Archive for the ‘Contra Costa County’ Category

Supervisors will appoint new County Clerk-Recorder on Feb. 4, recruitment process begins Nov. 8

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized four county entities for their contributions in combatting homelessness in the county at Tuesday’s board meeting. Supervisors passed a resolution recognizing November as Homelessness Awareness Month. The county has only 28 percent shelter capacity needed for single adults. In 2018, 6,924 persons accessed homeless services in the county. At the supervisors meeting, four awards were presented by the Council on Homelessness. Ken Rickner of Shower House Ministeries was named Outstanding Volunteer. Lito Calimlin was named as Outstanding Landlord Award. Chris Celio of the Home Center was named winner of the Rapid Resolution Program and the City of Martinez was named Outstanding Jurisdiction. Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

Canciamilla retired on October 31; Ken Rickner of Shower House Ministries honored as Outstanding Volunteer by Council on Homelessness

Joe Canciamilla

By Daniel Borsuk

With the clock ticking for the June 2, 2020 California Primary Election, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday set a schedule to appoint a new County Clerk-Recorder by Feb. 4, 2020.

Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to follow a schedule to select a new Clerk-Recorder to replace Joseph Canciamilla who surprisingly retired on October 31 after serving one year of his second four-year term.

Canciamilla, who is on record as the nation’s youngest elected School Board Trustee when he was elected to the Pittsburg Unified School District Board in 1973 at age 17, was one year in into his second four-year term as County Clerk-Recorder when he announced his retirement.

Prior to his serving as Clerk-Recorder, Canciamilla had served as a State Assemblyman, County Supervisor, Pittsburg City Council Member and Pittsburg School Board Member.

In March 2013, out a pool of 19 candidates Canciamilla was selected by the board of supervisors to complete the term of County Clerk-Recorder Steve Weir, who had resigned after serving as clerk-recorder for 24 uncontested years.

Supervisors were pressed to establish a selection process and agreed to open recruitment on Nov. 8, close recruitment on Nov. 16, interview selected applicants and select a finalist on Jan. 21, authorize County Administrator David Twa to conduct a social media check and a criminal background check of the finalist and to obtain fingerprints and an economic disclosure statement (Form 700) from the finalist. The finalist will be appointed on Feb. 4.

No one spoke in opposition or in favor of the supervisors’ selection schedule, but supervisors spent some time on whether they’d accept applicants from outside the county and whether the county can attract quality candidates from within Contra Costa County or if the pool of candidates should emanate from outside the county.

“We’re going to get good local people,” predicted Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood.

But District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff warned “I’m not going to vote for some who applies for this position and maintains a rental.”

Authorize Byron Airport Development Lease Negotiations

Supervisors gave county airport officials the green light to commence negotiations with Mark Scott Construction, Inc. to negotiate a long-term ground lease and development terms for three acres of vacant land at the north corner of Falcon Way and Eagle Court at the Byron Airport. The item was approved as a consent item.

The Airport Division of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department received a letter of interest from Mark Scott Construction Inc. to lease and develop the property for aviation use.

The business proposal will be presented before the Aviation Advisory Committee, the Airport Committee, and other stakeholders.

Revert 12-Year Housing Action in El Sobrante

Supervisors took the unusual action of unanimously taking a reversion of property designation that supervisors had approved nearly 12 years ago for a five-lot subdivision at Luise Lane at Hilltop Drive in unincorporated El Sobrante.

Since the developer and owner of the project site, Geoghegan Homes, Inc., has not met county requirements of installing road, drainage and other subdivision improvements as of Dec. 4, 2009 and has missed that extended deadline five times, ultimately to April 20, 2019, the county opted to exercise its reversion powers.

Now the property can only be developed into one house containing 7,000 square feet. Furthermore, the developer must go through a new county planning department review procedure, explained Slava Gospodchikov of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department.

