of why the rates keep going up.  Joe stated that most costs are fixed, and that the cost structure needs to be examined.  He questioned why the California American company states that it is losing money, but is still paying income taxes.
  1. New Business
    1. Issues from the Floor

There were no issues from the floor.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on September 22, 2009 at the Rancho Cordova Library

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