COBB AREA COUNCIL
Thursday July 20, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm
Little Red Schoolhouse/Cobb Mountain Lions Club
15780 Bottle Rock Rd., Cobb, CA 95426
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER BY THE CHAIR AT 6:07pm
Present: Eliot Hurwitz, Jessyca Lytle, Cindy Leonard (alternate)
Absent: Gary Prather vacation; Barbara Flynn vacation; Jessica Pyska health
APPROVAL OF MINUTES from May 18, 2017
MOVED to accept the Minutes of May 18, 2017 as is: Robert Stark: SECONDED: Cindy Leonard. MOTION CARRIED: All ayes to accept the Minutes of May 18, 2017 as is.
Gary wrote in by email that the bank account total is $2321.89 unchanged from last month.
MOVED to get a Council banner to raise on a meeting day and for other public events: Inez Wenckus. SECONDED: Jessyca Lytle.
DISCUSSION: Kyle Noble had gotten one for the Summit Pool in full color for $65 at banners.com; Pak n Mail in Lakeport also provides banner-making services.
MOTION CARRIED/ACTION: Do design, and present next month. Peter _______________ will look into the available options, sites, and media card needs.
PUBLIC and BOARD COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
- Chair announced that the agenda can’t be discussed beforehand because of Brown Act. Everyone is invited to provide agenda items via the Council webpage “Contact Us” service, the Council Facebook page, and by email at email@example.com in addition to any posters that will be put up ahead of time.
- Debris cleanup insurance status. Cindy Leonard reported that she went to the first meeting at Twin Pine Casinos. If you didn’t go to any of the county meetings on the topic, the information will be in the mail. The amount will be a big surprise but you just submit the county letter to the insurance company and then whatever you have from your insurance company they report back to you, you report back to the county, then the county reports to the State and they and FEMA will address. Last meeting is scheduled for July 31: Cobb Elementary School 6pm.
- Rich Curtola – Had sent in two requests for info to cobbareacouncil re Rainbow Bridge and activity of council. Is a county newbie, been coming here since 1955, going to move up full time when he retires.
MOVED to add this item to the agenda because the item came in after the agenda had been set: Jessyca Lytle; SECONDED: Karl Parker
MOTION CARRIED/ACTION: All say aye to including the Rainbow Bridge item on today’s agenda.
Robert Stark: Latest info on the bridge has to do with Friends of Cobb Mountain and events of only the last week. FOCM usually gets involved in logging, geothermal, sanitation, erosion issues, but one of our directors, David Coleman, has a property in High Valley that was leased to Alta Rock Power. Turns out Alta Rock has a bridge they need to get rid of. It is already disassembled and the parts stacked, bolts are in the boxes. The money they might get selling it would be far inferior to the money to be spent carting it off. FOCM went ahead and placed first dibs on this bridge, even though it needs to be cut down from 90 feet long and 12 ft wide, capacity of 90 tons, geothermal equipment standard.
In the meantime, last week’s Record-Bee had an article about how a bridge in Spring Valley had washed out. The county came in and put in a doublewide Bailey bridge, and Spring Valley residents are wondering when and with what will be the permanent replacement. Since FOCM had first dibs on the Alta Rock bridge which would work for that location, David called the Supervisor for District 3, Jim Steele, who oversees the Advisory Council for Spring Valley to present a deal: FOCM would be happy to give up their dibs on the Alta Rock bridge to Spring Valley if the county comes back and fixes the Rainbow Bridge. We can’t use the Alta Rock bridge here practically, but the county needs it up there in Spring Valley.
Tomorrow we have to tell Alta Rock we’re interested. We only have a three-day timeframe, otherwise Alta Rock carts it off. Our supervisory, Rob Brown, is on vacation and public works was out sick, so there was no committee to make the deal happen.
Lytle: Where is county at with Spring Valley?
Stark: Every week, BOS addresses Valley fire, Clayton fire, and Spring Valley bridge, and each time there has been no new updates re Spring Valley. There’s no timeframe right now for Spring Valley so we need a timeframe to set it and then we get a million dollar bridge. Need to get word to the board of supervisors and do two things to be successful. Letter of intent, or memo of understanding with power, they have our word, and we have theirs. Make it tomorrow, and we can email them back. Families need a new Rainbow Bridge for kids to go over.
RCurtola: We’re now in the middle of fire season. Spring Valley was burned out and we’re in the middle of another fire season. If fire comes in at top of Hwy 175, we can’t get out, and if it’s on Bottle Rock then there’s no way either. Our bridge has to be done first.