The supervisors’ action did not please everyone especially Robert Johannessen, who lives across the street from the subject site and has seen rise of traffic accidents on Luise Lane when motorists take detours off nearby Interstate 80 when the freeway is jammed due to an accident. “It’s not a safe neighborhood anymore,” he said. Johannessen thinks any development on that site, even a 7,000 square foot house, will draw potential traffic problems to the neighborhood.

Other Board Actions

In other business, the supervisors approved five United States Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative Grants contracts for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District totaling $408,900. Those contracts include:

  • $295,000 for the purchase of a hook lift modular transport vehicle.
  • $10,000 for two 8,000 lbs. rated grip hoist rescue units.
  • $24,900 for Weapons of Mass Destruction rescue Personal Protective Equipment such as butyl rubber gloves, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive filter cartridges and adapters.
  • $38,000 for search and rescue listening devices; and
  • $41,000 for the purchase of two search cameras.
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Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors ratify proclamation of local emergency

Friday, November 1st, 2019

By Susan Shiu, Director, Contra Costa County Office of Communications and Media

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution at a special Board meeting today, November 1, 2019, ratifying the County Administrator’s October 27, 2019 proclamation of existence of a local emergency when the Board of Supervisors was not in session and could not immediately be called into session.

Contra Costa County issued a proclamation of local emergency due to severe weather conditions on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4:37 pm when County Administrator David J. Twa, as the Administrator of Emergency Services, signed the proclamation.

The proclamation states that “conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property have arisen within the County, caused by a severe weather event commencing at 8 p.m. on October 26, 2019. The velocity and duration of wind, coupled with low humidity, is driving wildfires in multiple locations, causing power disruptions, tree falls and infrastructure damage, and necessitating evacuations; and that these conditions are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the County.”

Board Chair, Supervisor John Gioia, said, “The weather conditions were such that there were a series of fires one after another that led to evacuation orders in multiple parts of the County on that day alone. Throughout the local emergency, Con Fire and other fire district firefighters, Sheriff’s Office, County departments’ employees and other partners, including the National Weather Service, worked diligently to coordinate in the County’s Emergency Operation Center.”

The Supervisors all echoed this sentiment of pride in how the County worked together with multiple agencies and jurisdictions to keep residents safe and informed during an unprecedented local emergency affecting tens of thousands of Contra Costa residents.

“The County prepares for emergencies. Our teams did the work they were trained to do. We are grateful that there was no loss of human life,” says County Administrator David Twa. “We will continue to support residents and encourage you to stay prepared.”

To learn about and register for Contra Costa County’s Community Warning System, go to cwsalerts.com. Sign up to receive alerts, such as evacuation alerts, via voice, text and email. Follow @CoCoCWS, @CCCounty and other official sources on Twitter.

For safety and preparedness resources, go to https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/5435/Public-Safety-Emergency-Info.

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Supervisors form committee to consider half-cent sales tax measure for Nov. 2020 ballot

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized the community service of CERT C-8 on Tuesday. Currently consisting of 70 members, supervisors recognized the organization that is known to dispatch volunteers to train senior care staff, serve as Amateur Radio Operators, Red Cross Shelter workers, traffic control and join the Contra Costa CART. C-8 has helped to get Spanish Cert out to many areas of the county. The program is called Listos. Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

Demand NuStar Energy safety probe before Crockett plant is reopened following fire

By Daniel Borsuk

At their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, Contra Costa County Supervisors voted 4-0 to create an ad hoc committee to explore the feasibility of placing on the ballot a sales tax measure. The committee will consist mainly of union leaders, county agency heads and nonprofit organizations leaders.

On the vote, District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover was absent.

At the recommendation of District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who serves on the Finance Committee, proposed the establishment of a citizen-based ad hoc committee to study a proposal that could wind up on a ballot for county voters to decide on perhaps by the November 2020 general election.

In California, the maximum sales, use, and transactions tax rate is 9.25 percent. That includes a statewide base sale and use tax of 7.25 percent and up to 2 percent for local district transaction and use taxes.

