Minutes- November 17, 2016

COBB AREA COUNCIL

PUBLIC MEETING

Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6:00-8:00pm
Little Red Schoolhouse/Cobb Mountain Lions Club
15780 Bottle Rock Rd., Cobb, CA 95426

MINUTES

The meeting was called to order at: 5:58 PM.

GENERAL

 

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES from October 20

Moved to approve: Gary Prather, seconded: Barbara Flynn. In favor: all ayes

 

  1. PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS (3 mins./individual)
    1. Charlene Hamilton: Wants to find out how to get in touch with delivery of tap water and chopped wood; is disabled now.
      1. Answer: LakeCountyLumber.com re free firewood–see on CAC site
      2. Mike Kramer: CalPine Geothermal
    2. Linda Darms from MATH: Asked about redrawing the boundaries
      1. Eliot Hurwitz, CAC Chair, has talked with Fletcher and Claude. MATH has a copy of the CAC map which is also on the CAC website. Intention: spend regular time together and coordinate between the 2 municipal advisory councils; expect a good partnership.
      2. Jessyca Lytle specified that the furthest line out follows the Cobb Area Plan, reduced specifically to the fire area, then expanded slightly for water consolidation including Seigler Springs. In total, the area has really been reduced if anything. That’s the original thought and idea and it wasn’t random.
    3. Barbara Flynn: Misunderstandings are going around that CAC is an extension of Friends of Cobb, and we aren’t.
      1. Gary Prather: MATH must be aware that the boundaries at MATH is for the focus of areas of need for your residents. I am from Loch Lomond, and the only thing we have in common with Middletown proper is the zip code, and that is one of the reasons we want our own council.
      2. Eliot: CAC membership is for anyone who lives inside the CAC boundary.
      3. Fletcher Thornton: Originally MATH only wanted Middletown, and the powers that be wanted it to include Fire District. So MATH hadn’t wanted to be this far anyway.  
      4. Jessyca: We should go to MATH meetings also.

 

  1. UNVEILING OF NEW CAC CONTACT POINTS
    1. Jessica Pyska: CAC has its own new mailing address and website. (Applause). Website is a place to archive agendas and minutes, videos when we get onto that. Includes committee reports. We have 340 email addresses on our list; Facebook: over 200 followers. Please send photos and we can create a gallery. Contact page is working.
    2. CAC, P.O. Box 1442, Cobb 95426; cobbareacouncil@gmail.com. (Applause.)

 

  1. PRESENTATION (Mike Dunlap): Long-Term Disaster Recovery Center  at the Little Red School House
    1. Mike was previously the Lions Club Secretary and is now VP, which allows him the time to do facilities and fundraising. Will go outside the county for grants. Project costs: $350K to upgrade, put a foundation, re-lamp, new floor, upgrade bathrooms for ADA, working diligently to use more and more for community; $100K for parking lot so visitors don’t have to tromp through mud and rain.Need assistance; CalPine is giving money for roof to protect the structure. Have spent $9K on rewiring because running the recovery center made the electrical panel blow out (caught fire, but people were here to put it out).  (Applause.)
    2. Question: Where to send donations?  — We will shortly have the means to receive tax-deductible donations. Lions Club is nonprofit 501c4 (i.e., donations are NOT tax-deductible), and legal advice is to set up a 501c3 foundation. Now concentrating on maintaining service, served Clayton Fire, moved the containers to Lower Lake to help them; Dec 22: Tzu Chi coming to prepare a traditional Chinese vegetarian meal and distribute bento boxes for shut-ins; Dec 25 our own free Xmas dinner here Lion’s Club, also working with Twin Pine on Thanksgiving. Also working on a Lions’ Club website, differentiating between the Lion’s club and the project itself (for donations). Need more legal help from Lions Club International. Can take donations through foundation in Santa Rosa, and earmark for the community center. Must set  up a separate account for the building.
    3. Question: What about sheriff’s department for a center, maybe you can consider what they’ve done and direct people there.  — Lions Club Center will focus on recovery, not be stretched like Sheriff’s Department. Several organizations are interested in setting up to make use of the center that way. Have put in dedicated circuits to support case management activities. There’s no public building up here other than this building. The trophy case will be removed and that can be a book exchange, kids could come by and trade, maybe a bookmobile, too.