Phil: What would it cost the county to use the bridge we have to offer.
Stark: It would be another year because the Alta Rock bridge has massive footings, considerable abutments, 90 feet long. But county has excavators, and what would you pay for shipping a bridge from East Djibouti? The reality is we need it done, we don’t need a 2-lane bridge nor a public easement, and we don’t need it to be a county road. Very simple, quid pro quo.
John Carlisi: County could accomplish 2 things at the same time.
Karl Parker. Seems an elegant solution. As an alternative would it also be possible to accept the Alta Rock bridge, and then sell it? Bad loss for the company, but for this community it would be enough money fund our repair.
Stark: We’re volunteering a $1.5 M bridge; just need to know whether or not we are in line with our FOCM charitable purposes. We need to let them know tomorrow so their lawyers can investigate FOCM to see if we can take a gift. We’re buying something as a gift technically. Nonprofits normally don’t buy and sell on the open market, then by seat of pants try and turn it around. FOCM converted to a 501c3 (was 501c4f) to accept donations; some confusion, presently.
Eliot Hurwitz: Yes, a 501c3 can sell property as long as the proceeds are used for the charitable needs indicated in their bylaws.
Mike: What about fish and wildlife issue–county problem.
Jo: Is the Rainbow Bridge county-maintained?
Stark: No. Community gave money to help put in a culvert. No moneys available at this time. Rob Brown has been gone on vacation. Call Rob Brown and let him know how you feel about the deal: 349-2628, and the other supervisors as well. Tell him, “I want to let you know I fully support the efforts by the FOCM to fix the Rainbow Bridge with that trade; if you have any questions please talk to Jim Steele, who oversees the Advisory Council there.
County “never” has the money, they want to put in an assessment, period. Committee meets every month but nothing has ever been made to happen.
MOTION for Cobb Area Council to officially support FOCM to obtain the Alta Rock bridge for the purposes of replacing the Rainbow Bridge, using Council stationery: RCurtola. SECONDED: Inez Wenckus.
Kyle Noble: Cindy, has anyone asked the board of education about the children crossing the bridge.
Cindy Leonard: There has been talk of the bus having a temporary stop at the school, which means 20 kids could go up, but that’s in the works. In the meantime, dozens of people are marching across a collapsed bridge on top of another collapsed bridge–doesn’t take much. Then fish and game will come in up to their necks.
Woman: Does the power plant have a timeline?
Stark: They will cancel contract to sell in lieu of us getting it. 160K lbs. of iron, you can’t just take it away. They want it gone. Don’t want to know anything else. We pay them, they reply to us, we have first dibs.
RCurtola: It is still imperative, that CAC recognize how serious this is, it’s been 6 months and lives here are in danger every single day. If that bridge doesn’t get fixed then it doesn’t matter whether we get the Alta Rock bridge. A letter from the Council emphasizes the seriousness of the issue. The county only recognizes an assessment district that they placed on the last November ballot.
However, there is a precedent set by the county at Meadow and Rainbow, people on Hwy 175 to Bottle Rock Road via that shortcut, gave us a Bailey bridge, repaired the road, they have culpability on this bridge, so if somebody dies there is going to be a battle.
What do we need to get the assessment district in motion?
Stark: The letter has already been written. I went and got the application, and is polling the residents, asking them to please fill out the postcard, because nobody else is doing it.
ACTION: Put on the Council agenda next month to bring the paperwork and organize for the assessment district right there.
Lytle: Have packed the room all those times the Council was to discuss special topics like this, Calfire was present as well. The conversations need to continue from multiple residents as we go through this process. Send an email, whatever to let your voice be known and move the county forward.
RCurtola: Have great anxiety at night, not sleeping well when he’s up here. Wants attorney to consider a letter to put them on notice.
MOTION CARRIED/ACTION: To let Alta Rock kow we are interested. Post on the website all the Supervisors’ phone numbers and email addresses, so the information is always available.
SHORT COMMITTEE REPORTS
- Hoberg’s Abatement — Karl Parker reports they haven’t been able to meet. Will meet Tues, but Scott Skellenger had to be hospitalized, out now maybe. 67 cords of wood have been moved off the property in the last 2 weeks. Wood piles diminishing. Done probably end of summer. As soon as Scott is well we’ll meet.
Comment: Homeowners are concerned about the massive amounts of fire fuel. We‘re not on a county maintained road so County only say talk to PG&E, other businesses but if it’s not a threat to PG&E concerns, then we’re on our own.