Current projections for annual revenues for a countywide transaction and use tax are one half cent $93 million and quarter cent $46.5 million. Current projections for annual revenues for an unincorporated area transaction and use tax are one half cent: $8.32 million and one.

So far, the ad hoc committee will study several potential tax scenarios. Current projections for annual revenues for a countywide transaction and use tax area:

. 0.50 percent (1/2 cent): $93 million

. 0.25 percent (1/4 cent): $46.5 million

Projections for annual revenues for an unincorporated area transaction and use tax are:

. 0.50 percent (1/2 cent): $8.32 million

. 0.25 percent (1/4 cent): $4.16 million

Mitchoff said she is promoting the sales tax ad hoc committee because she frequently hears from constituents why Contra Costa County does not have a sales tax while other counties like Alameda, San San Mateo, Santa Clara and others do draw additional revenues for county services from a sales tax.

The ad hoc committee will be led by stake holders, not supervisors, Mitchoff said. “We want all comers at the table,” she said. “This will be a difficult lift.”

“This is a huge opportunity,” said Sean Casey, executive director of the nonprofit organization First 5. “16,000 families could benefit from this in Contra Costa County.”

Demand NuStar Energy Plant Safety Probe

Also during their meeting, the Supervisors demanded that county officials confirm that operators of the fire damaged NuStar Energy plant in Crockett not resume operations until its fire and hazardous materials safety measures have been completely reviewed and upgraded by state and federal authorities.

“I want updated progress reports on your investigations,” demanded Board Chair John Gioia, whose District 1 covers the Crockett refinery location where the fire erupted from a tank filled with ethanol at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15. The fire spread, catching a nearby tank also containing ethanol. Some 250,000 gallons of ethanol were destroyed in the fire.

The blaze forced county authorities to call a Shelter in Place in the Crockett area. Interstate 80 was closed for six hours. The incident was officially over at 8:10 p.m. when I-80 was reopened to traffic by the Highway Patrol, said Contra Costa County Director of Hazardous Materials Randy Sawyer.

“At the end of the day, the incident was contained, “said Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Lewis Broschard. “No other tanks were destroyed. No other materials were discharged.”

Broschard told supervisors it was through the fire fighting resources of NuStar Energy and several other refineries that were able to promptly respond to the fire site to assist CCCFPD in extinguishing fire. Those refineries – Shell, Chevon, Phillips 66, Tessoro, and Marathon – supplied foam that the county fire district did not have to adequately extinguish the blaze, said Chief Broschard.

Chief Broschard said at this time there is no known cause for the fire including whether arson may have been a factor.

Gioia made it clear to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Broschard and Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Program Director Randy Sawyer that he wants a thorough investigation completed before “there is a reopening” of the NuStar plant.

Supervisors heard from eight speakers, all critical of NuStar and its safety track record.

NuStar spokesperson Mary Rose Brown told the Contra Costa Herald via an emailed message:

“We absolutely agree, and we are working closely and cooperatively with CalOSHA and other regulatory agencies on detailed plans to ensure that the facility is safe to operate before it is reopened. We also are continuing to work in very close cooperation with all applicable local and state regulatory agencies to investigate the root cause of the incident so that we can take whatever measures are required to ensure the continued safety of our employees, contractors, neighbors and the community. We worked over the weekend to pump liquids out of the incident area and CalOSHA and local fire investigators accessed the area today (Tuesday).”

County resident Carl Davidson suggested that the NuStar plant incident may have been triggered by a seismic event since the facility is located on the Pinole fault and the fire erupted after seismic events were reported in the Pleasant Hill area the previous day.

Twenty-five-year Crockett area resident Isabella Izzi said the board of supervisors and regulators should clamp down on NuStar for this environmental violation and future violations by requiring the refiner to provide hazmat masks to all residents of Crockett. “The Board of Supervisors should make it clear that it will deny any new expansion at that refinery,” she said.