 

  1. UPDATE ON CALRECYCLE INSURANCE CLAIMS and other pertinent issues from the Board of Supervisors (Rob Brown):
    1. Calpine Tree Removal support: Last month’s CAC minutes were premature re CalPine expanding its tree removal support. There was no response from the public and there was not a whole lot of response but now people are concerned. Just looking at the potential of expanding the program; must handle problems with liability, especially where there’s a house nearby. Cobb Community Investment Fund committee will meet privately this Saturday to iron out details. The program stops at tree dropping; removal has to be by someone else. We’re trying to manage expectations. One guy has 20 acres and he doesn’t plan to rebuild–program there is not going to happen. We’re starting with single acre properties, as $25K doesn’t go a long way. Aerial photos show still a lot of trees.
      1. Kathleen Haskett : Will there be priorities? Some people have removed their trees but are unable to get permission to remove  neighbors’. Brown: It’s a civil matter with the neighbors re proper notification per State. If you take down a live tree or part-live tree, then you become liable.
      2. Catherine Hamilton: Has neighbor who didn’t even know they owned the lot with beetle infestation right next to her house. Brown: That matter is secondary to trees as a fire hazard; USDA program will cover the beetled trees.
    2. CalHome: Nov 28 deadline to HCD for administer the program. Entities in Lake County involved: Hammers for Hope, Hope City and Habitat for Humanity for rehab and first-time home owners. County will be involved in the oversight, get the money out on the street. Public workshop to come. Jeff Lucas: potential $5.2 M for first-time homeowners.
    3. State money available for mitigation, need to apply; Jan Coppinger told him that 25% match needed. Will find 7-8 sirens.  Meeting in Sacramento on the 18th with State. Need to ramp up local communication system to announce the meaning of the siren when it sounds.  
      1. Question: Will sirens that don’t work be replaced? Brown:  Fire Department solely responsible for condition of sirens. County OES will work with them on funding. Remote sounding them off is all the County can and will do. The sirens may be obsolete and the Fire Department will decide on what to do.
      2. Tom Slait: You don’t want the sirens going off for a chimney fire. South Lake and OES will work out testing, and little priorities like that.
      3. Jessyca :ytle: Nixle not always working, so infrastructure will show gaps. Communications subcommittee needs to pick up.
      4. Collecting on the insurance for homeowners, contract still in negotiation — need more details to tighten it up, maybe ready in January. Options: put back out to bid, county run the program, need to discuss.
    4. CalPine Winter Wonderland to happen again at Black Rock.
    5. General Plan for County has to be updated every 10 years. Takes a lot of staff time and money to get done. Talked with Community Development Department Director Bob Massarelli, Must start it right and do it on Lower Lake, Middletown, Cobb. Need to identify a group of people in each of these areas, since we’re going to do this anyway. Community will be given general guidelines on roles and responsibilities. Must start now, so when spring comes, Cobb is ready to go. New supervisors coming on board, new planning commissioners–next month one guy is retiring after 18 years and we need applications, please keep in mind.
    6. Grants for CDBG money: Jeff Lucas is managing the process; discussed at last meeting with him wanting for a long time to have a park for kids; Rob has talked with Jessica Pyska and she will put together a group to work on this. We’re the only one that has no park. Applications possible when county and community are ready.
    7. FEMA reimbursement to County and continuance of tree cleanup on private property . Spent a lot of time, but we haven’t been reimbursed yet. Awarded contract to Warner Logging. Holding back on proceeding, as it costs $1.25M for monitoring where they go, so it is very expensive not to have the FEMA money in hand.
      1. Question: What about Konocti Conservation Camp? Brown: Yes, they do tree removal but only for county right of way, not private property.
    8. Rob’s Phone: 349-2628. He says it’s OK to put the phone number on the CAC website. Jessica Pyska invited him to send anything he needs to be put on the website.
    9. Question: Fletcher Thornton concerned that they’re going to outlaw marijuana grows on boundaries north. Down the hill were places that were excluded 10 years ago but should now be brought in as residential areas. Brown: still trying to understand the full impact of Prop 64. We have discretion on dispensaries and manufacturing, and other supervisors can do what they like, but we don’t need these activities in District 5.

 

FUTURE ITEM: Put Prop 64 implications on a future agenda.

