BRECA Annual General Meeting Minutes – April 23, 2019


DATE: April 23, 2019
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California


James Adams
Lori Christensen
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Lynda Hammitt
Gay Jones
Carmen Mitchell
Jim Morgan
Andrea White



1. Welcome from Chair Lynda Hammitt

2. Introduction from the Chair

Lynda Hammitt introduced the speakers and described the format of the meeting.  There are to be presentations from the speakers, followed by questions from the audience.

The speakers were:

Prabhjot Johnson, Sacramento County Department of Human Services,
Ron Fiskan, Sacramento Metro Fire Community Emergency Response Team (CERT),
George Booth, Sacramento County Department of Water Resources,
Jason Wenner and Jason Vestal, Sacramento Metro Fire,
Darren Quackenbush, Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy, and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer, and Sergeant Chuck Pfau, POP Supervisor,
Robin Johnson and George Beries, California Highway Patrol, and
Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor

3. Prabhjot Johnson, Sacramento County Department of Human Services

Ms. Johnson stated that an emergency is any serious, unexpected, often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.  Examples are fires, floods, and disease.  What to do generally comes down to one of two things: evacuation, and shelter in place.  There is a Sacramento Alert Emergency Notification System that can notify you in event of an emergency.  You can also sign up at

To be prepared for an emergency, it is helpful to have an emergency kit, which should include:

three to five days food and water,
medications and a list of medications,
a first aid kit,
a flashlight and batteries,
pet supplies,
a pet crate or carrier, and
a contact list of friends and family out of town (e.g. use social media).

Additional information is available at

If an injury occurs, one should call 911, stay safe, stop bleeding, position the injured, and provide comfort.

A question from the audience concerned how a person who is elderly and immobile can prepare for an emergency.  Ms. Johnson suggested a Federal Emergency Management Agency brochure that she brought to the meeting.

4. Ron Fiskan, Sacramento Metro Fire Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Mr. Fiskan stated that the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was started in 1981.  They provide training of members of the public in basic first aid, how to turn off electricity and other utilities, and general first aid.

A question from the audience concerned how one would initiate service with CERT.  Mr. Fiskan responded that one can sign up for training on the Sacramento Metro Fire website.  Another question was whether everybody should be trained at a basic level.  Mr. Fiskan responded yes, and it is free.  He also stated that there is more advanced training for many eventualities.

5. George Booth, Sacramento County Department of Water Resources

Mr. Booth stated that he is with the Floodplain Management section of the County Department of Water Resources.  He will talk about little water and big water.  On the local level is storm water drainage.  There are 239 acres in the BRECA area.  Water from the storm drains goes downhill until it comes to the pump station at the Mayhew Drain.  He implored people not to put junk, such as oil or dog poop, down the drains as it ends up in the river.

On the big water level, in 1986 there was a flow of 135,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the American River, and in 1997 it reached 115,000 cfs.  Since then, a new spillway has been build at Folsom Dam.  Before the new spillway, the dam could only release 35,000 cfs until the dam was 90% full.  Now it can release more water earlier.  Storage at Folsom reservoir is only one million acre-feet, and there is a big drainage above the dam.  The nemesis of flood control is a big snow pack plus an atmospheric river rain.  Currently, the 100-year flow is estimated at 115,000 cfs.  The 200-year flow is estimated at 117,000 cfs.  The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency is currently certifying the levees to 145,000 cfs.

Mr. Booth also pointed out that the Rancho Cordova Library is at 70 feet elevation, so should be outside of any flooding from the American River.  He has a map of the flood inundation for 235,000 cfs, but it would only affect people within a few blocks of the levee.  Whether one needs flood insurance, it depends.  Call 916-874-6484 to find out if you are in a flood area.  Flood insurance costs around $600 per year.  Although the current system looks strong, one squirrel can change the whole scenario.  Take away: 235,000 cfs very unlikely to happen.  Protect those levees and keep the storm drains open.

A question from the audience was how to get the 235,000 cfs map.  Mr. Booth responded that BRECA could make arrangements to get the map.

6. Battalion Chief Jason Vestal and Captain Jason Wenner, Sacramento Metro Fire

Chief Vestal stated that they deal with many hazardous materials incidents.  They would use foam to contain a large fire or spill.  They work with other districts to respond to large events.

Captain Wenner stated that there had recently been a large flammable tank fire in Texas, and it took a long time to put it out.  These incidents don’t happen often, but are catastrophic when they do happen.  The Kinder Morgan facility (the tank farm at Bradshaw Rd. and Folsom Blvd.) would be a large incident if something happened.  They can’t put water on it, but would need a lot of foam to put it out.  They would get help from other agencies, but still would likely take a long time to put out.