Dan Torres, a representative of an industrial fire sprinkler installation union, questioned the quality and reliability of the fire sprinkler system installed at NuStar.

At the end, Chair Gioia asked that updates on the NuStar fire will be reported at the Public Safety Committee that he chairs.

In other business, the supervisors:

-Approved a $240,000 contract to Concord Yellow Cab, Inc. to provide non-emergency taxicab transportation services for Contra Costa Regional Medical center and Contra Costa Health Center patients for the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. The county pays taxicab service for patients unable to transport themselves to medical appointments due to medical conditions, including physical disabilities, patients who have verifiable seizure disorder or patients who have received medications which has or could impair their mobility.

-Approved a $1.97 million Public Works Department contract with Debri-Tech, Inc. to provide on-call assistance with trash and abandoned waste cleanup and removal for the Contra Costa County Watershed Program for the program October 15, 2019 through September 30, 2022.

-Approved the issuance of $85 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bond by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority for the Fairfield Hilltop LP, a California limited partnership, to provide for the financing of the acquisition and rehabilitation of a 322-unit multi-family housing development known as Hilltop Commons Apartments located at 15690l Crestwood Dr.

 

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On split vote by Supervisors county to temporarily stop collecting “discriminatory” adult criminal justice fees

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

At former Antioch Councilman’s urging, Supervisors direct DA’s office to reopen 2005 Lafayette murder case; approve new land development fees

By Daniel Borsuk

On a thin 3-2 vote, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday slapped a temporary moratorium on the County’s collection and assessment of 14 Adult Criminal Justice Fees that will cost the county $1.8 million in revenue a year should the moratorium become permanent.

During Public Safety Committee meetings, Chairperson John Gioia of Richmond and Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg agreed with citizen committee members the fees are discriminatory to persons of color and likely result in longtime economic or financial hardship for persons who had a criminal record.

An “aye” vote from District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood meant the county will temporarily stop the collection of fees, including the Sheriff Central Administration’s Booking Fee that will generate about $40,000 in 2019/2020, and the Adult Probation Supervision Fee that potentially could have generated nearly $1.8 million in 2019/2020 revenue.

The temporary moratorium will be effective immediately with the Board expecting to reevaluate the moratorium’s progress no later than Dec. 31, 2019. Supervisors will reassess the value of the moratorium at a December meeting.

Even though the county’s coffers are plentiful, with supervisors also officially adopting on a 5-0 vote the county’s $3.6 billion 2019-2020 final budget, the county is spending funds at a rapid pace through newly inked employee-union labor agreements like a 3.44 percent pay hike for social workers, an 8 percent salary raise for county supervisors that went into effect in July, and tacking on an additional $7.5 million in costs to the new Administration Building and new Emergency Operations Center/Public Safety Building to improve the security and communication capabilities during emergencies.

During a three-hour discussion on the item, Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen consistently opposed the moratorium on grounds that by dropping the fees for all persons, individual with the financial resources will benefit the most. “There are a lot of people who are committing these crimes who have the ability to pay these fees,” said the supervisor from Danville. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t be assessing these fees.”

In arguing against the proposal, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff said the elimination of $1.8 million of criminal justice fees could financially impact social and health programs such as drug diversion programs that assist persons with criminal records. “I cannot support the moratorium at this time,” the supervisor from Pleasant Hill declared.

But there were a number of citizens in support of the proposal to eliminate the fees.

“There are many people I have represented who 15 to 20 years later did not know that they’d have their wages garnished or face the ongoing inability to pay even though they have jobs and families,” said Mary Sylla, an attorney at Rubicon Programs.

“We urge you to do the right thing,” pleaded Ali Saidi, head of the Contra Costa Public Defenders Association, “These fees impact people of color.”

