07-27-10 Meeting Minutes


DATE: July 27, 2010
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
Mary Ann Winters

  1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones
  2. Guest Speaker Janet Baker (Director, Sacramento County Regional Parks)
    Guest speaker Janet Baker, Director of the Sacramento County Regional Parks Department, described the funding problems over the last two years as unprecedented.  She stated that Regional Parks used to receive 2 cents out of every property tax dollar, but now receives 2/10ths of a cent out of every property tax dollar.  This fiscal year Regional Parks expects to lose half of the rangers and all seasonal maintenance staff.  To make things work, county dispatch is now doing ranger dispatch, and the sheriffs are backing up the rangers.  The Gristmill Gatherers help by picking up trash.  Possibly this model could be used in other places.  In the longer term, Regional Parks is looking at other funding and governance structures.  There is a “Grass Roots Working Group” that is looking to finance a study by Trust for Public Lands (TPL) that will look at four alternatives to the present system.There was discussion of the Regional Parks situation.  One question was about the decision not to have parking on the gravel bar at Gristmill.  The decision not to have parking on the gravel bar was made by the rangers.  It is not clear how that is working out.  It was noted that there is too much gravel at the Gristmill parking lot.  Another question was why the Board of Supervisors would give up Regional Parks.  Janet stated that the Board might support this if funding was better.

    Agenda item 5a was moved up.  Gay Jones stated that she would like to have a resolution in support of the “Grass Roots” effort, and donate some money for the TPL study.  Jim Morgan suggested that, since a resolution had not been prepared beforehand, BRECA should simply make a donation to the TPL study.  This implies support.  Gay Jones made a motion to donate $500 to the Save the American River Association for the TPL study.  Kelly Cohen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

  1. Minutes for June 2010
    It was pointed out that Kelly Cohen was acting chair at the June meeting.  Mary Ann Winters made a motion to accept the amended draft minutes.  Lori Christensen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved with 6 votes in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstention.
  1. Reports
    1. CORPAC
      Paul Bowers reported that the Cordova Area Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) had met.  There were no proposed projects in the BRECA area.
    2. Treasurer’s Report
      Kelly Cohen (treasurer) reported a balance of $5,545.39 in the BRECA bank account.
  1. Old Business
    1. Cal Am Water Update
      Joe O’Connor reported that Gay Jones and Joe had met with Evan Jacobs of the California American Water Company (Cal Am) on July 22, 2010.  They were shown a spreadsheet that presented the return on allowed investments.  Cal Am is allowed 8% return on investments, but has ranged from about 1% to 6%, averaging around 4%.  Mr. Jacobs stated that various capital improvements are in the works, including tanks and pipes so that water could be transferred between the “Suburban” area (including the BRECA area) and the Rosemont area.  Cal Am will be using more surface water in the future, which will increase costs.  The Public Utilities Commission wants about 70% of billed costs to depend upon volume of water, but for Cal Am about 80% of costs are fixed costs.There was discussion about the upcoming Cal Am presentation at the August BRECA meeting.  Paul Bowers made a motion to mail flyers to the BRECA membership about the Cal Am presentation, and also print some extra flyers for hand distribution.  Kelly Cohen seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.  Jim Morgan suggested having a second BRECA meeting in August, to deal with other issues.  Jim was assigned the task of finding a day to have a second meeting.
    2. Timing of Newsletter and Picnic
      Jim Morgan stated that having the Newsletter and Picnic in September last year was very difficult.  After some discussion, it was agreed to have the Picnic in September and the Newsletter in October.
    3. Parkway Coalition Update
      Gay Jones reported that there is consideration of forming a “Parkway Watch” to report problems on the American River Parkway.  Lori Christensen stated that there is a volunteer watch program at Folsom Reservoir, and passed around a card with information.
    4. Chair Updates
      Gay Jones reported that the Gristmill Gatherers coordinator, Gary Morris, had quit in May.  Evidently he did not inform anybody except County Regional Parks.  Gay found out around the end of June, and is now doing scheduling of trash pickup.Gay reported that she had received a flyer from the County regarding the proposed traffic management plan (i.e. speed bumps and speed tables).  It stated that one of the speed tables, at Riviera East Park, had been removed from the plan, and that people can now vote on the amended plan.

      Gay reported that she had a meeting with the Ranch Cordova Library staff concerning where to put the tree round cut from the largest oak tree during the Mayhew Levee Project.

      Gay reported that Melissa Schuler is interested in the Cordova Parks District Benefit Assessment District Oversight Committee.

    5. Gristmill Levee Project Update
      Jim Morgan reported that BRECA had sent a letter to the Corps of Engineers and Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) expressing our concerns about the rehabilitation of the Kansas Access staging area and the lack of connection of the east end of the levee to high ground.Kelly Cohen stated that she had received notice from SAFCA that they will be doing survey work in the area concerning internal drainage flooding.
  1. New Business
    1. BRECA support and contribution to Trust for Public Lands Proposal
      See item 1b above.
    2. Membership Renewal Expenses
      Jim Morgan reported that membership renewal expenses for the 2009 membership year were over budget by about $27.  Paul Bowers made a motion to increase the membership renewal authorization to $200.  Gay Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    3. Issues from the Floor
      Stan Mofjeld reported that there was a grass fire in the American River Parkway on or about June 20.  It was located between the Gristmill Bar and the Riviera East access.  Neighbors put the fire out using hoses and buckets.  The fire department took 40 minutes to get there.  Stan was on the Channel 13 news.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be held on August 24, 2010 at the Rancho Cordova Library.

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