 

  1. TEAM LAKE COUNTY (TLC) SERVICES STATUS (Team Lake County Vice-Chair Moke Simon, Case Management committee lead Jacqueline Maxman)
    1. There had been TLC Executive Board confusion but now all is consolidated and there are no public meetings anymore. Each member organization operates independently. Most well known is Hope City. They have built  6-7 houses with 1 in Cobb. They have committed to building 50-54 homes. They are working with Lions Club in Middletown, making the volunteer dormitory. Mennonite Disaster Services  to come in and build also.
    2. Disaster case management has been a challenge; have heard many complaints. There are 900+ potential cases and only a few full-time case workers.
    3. TLC meets second Friday of every month, 10-12 at Methodist Church, Middletown. Website: tlc.org has some information. NCO is the fiscal sponsor, don’t have a lot of money.
    4. Question: Brown: There’s a case management building in Clearlake, can we get that closer to Middletown and Cobb?
      1. Maxman: Clearlake center not costing anything. TLC has a thin budget. All donations received have been earmarked for rebuilding homes earmarked, so no administration money. Working now with 13-14 Americorps kids, Middletown Rancheria helping out.
      2. Question: What is current status of cases? 1300 potential caseload, including individuals and households. Biggest challenge is that case management is voluntary, so we might call and don’t get anybody so we can’t force anyone. Very part-time volunteer case managers, not as effective as full-time. Renters from Clayton Fire that had been in Lower Lake, now renters in the Avenues in Clearlake; this wasn’t a giant shift for them because same school district etc.
      3. Question: Shouldn’t you be raising funds to hire someone? Costs $46,000/yr to pay somebody to do case management (not including administrative costs for the hire). Trying to get funding. As a committee, case management has to leave it to TLC to get the money so case managers can focus on cases.
      4. Question: If you were offered a location closer to the center of the disaster, would you use it? Potentially — need wifi, need a place that is safe–and well-lit because we work late; concerned for everyone’s personal safety. Our entire office would fit in this room right now. The police department treats us really, really well and come through regularly.
      5. Question: What are the statistics for Cobb? We can’t tell because it is a voluntary process. I see less than a handful of folks coming through our caseload. In June and July we did a mass call. Of 900 people, has 500 people still inactive, in other words didn’t return any of our two calls.
      6. Question: What are you doing about the people who still need help but haven’t gotten through?  Instead of looking for people, it seems like people who need help would come looking. Current caseload is 300. We’re done with any intake, so we are concentrating on these 300. Maybe some people here can pass the word on.
      7. Question: First thing we did, we told people  where to go. People didn’t think they needed help then, so they didn’t go. Now they need help, but have lost contact. It’s a challenge.
      8. Question: You do intake, and then provide what services? You refer them, or provide them? We fill out the forms: if you were insured/uninsured/underinsured, and then we get verification on proof of residence, voluntary rebuild needed (ie.. free and clear of debt or less than $25K in debt, paid off). If you’ve been declined for SBA (maybe failed the income test), then we put you through the different apps — applies only to homeowners. Otherwise, renter is referred to Craig’s List, FEMA list, etc. We help find the rental and assistance on first and last month’s. Connect them to furniture via “House in a box” and see what they need for individual pieces of furniture.
      9. Question: Given the caseload, how long does it take for a case to go through all of it? Depends on the person. Depends on the issue, too, say, can’t rebuild because septic is crushed. Get case manager at 707-994-2910
      10. Question: In future, could you let us hear about Cobb cases? Red Cross will help out on the information at the monthly TLC meeting tomorrow.

 