Request to Reopen Lafayette Murder Case Referred to DA’s Unit

Antioch private investigator and former Antioch Councilman Ralph Hernandez’s pitch, to have the 2005 murder case of Pamela Vitale of Lafayette reopened, got the thumbs up from the board of supervisors. The case was referred to Contra Costa District Attorney’s newly created conviction integrity unit. In this instance, Scott Dyleski, who Hernandez represents, was convicted for the October 2005 murder of Vitale.

“Your assistance in directing such from your two agencies (D.A.’s Office and Public Defender’s Office) is more than warranted,” Hernandez said. “Fourteen years of Scott’s youth has already been denied him and he still faces many more if this very serious matter is just ignored by all. Pamela Vitale’s memory deserves that the truth be determined, not ignored.”

Supervisors did not comment openly about the case, but Gioia consented that at least the DA’s new conviction integrity unit review the case.

New Land Development Fees Approved

Without opposition from either supervisors or the public, supervisors unanimously approved new land development fees charged for services performed by the Department of Conservation and Development and the Public Works Department starting March 1, 2020.

Some fees like encroachment fees have not been adjusted since 1995 and in many instances, rates are decreasing “due to economy of scale,” John Kopchik, director of the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development told the Contra Costa Herald.

Supervisors withheld action on a proposal to charge a $1,000 fee for the time and materials needed to submit and process applications for nomination of a building or cultural resource for consideration before the Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee.

“The Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee believes that the current and proposed fees of $1,000 deposit and time and materials required to submit and process applications to nominate historical and cultural resources to the County’s Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) are a deterrent to public participation in the program.

“The HLAC voted at their meeting held on August 8, 2019 to make a formal recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to reduce these fees to encourage organizations or individuals to nominate potential resources to be designated to the HRI,” Historic Landmark Advisory Committee staff member Dominique Vogelpohl wrote on August 26.

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Supervisors boost fire district development fees, choose chair pro tem to conduct business

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

By Daniel Borsuk

In order to conduct business, including the approval of higher fire district development fees, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday had to take the rare step of selecting a chair pro tempore because neither chairperson John Gioia of Richmond nor vice chair Candace Andersen of Danville were in attendance.

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill was elected chair pro tempore by fellow supervisors Diane Burgis of Brentwood and Federal Glover of Pittsburg who were present.

Board chair Gioia was out of the area attending a meeting of the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance at Lake Tahoe. He said he was scheduled to attend that conference because he also serves on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board.

Vice chair Andersen was absent because her mother had passed away in Hawaii, a representative for the supervisor said.

“I am in charge,” declared Mitchoff upon getting the 3-0 vote to serve as chair pro tempore. In the 8.5 years that Mitchoff has served on the board, the supervisor said she has never seen where the board had to resort to selecting a chair pro tempore. Mitchoff served as board chair person last year.

Meanwhile, with fire season already here, supervisors voted 3-0 to have increased Contra Costa County Fire Protection District development impact fees go into effect in November.

In reporting findings from a Willdan Financial Services study, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Lewis T. Broschard III informed supervisors the fire district service population is projected to increase by 162,100 to 892,200 by 2040 in the cities of Antioch, Clayton, Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Pablo Walnut Creek and the unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County.

The last time the fire district increased development fees was in 2006.

The fire district, as of August 1, 2019, will have 26 staffed stations to accommodate the current service population of about 730,000. “This situation makes for a ratio of one fire station per 28,000 persons in the service population. To maintain the existing station-to-population ratio, the projected growth would require the construction of more than five stations by the year 2040.” the Willdan Study states.

The estimated cost for a new fire station is $7,923,750 based on a $720 per square foot construction rate. Adding the cost of new fire apparatus can add $750,000 to $1.5 million per station or the cost of the station parcel which can be $500,000 to $1 million per site.

Based on cost factors, the Willdan study proposed total Fire Protection Facilities fees, including administration fees, will be $970 per dwelling unit for Residential single family, $460 per dwelling unit for Residential multi-family, $662 per 1,000 square feet Commercial, $579 per 1,000 square feet Office, and $387 per 1,000 square feet for Industrial.

