12-20-11 Meeting Minutes


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


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

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