A question from the audience was whether they were prepared for an event at Kinder Morgan.  Captain Wenner assured us that they are.  Another question was what would they have the community do if Kinder Morgan burned.  Captain Wenner responded that we would generally shelter in place.  The facility has berms that would contain 150% of the largest tank.  Also, any runoff would drain to the south-east.  They have emergency plans on how to contact the local community.

7. Deputy Darren Quackenbush with Sacramento Sheriff’s Department and Sergeant Chuck Pfau with Rancho Cordova Police

Deputy Darren Quackenbush stated that he is the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer for this area.  Sergeant Chuck Pfau is his supervisor.  Deputy Quackenbush stated that they would work with the CHP to do traffic control during an evacuation.  Generally they would direct people to the easiest way out.  He recommended that people have a “go bag” if they need to leave right now, with supplies for three to five days.  He asked how many people have an emergency action plan.  A few hands went up.

A statement from the audience was that they had participated in evacuation drills in another community, and that they had put an “X” on the doors of houses that had been evacuated.  Sergeant Pfau responded that it could be done, maybe BRECA could organize something, and to let them know.  However, they would follow up and check to be sure.

8. Lieutenant Robin Johnson and Sergeant George Beries with the California Highway Patrol

Lieutenant Robin Johnson, commander of the East Station of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), stated that they assist with traffic flow in the event of an emergency evacuation.  People need to have a plan, and have gas in the car.  Sergeant Beries stated that when they say evacuate and you don’t, it causes problems.  Floods, fires, and earthquakes: It is a matter of when, not if.  Have a plan: you will get through it.  Medications can become a problem if someone needs to get back into an evacuated area to get their medications.

9. Supervisor Don Nottoli and Other Representatives from Sacramento County

Supervisor Don Nottoli stated that we have a talented and knowledgeable group of people serving the community, and that people need to be prepared for emergencies.  He also gave an update on some ongoing issues for the community.  He stated that the County is working with Rancho Cordova to improve the section of Folsom Blvd. from Paseo Rio to Bradshaw Rd.  This summer the County expects to repave the section of Folsom Blvd. from Bradshaw to Butterfield.  Next summer they hope to do improvements to the same section, including bike lanes.

Ron Vicari, with the Sacramento County Department of Transportation, stated that they are seeking grants for the work on Folsom Blvd. from Bradshaw Rd. to Butterfield Way.  He also commented that people can call in potholes, and they generally get them done in four days.

A question from the audience concerned improvements to the section of Folsom Blvd. from Butterfield Way to Mayhew Rd.  Mr. Vicari stated that would be in the next round of funding, which comes up in 2020.  They want to continue and get to Watt Ave.  A comment from the audience concerned the 311 County information number, which is aggravating, because it does not have an option to go to the County, but directs the caller to the City of Sacramento departments.  Mr. Vicari stated that they know about the problem, and that there is a 311 app for smartphones.

Barry Chamberlain, with Sacramento County Code Enforcement, stated that they have two ongoing cases in this area.  Vince’s Motel has done a good job and cleaned up it’s problems.  For Casa Linda, their business license has been pulled, and they are about to lose the license.  There is a party interested in buying the property.

A question from the audience was whether Casa Linda has to stay a motel.  Mr. Chamberlain stated that they don’t control the use of the property, but will work with a new owner.  Another question from the audience concerned feral cats on Elmira Circle.  Mr. Chamberlain said that would be Animal Control.  But, if someone has too many cats, there could also be other problems that would involve Code Enforcement.

Supervisor Nottoli noted that the Board of Supervisors is encouraging conversion of motels to supportive housing.  Concerning the Sy West property (the Drive-In Theaters), he noted that the owners are investing about $1 million into the existing theater.  Concerning the proposal to build apartments on vacant property behind some businesses on Folsom Blvd., the developer has run into some snags.  Currently they are planning to increase the density to 60 units, and encroach into the 50 feet setback from the private property line.  He noted that state law is changing, and that will affect how local authority controls development.  Some proposals in the legislature include non-discretionary review of higher density development near rapid transit.

10. Presentation of Gift for Sheryll Venegas

Lynda Hammitt presented a gift for Sheryll Venegas, who recently retired from Supervisor Nottoli’s staff, to Supervisor Nottoli.

11. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 28, 2019, at the Rancho Cordova Library