Supervisors did not hear either public opposition or support for the proposed fire protection district facilities fees increases.

 

 

 

Three Fire Station Design Extensions Approved

In a related consent action, supervisors extended architectural services with Loving Campos Associates Architects, Inc. by increasing the payment limit by $75,000 to a new payment limit of $595,000 and to extend the term from June 14, 2019 to June 14, 2020 to provide architectural services for Fire Station 16 located at 4007 Los Arabis Road in Lafayette, a fire station constructed in the late 1950’s that was abandoned shortly after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Subsequent to the station’s closure, a double-wide mobile home was used as the crew living quarters.

Supervisors also approved as a consent item an additional $300,000 payment to the architectural firm of Kimley-Horn Associates, Inc. to provide design services for new Fire Station No. 9 in Pacheco and a new Fire Station No. 86 in Bay Point. This increase raises the contract with Kimley-Horn to $1,240,000 and extends the term limit from Dec. 12, 2020 to Dec. 12, 2021.

The two new stations in Pacheco and Bay Point will include modern seismic standards, meet current ADA requirements, and have the ability to support modern equipment and apparatus. The stations will be built to provide protection for the community or the next 50 years.

Catholic Charities Wins $905,414 Contract

Supervisors approved as a consent item, Public Defender Robin Lipetzky’s $905,414 contract request with the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Oakland DBA Catholic Charities of the East Bay to provide civil legal deportation defense and community services for Stand Together Contra Costa. The contract will be in effect from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Oakland has provided civil legal deportation defense services for the county supported Stand Together Contra Costa since July 24, 2018.

Approve $1.4 Million Inmate Communications System

Supervisors also permitted Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston’s $1.4 million request to sign a contract with Global Tel Link (GTL) Corporation to install and operate Inmate communication services including a jail management system, inmate telephones, video visitation, and inmate tablets in the adult facilities for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024. There are no net county costs associated with this contract. Under the contract GTL will pay the county $200,000 at contract start to defer the Office of the Sheriff’s expenses related to facility technology and program expenses and will pay the county $20,000 a month for county cost reimbursement which will be place in the Inmate Welfare Fund.

 

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Supervisors give green light to Habitat for Humanity Bay Point Affordable Housing Project

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

In recognition of the East Bay Regional Park District’s 85th anniversary, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution acknowledging how the park district has served the residents of Contra Costa and Alameda counties since the district’s founding in 1934. At the presentation were from left, District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, East Bay Region Park District Ward 7 Board Member Colin Coffey, EBRPD Legislative Assistant Lisa Baldinger, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, EBRPD Governmental Affairs Manager Erich Pfuehler and Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen. Contra Costa voters approved a annexation to the EBRPD in 1964. Soon thereafter, Kennedy Grove and Briones were developed and opened as the first regional parks within Contra Costa County. In total, the park district consists of 122,278 acres, including more than 1,330 miles of trails, 235 family campsites, 40 fishing docks and 10 interpretative and education centers. Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

SSI applications overwhelm county’s Employment & Human Services Department, hires 24 more employees

By Daniel Borsuk

A 29-unit affordable residential development planned for a Bay Point site donated to the Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay Silicon Valley got the green light from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to proceed with construction.

On a 4-0 vote supervisors approved Habitat for Humanity’s Pacifica Landing Project on a 2.42-acre site that was willed to the nonprofit organization with the intent to build affordable housing on the vacant Pacifica Avenue property next to the Rio Vista Elementary School. Board Chair John Gioia of Richmond was absent.

There was no public opposition aired at the Supervisors meeting, but at the County Planning Commission meeting there were concerns about the lack of off-street parking and the loss of 13 trees that the developer, Habitat for Humanity, has since addressed and mitigated.

