BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 09-22-09


DATE: September 22, 2009
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

Paul Bowers
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Stan Mofjeld
Jim Morgan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Minutes of August 2009
    Lori Christensen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for August 2009.  Paul Bowers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC)
      Paul Bowers reported that there have been no meetings of the Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) for three months.  This is likely due to lack of building activity.
    2. Treasurer’s ReportKelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA checking account is $5,391.63.
  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.  There is no information on when it might be released.
    2. Habitat Restoration for Gristmill
      Gay Jones reported that there had been a site visit about three weeks ago at the Gristmill area that included BRECA representatives, the Corps of Engineers, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), and Sacramento County Parks staff.  Damaged sites were pointed out.  Jim Morgan pointed out a tree with protective fencing that was about two feet below the existing grade, indicative of the thickness of the pad at the Kansas Access staging area.  BRECA representatives emphasized the need to to restore grasslands and visual screening at damaged sites and to restore drainage at the Kansas Access staging area.  There was discussion of the site visit.Jim Morgan distributed copies of the BRECA letter to Lizette Crosbie and Pete Ghelfi with SAFCA.  Jim also pointed out that the revised planting diagram received from SAFCA indicated 20 feet of vegetation free easement on the riverside of the levee, which is erroneous.  It was agreed that a letter should be drafted to SAFCA and the Corps concerning this error.Gay Jones stated that SAFCA and the Corps are addressing the lack of an upstream tie-in of the levee to high ground.  Present plans are for a four feet wide berm that connects the end of the levee to the back yard of the second house upstream from the end of the levee.  The proposed path of the berm results in minimal loss of foliage.
    3. BRECA Picnic
      There was a discussion of arrangements for the BRECA picnic, which will be on Sunday, September 27, 2009.
  1. New Business
    1. American River Parkway Budget and Closures
      Gay Jones stated that County Parks announced that the Gristmill entrance to the Parkway will be closed to vehicles starting on September 14.  Gay stated that she had spoken at the County Board of Supervisors meeting concerning the closure.  She pointed out that Gristmill had already been closed for one year for levee construction, and the upcoming closure will be disruptive for the community.  She noted that three of the five proposed closure sites are in this area, and that Gristmill is an important put in and take out site for kayakers.  She had talked with Parks staff, and nobody could explain why particular entrances were selected for closure, or how much money would be saved by the closure.  In addition to closing the entrance to vehicles, there will be no ranger patrols or trash pick up.There was considerable discussion of the impacts of the Gristmill closure on public safety, trash, parking on the street, and the attitude of neighbors.  Jim Morgan made a motion that BRECA support reopening of the Gristmill entrance.  Paul Bowers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved with 6 in favor, none opposed, and 1 abstention.
    2. California American Water Meeting
      Joe O’Connor reported that the meeting held on September 16 by California American Water (Cal Am) was standing room only.  The Cal Am representatives talked mainly about the change to metered billing, and availability of help for water conservation.  They were unable to explain why the bills had increased by 400% in 7 years.  They noted that increases were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).Paul Bowers suggested that the rate increases may have been driven by debt incurred from multiple acquisitions.  Kelly Cohen stated that the company is publicly traded, and the objective is to maximize returns.Gay Jones proposed that BRECA write a letter to the company seeking answers to specific questions, including justification for rate increases and the budget for 2009/2010.  It was also suggested that a CPUC representative attend the Cal Am meetings, and that Cal Am be invited to a BRECA meeting.  It was agreed that Gay Jones and Joe O’Connor would write a BRECA letter to Cal Am.
    3. Issues from the Floor
      Gay Jones noted that there was a good turnout for the recent American River Cleanup.Gay Jones noted that George Spatta had sent an e-mail about a recent attempted break-in at a neighbors house.  George wanted BRECA to organize a neighborhood watch.  Joe O’Connor sent an e-mail that local people need to organize the neighborhood watch.Gay Jones noted that the slice from the heritage oak on the Parkway was now at the library, and we should think about where to display it at the library.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on October 27, 2009

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