The long-awaited one-time fire damage settlement dollars are coming to town. The County is getting $`142 million and the City of SR is getting $92 million. How are they going to spend it?
Interestingly, the process for the City and County to have gotten those settlement dollars, was to provide a list of damages sustained to their infrastructure either due to the fire itself or caused by the debris cleanup afterward. Those damages were listed and submitted to FEMA and the ones that FEMA said “No” to funding, made up the list that the City and County submitted for settlement. Obviously, there was other cost considerations such as emergency staffing, utility costs, etc. that forced the County and City to dip heavily into their Reserves to cover the emergency during and after the fires. There was a huge list of non-reimbursed items that the judges considered in making their award to the City and County. Now that the Award is coming, it is interesting to note the following:
Neither the City nor County is obligated to spend those funds on the list of costs they submitted to get the Awards in the first place.
Yep. Pretty much, they can spend the money on whatever they choose. If they simply wanted to backfill their reserves with the one-time windfall, they could.
What we need is help from our Members. Jeff Okrepkie has done a great job in writing a letter to residents and asking for their help. His letter, which includes the emails for the entire City Council Members, is attached here:
What we are asking you to do is, as soon as possible, write a letter (if you are a City of Santa Rosa Business or resident), to the City of Santa Rosa requesting they spend the PG & E money on:
1. General sidewalk repairs caused by debris removal and fire damage.
2. Road slurry to fix the neighborhood streets in Fountaingrove and Coffey Park
3. Hopper Avenue improvements and repairs including sidewalk, curb and gutter and street trees
4. Fountaingrove lighting and sidewalk and street repairs.
Please, help us, help our businesses, and help the residents in SR get what is due them. Demand the City Council spend on the very issues that got them their dollars!
As for the County, there are plenty of road and street repairs that are needed. The County will be holding a public meeting via Zoom on August 11 (I will give you the info for the Zoom meeting and time of the meeting next week) to hear from the public as to how to spend their $142 million windfall. I know from conversations with some Supes, there is $80,000,000 being considered for road and infrastructure repairs up for grabs. So, let’s grab it!! We ask that you write a letter of support to the Supervisors asking them to spend the one time PG & E money on repairing the roads, bridges, and infrastructure most in need of repair or replacement from fire damage, and heavy equipment damaging roads from debris removal and reconstruction. Below are the Supervisors emailsWe need you to write them please!
The Pedestrian and Bike Bridge across Highway 101 near the SRJC Campus cleared another hurdle this week. To see the drawings, and read the report prepared by none other than our own ECA Member BKF Engineering, click on the link. (Go to 1. attachment IS/MND) The bridge design looks really cool. There will be some work for our guys once this finally gets funded. It has only been in design and discussion since 2011. Maybe it gets built later this year or in 2021.
The ECA, and its Board of Directors, has been the voice of the engineering construction industry for the past thirty three years.