The Bay Point affordable housing project will be the second Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay/Silicon Valley development in Contra Costa County. The nonprofit organization spearheaded the construction of a 45-unit affordable townhouse development at the Contra Costa Centre/Pleasant Hill BART Station.

Mike Keller of Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay/Silicon Valley expects construction of the Pacifica Avenue project to get underway by October or November.

“This is a good project,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes the development site. “Habitat for Humanity does good work. I’m in favor of it.”

The project will include a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom residences ranging in living area from 992 to 1,442 square feet. The townhomes will be two-story, single family residential units and will be developed in tri-plex and five-plex clusters throughout the property.

The proposed subdivision will provide 51 uncovered surface parking spaces for the residences and seven additional guest parking spaces.

Elevation of one of the Pacifica Landing Project housing units.

Board Issues Bonds for Other Housing In Bay Point, Pittsburg

In related affordable housing board action, supervisors voted to approve as consent agenda items two resolutions authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds – one of not more than $19.2 million to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of an 88-unit, multi-family housing rental development called Hidden Cove Apartments located at 2921-2931 Mary Ann Lane, also in Bay Point. A second bond issuance of $42.4 million will be for offering mortgage loans or otherwise providing funds to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing, including units for lower income households and very low income households for a borrower of 200 units of multifamily rental housing units known as Marina Heights Apartments located at 2 Marina Blvd. in Pittsburg.

In the event the two bonds are issued, the county will be reimbursed for costs incurred in the issuance process. No county funds are pledged to secure the bonds. The Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department oversees the program.

SSI Applications Overwhelms County Department

Supervisors learned expansion of the CalFresh program on June 1, has squeezed the county Employment & Human Services Department to hire 24 additional staff since July 7 because the department has received 3,562 Food Stamp applications, Kathy Gallagher, Employment and Human Services Director, reported.

Effective June 1, persons receiving Supplemental Security Income/Supplementary Payments through the Social Security Administration are eligible for CalFresh or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This development has triggered a surge of CalFresh applications that has partially hobbled the Employment and Human Services Department’s ability to promptly process applications.

Initially, the county department expected to receive 2,512 applications for CalFresh, but the rising number of submissions is forcing department officials to reconfigure personnel needs. “We can handle this,” Gallagher assured supervisors.

“I’m glad that the SSI Cal Fresh benefit for each recipient to live on is now $900 a month,” remarked Larry Sly of the Contra Costa Food Bank.

Environmental Health Chief Underwood Leaving

The Contra Costa Herald has learned that Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department Director Dr. Marilyn Underwood will be leaving her post. It was announced during the Board of Supervisors meeting, but supervisors were unavailable to comment about Dr. Underwood’s announcement.

Dr. Underwood has led the county environmental health department since March 2011.

The Herald has learned from one source that the environmental health chief, who has overseen or been involved in the Keller Canyon Landfill/Hunters Point Naval Shipyard radiation case, the countywide anti-litter program along with other environmental health duties, has decided to retire.

Neither Dr. Underwood nor her press contact were available for comment at before the Herald’s deadline.

Supervisors Approve New Ammunition Distributor for Sheriff

Supervisors approved Sheriff David O. Livingston’s request to change its new Winchester Ammunition Distributor from Adamson Police Products to Dooley Enterprises. Winchester has informed the Sheriff’s Office that they had to change distributors in Northern California from Adamson to Dooley. The supervisors’ consent action will permit a new purchase order with Dooley Enterprises as the new Winchester Ammunition Distributor for the Office of the Sheriff. The new purchase order with Dooley Enterprises, Inc. is in the amount of $450,000 for the purchase of ammunition for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021.

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County to hold Mental Health Services Act Supportive Housing Community Forum July 18 in San Pablo

Monday, July 8th, 2019

WHAT: Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services, a division of Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), invites anyone interested in discussing local public mental health services in relation to supportive housing to participate in a public forum on Thursday, July 18, in San Pablo.

The forum offers the community an opportunity to discuss its needs and meet with service providers to discuss current issues relevant to supportive housing. These discussions will help to inform future use of local Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding.