  1. PRESENTATION ON ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS in the fire recovery area (Jeff Lucas)
    1. We have workshops on financing your business; 1:1 consultation similar to case management in that a business owner might need to understand cash flow, marketing.
    2. Andy Nester will help you use the internet to do marketing; can help with permit issues like when new kitchen coming in.
    3. Cobb Business Summit coming. Can access Mendocino funds; $0.5M coming in from someplace, interest rates are not as low as I’d like them to be; deals possible when collateral is limited, insurance to cover that. Can extend so payment schedule easier to handle. Have several loans done in the area. Info on our website.
    4. Question: Resources to market us as a community? No. We can develop that. EDC can go after grants as long as there is an advantage to the community. Worked closely in the past with Rob Brown and Carol Ann Huchingson re  CDBG money, and will do more as we want more of that here.
    5. Barbara Flynn: Whole community needs a sign promotion, we have 2 golf courses etc. stop and see us — if we’re all behind it, Jeff could come up with funds. Maybe do it at a facility in Middletown as you come over the hill, “Go see Cobb!” Dissolve our boundaries. We have MATH and MAMA here.
    6. Moke: Marketing ourselves is needed. We’ve done that as a tribe, put a sign up at Calistoga. had to work with CalTrans. Rancheria here for entire community.
    7. LCEDC services are free. Want to participate more here in Cobb.
    8. Re Cobb Area Plan, LCEDC will participate in private sector: business attraction for the entire county.
    9. Andy Nester. Business Advisor for small business. Met Jeff in May 2015 formed, joined him in July 2015. Consultation is through SBDC work funded by SBA and other sponsors, covers northeastern region of CA; 18 business advisors, he’s here in Lake Co. Since I’ve been working here, have met 38 individuals and businesses, 18 active clients. 6 have been funded, by EDC and Umpqua Bank.
    10. We can start from the simple declaration, “I want to start,” all the way to strategic plans, ongoing management for growth, help with cash flow, become successful in Lake Co. Program is for meeting 1-3 times to assess needs, build on that, all the way through exit plan. Andy was 50 years in tech, operated and funded 3 companies. Retired in 2006 and moved up here. Experienced in fields: restaurant, catering, retail, starting up retail, high tech, motel, campground. Philosophy: Every business is about three elements: people, products and services, money. Meshing them leads to how they work together and a business plan.
    11. Question: What about someone who became permanently disabled after the fire, and wants to sell business? Master carpenter built her a pop-up flower shop, portable, nice for wineries to draw people in, just got barely started. We can meet and form a strategy and selling needs a business plan. I would like to teach a young woman to take over.
    12. Question: Very interested in business development. what about code enforcement? EDC has nothing to do with it. Maybe we can bring it up in another meeting of the CAC. Brochures on the table.  

 

FUTURE ITEM FOR THE AGENDA: Business code enforcement.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

  1. Emergency Preparedness — none
    1. Communications – none, committee chair absent.
    2. Hazard Mitigation – Gary Prather
      1. Jessyca Lytle mentioned the USDA program. Seigler is sending in application. Funds can be used to clear slash and trees dead from beetles. You must have the property surveyed – we had Jim Harley private forester. And then you qualify. Pay for it yourself, then the funds are reimbursed, $540/acre max depending on the condition of the property.
      2. Jessyca: Met Kate O’Donnell, Corinne Woodard for 1-½ hrs. New program: press release was Nov 7 that funding is available. Meant for landowners with acreage. Cost offset for forest improvement program. Process: call and tell them your needs. They come out and survey to compare physically, then discuss what they can offer. If need qualifies, then fill out the application. You have to contract the work, and complete it yourself (or hire). They come out and see whether the work is done as per agreement parameters, then they will cut the reimbursement check in two weeks. Landowners interested need to apply before the beginning of February and get into the current funding cycle before it ends and while it is still more or less safe to burn. Otherwise, if you wait until after February, you will get caught in the summer months that restrict your ability to complete work safely because of the burn ban period.  List of qualified material includes: slash, logs on the ground, milling also possible. Reforestation and replanting and getting seedlings, brush abatement later. Won’t pay for the slash previous to the Fire–will be part of the assessment.
      3. Gary: If you start work now, may not get reimbursed until 2017 because the amount of work had to be broken into pieces.. Next funding cycle begins in February, so if you start the application now, you could possibly make it inside the burn ban period (which starts in May).  
      4. Maps – Gary Prather: Has seen improvements in online maps but hasn’t fed it himself; now Seigler roads are showing correctly vs. when first responders for Valley Fire thought they were on Ridge Road but were actually on Mountain road.
      5. Resources — Robert Stark: Had to leave for another meeting
    3. Rebuild Advocacy — Ron Haskett
      1. Things are moving, drove around Gifford Springs: really cool, they’re not messing around. Was talking in the beginning of the disaster to people not wanting to rebuild, and now that’s changing.
      2. Rob: Numbers of permits are misleading because they could cover electrical and other contractors. The speed is good, we have been behind on inspections. Big issue: marijuana permits booming. Marijuana can wait while everybody is trying to rebuild! Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to deny hiring two new staff members for the Planning Department. Please talk to the other supervisors to have them act on this situation.
    4. Neighborhood Watch — Inez Wenckus absent
    5. Cobb Abatement Monitoring — Karl Parker
      1. Wants to get earlier on the agenda sometime.
      2. Dan Nelson said this afternoon that he had received notification of official ok to clean up the main lodge! A company with 30 years of Hazmat experience has been clearing 6 sensitive locations with high percent friable asbestos. When these are done, they will continue. More bad weather and the Thanksgiving holiday will slow things down.
      3. Brown: CAC meeting time was all taken up by Hoberg’s at the beginning,  and I was still getting 30 calls a day. Thank you for stepping in. Made a huge difference. Will they donate land toward a park? Put it in their ear.
      4. Transitioning into weed/brush abatement and beetle tree removal and cleanup
      5. Plan outlined on the website. $2M insurance if you bring the tree down when there’s a structure around. Start with trees before you build!
      6. People need to really start talking with neighbors and see what their plans are to rebuild, and ask them to please cut the trees down. Ron and Kathleen, you’ve tried to connect your neighbors. County can’t get involved, per Anita Grant. Lake Co Bar Assn is helping: working on a draft letter template to say they are responsible for when the trees fall down and that you will take a legal course of action.  The Cobb Community Investment fund will include this in their discussion.
      7. CAC website: posted a lot of resources re tree removal etc. chipping, milling.
      8. South Lake Fire District is doing chipping as a regular program.
      9. Dan Nelson is still offering his tree program to drop trees. Will cover Summit Drive on the other side of the church, he will bring his crew and equipment to anyone there with a Right of Entry. He will haul away as well. See number on website.
      10. Boggs Forest update (Cindy Leonard): Forest Manager had said they would start burning but was concerned re daily for air quality, and it doesn’t seem to be as troublesome as expected. Smoke management plan needed. Took pictures, as Boggs has been burning a while now, and they’re high enough that the smoke is blowing to Middletown and Hidden Valley, so it’s  not a problem up here. Will keep links from Friends of Boggs on the CAC site, plus photos.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

