October 30, 2013: S.R. & Umbrella Groups Monthly Meeting Notes

Emergency Services Update: Emergency Services is under the Fire Department. The Emergency Management Head has moved to Colorado, so the City is looking at the position for possible shared services.  Another CERT class is anticipated in April.  The Get Ready Program is being presented to all public school fifth graders in San Rafael as well as all kindergartners.

The City partners with the Red Cross to provide shelters in emergencies.  The locations vary according to the nature of the problem.  The Red Cross as well as the Public Works Department have caches in various places around town.

A program is being developed to keep paint out of landfills by turning in unused paint for recyling or reprocessing.  Look for the Paint Care sign in stores that will take left over paint.

Measure A Expenditure Plan:  Carlene McCort, Community Services Director, spoke about Meassure A, a 9-year plan to provide funds for Public Works, Fire Department and Parks and Recreation projects.  A Citizens Oversight Committee has been set up and priorities are being set.  Safety issues will be addressed first then plans will be made the next eight years.  Thus far the focus is on fire suppression, park maintenance and repair of park facilities.  San Rafael will receive 336 thousand dollars per year. An additional 150 thousand dollars for fire suppression will focus on hillside open space.  Another open space ranger has been added.  There will be vegetation management and debris removal.  There will be an effort to coordinate public and private property defensible space arrangements, firebreaks/access to areas. The Parks and Recreation Department will be going out to neighborhoods in an effort to create partnerships to improve neighborhood parks.

Credit Card Meters:   Jim Myers, Parking Services Manager, explained that parking services is not part of the general fund.  A request for a meter fee rise is about to be presented to City Council.  This increase will help to pay for credit card functionality for parking meters.  The street parking fee will go up to $1.50 per hour, but the garage fee will remain at $1.00 in order to encourage use of t he garages.    The new meters are coordinated with a sensor in the pavement that resets them each time a car leaves the space.  There is also a phone app that shows where there are available parking spaces.  The Business Improvement District would like there to be fewer citations.  The use of credit-card-accepting meters usually results in a 10-20% decrease in citations.

Update on Lincoln Avenue Construction:  Nader Mansourian, Director of Public Works, explained that the work going being carried out on Lincoln Avenue is not a City project, but the City does oversee it.  It started with work for the Sanitation District to repair a collapsed sewer line.  While the street is open Marin Municipal Water Department (MMWD) is putting in a new water line.  Since an old gas line was found, PG&E also had to be involved.  The work has been stopped in order to devise a plan to address a few problems, but the project should be completed soon.