IWenckus: Use Neighborhood Watch. You don’t have to have a badge, just anonymously call in 707-263-2690 for Sheriff’s office., and say I’m with Neighborhood Watch and I want to make a report. You can also send in pictures.
2. Emergency Preparedness/Communications: Mel McMurrin, ham radio operator – Here are more ways we can keep track of what’s going on, beyond paying attention to a helicopter in the sky, Nixle, or anything like that. If a fire is ten minutes away, you need something quicker than Nixle. If you have a scanner, listen to the dispatcher on 15134. Online: information will be posted on the Scanner website. Facebook has 3 different pages. Top one, i.e., the most active and reliable, so go there first is “On the Scanner Lake County”. Helicopters are in the sky practicing, the black helicopters belong to PG&E. Keep a pen and paper handy to take down addresses — addresses can make all the difference in getting away in time!
Re main CalFire line, it was inundated during the Valley Fire, so check the 2nd number shown on this list. If you see smoke, call 911, because on a cellphone they can locate you immediately. Talked to them today. On a Lake Co cellphone, they said call the sheriff.
911 in Cobb is part of a plan with Calfire. They transfer to St. Helena, so when 911 comes on the line, tell them to transfer you to St. Helena so there will be no delay for them to look it up. Middle number listed is the St. Helena number. I put these two numbers on the back of my cellphone.
Radios– cheap, can be used as a scanner; radio law just changed too, however, more info later. Scanner apps on the phone are available, and these will work as long as you can find the middle frequency listed.
ACTION: Will post on the Cobb Area Council website.
Checking for a show of hands: 4 residents in the room have scanners. When you hear them say “Go to white, or red, net” they are sending their staff to the priority channel that isn’t open to be scanned. When you hear them say, “Code 33’, that means “don’t use radio, use scanner”. Still, they have to call back to dispatch with news no later than 5 hrs, and same update has to be posted on the CalFire website.
New notification network: CodeRed, more local than Nixle, replaces CityAlert. Sheriff Martin says if you have trouble with set up, call OES at sheriff’s department and they’ll give you tech support. There should be something on the signup to give the phone number you want notified and also have another phone notified, to make sure someone you designate knows also about any emergency. As of today, they have 1800 signed up, only landlines, so far. Lytle never got a notification on her landline.
Community preparation for the upcoming 2017 fire season including update on hazard mitigation and communications
- Neighbors Helping Neighbors
- Weedwhacking, loppers, available; not chainsaws.
- Have 6 folks asking for help in the Cobb area, from Seigler Springs to Cobb, including someone who had heart surgery; a bedridden husband on Fox with a garden of weeds; 80 yr old guy on Loch Lomond. Number to call to ask for or offer help is 335- 4084.
- Helpers: 3 calls so far. A dozen lots would be a first start.
- Works with So. Lake Co Firesafe Council which has simple Right of Entry / Hold Harmless form. You can participate even if you don’t need help yourself by making a donation to provide someone else with a $30/yr membership — entitles participant to a free half hour chipping + 4 hrs $30/half hour (normally $180/hr–good deal, and are working on more grants. Program requires branches no more than 6-in size, plus good stacking to keep efficient. .
- They go in two phases, just finished the first round, which is underway, can’t get into this one; have to wait.
- Trees Project with Brenda Quintero is for full-length logs.
- Lytle: At recent Council meeting, our county was the most represented in the entire room – 5 counties in our LNU area. Working together to get more grants. $113.yr fire abatement fee goes into a state pot and each county competes for the money.
- Source of casual labor for hire: just bulletin boards at Dino’s, Hardester’s, post offices
- Peter Hess: Sevin works really well on rows of beetle trees, but only on the base borer type. ACTION: Please give Eliot information and we can let people know.
2. Disaster Council:
- New draft of Emergency Operations Plan has been online for three months — please send in comments to the OES office.
- At Board of Supervisors meeting, it was decided that the County General Plan is going to be updated, which will affect zoning, land use. CAC Chair attended and reminded the board they have to do the area plan first, bottom up/grassroots, and they promised they would do it that way. Cobb was already set to be the first area plan to be updated; have not heard anything yet from Byron Turner; met with Planning Director Massarelli twice.
3. Hazard Mitigation:
- Sirens – installation scheduled for HIdden Valley first, then Cobb next.
- Chief Wink can come again to update us. These days, fires eason is serious in September. All this work we’re doing now is just part of the acceleration needed.
- Phone number for Code Enforcement: 263-2309