  1. FORMATION OF NEW AD HOC COMMITTEE TO MONITOR ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS
    1. Committee would work actively with TLC on case management issues. Provide communications and access, perhaps. Work at least next 6 months, they are facing a tremendous load need to mobilize.

 

MOTION: Magdalena Valderrama moved to establish the new committee. Seconded: Jessyca Lytle. All ayes.

 

    1. Jacqui Maxman: In order to work in the case management office in Clearlake, you have to be cleared through NCO (North Coast Opportunities) and get a background check. We’ll let you process data if you lost a home but we won’t let you work with clients.
    2. Clarification that this is not about case management, the committee want to help TLC with communication. Committee volunteers: Tamsen Nash, Charlene Hamilton, Magdalena Valderrama.

 

VOTE: All ayes in favor.

 

  1. CELEBRATING SUCCESSFUL REBUILDING IN THE COBB AREA
    1. Cindy: Put a star on our CAC map for each rebuild. Hoberg’s work needs to be celebrated! She has been out with her chainsaw. Invite guests to our meetings and honor them maybe and put a list on our website.
    2. Ron Haskett: Newspaper interviewed us, looked at the house next door, only wants to talk re the “bad” and always taking pics of the burnt trees. Need our own press releases. People want to come and see the change.
    3. Jessica: For the New Year, let’s celebrate what has happened. Pics of everyone on their front porch, make slider for website.
    4. Green stars for starts, gold for finishes.
    5. Celebrate at Tzu Chi dinner on Dec 22 — this is day after solstice, you get an extra minute of daylight. Catholic Charities bringing bags of food.
    6. Post on Bulletin board on post office — stars to bring hope.
    7. Question: Can county give numbers? Talk to Bob Massarelli about total of permits. Ron Haskett says lumberyard sees all the permits, and they can work with that.
    8. Question: Is it ok that someone gives new signboard 4×8

 

  1. POTENTIAL COBB BUSINESS SUMMIT
    1. Barbara: Need to get businesses together. so scattered, and need plans to do joint advertising, work with each other instead of apart.  

 

    1. FUTURE 0ITEM: Potential Cobb Business Summit

 

FINAL COMMENTS/ SOLICITATION: DECEMBER MEETING AGENDA ITEMS

 

  1. Treasurer’s report. Wrote 2 checks to get post office box, and money for website=$200 total. Dunlap: Ask for free nonprofit box at post office, there’s a form.
  2. Need to announce CalPine support
  3. Tremendous challenge to communicate all this information, especially as many people still have no internet, please pass on the info.
  4. RE Tree hazards on neighbor’s lots: When contacting neighbors, please keep a log of when you called, what happened, and if you send a letter do it certified return receipt to build a file. Bar Assn atty says there can be a boilerplate to fill out. If they don’t respond to you, we can try attorney letter
  5. How much friendlier chair.

 

MOTION to Adjourn

Adjournment: 8:02pm

 

Minutes submitted by Magdalena Valderrama