California approved Proposition 63 in November 2004, and the Mental Health Services Act became law. The Act provides significant additional funding to the existing public mental health system and combines prevention services with a full range of integrated services to treat the whole person. With the goal of wellness, recovery and self-sufficiency, the intent of the law is to reach out and include those most in need and those who have been traditionally underserved. Services are to be consumer driven, family focused, based in the community, culturally and linguistically competent, and integrated with other appropriate health and social services. Funding is to be provided at sufficient levels to ensure that counties can provide each child, transition age youth, adult and senior with the necessary mental health services, medications and support set forth in their treatment plan. Finally, the Act requires this Three Year Plan be developed with the active participation of local stakeholders in a community program planning process.

WHO: All members of the public are welcome, including people that have or are receiving supportive housing services, their families or loved ones, and interested members of the community. RSVP online at cchealth.org/mentalhealth/mhsa – click the “Supportive Housing Community Forum” button.

Other RVSP options include emailing [email protected] – please include “MHSA Forum” in the subject line – or by telephoning (925) 957-2617. Attendees may also mail RSVPs to MHSA, 1220 Morello Avenue, Suite 100, Martinez, CA 94553.

WHEN: Thursday, July 18th at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Drive, Room GE 225, San Pablo, CA 94806

WHY: Contra Costa County’s current MHSA budget provides over $50 million to more than 80 mental health programs and services. Forum goals include identifying service needs, priorities and strategies to inform the county’s MHSA Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan for fiscal years 2020-2023.

The forum will include an overview of the MHSA and current funding use in Contra Costa County and will be livestreamed at: cchealth.org/mentalhealth/mhsa.

Visit cchealth.org/mentalhealth/mhsa to access the MHSA Three Year Program and Expenditure Plan Update and other information about the MHSA in Contra Costa.

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County’s Northern Waterfront Economic plan draws Supervisors MOU nod as study’s budget dwindles

Friday, June 21st, 2019

The Contra Costa County Northern Waterfront Initiative area and participating agencies.

Antioch expected to soon adopt a similar MOU

By Daniel Borsuk

The $500,000 planning study to ignite an economic renaissance designed to create 18,000 low-tech manufacturing jobs by 2035 along the county’s northern waterfront gained momentum Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors joined the city councils of Hercules and Pittsburg in approving a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the major waterfront planning project. (See Northern Waterfront Report)

Officials expect the city councils of Antioch, Brentwood, Martinez, and Oakley to soon adopt similar MOUs that have been prepared to permit jurisdictions to participate or not participate in joint projects that will generate jobs in the industries of food processing, clean tech, bio-tech/bio-medical, and advanced transportation fuels.

The county’s MOU also authorizes Department of Conservation and Development Director John Kopchik to file and obtain trademarks for “Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative” and “Capital of the Northern California Mega-Region” or similar phrases on behalf of the county.

District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff cautioned colleagues over the planning project’s rising costs. The county awarded a $500,000 grant a year ago, but that amount has now dwindled to $94,500.

“I’d like to know how those funds are to be spent in the future,” she said.

Mitchoff forecast there will be competition from the Association of Bay Area Governments to pay for future regional planning studies that could potentially jeopardize funding for the waterfront project. “ABAG will give some push back,” warned Mitchoff, who represents the county on the ABAG board.

“There is going to be shared funding,” District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg forecast about any potential planning funding tug-of-war with ABAG. Glover, who has been instrumental in launching the NWEP continued “I’m excited about what is happening.”

Glover mentioned Bombardier Transportation’s announcement last week to use an empty Pittsburg manufacturing site on Loveridge Road to assemble 775 new BART cars that will initially create 50 jobs.

“Right now, the economy is good so we need to invest in the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative and create jobs,” said District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis.

“This is something so critical to prepare a workforce that is ready to go,” said Vice Chair Candace Andersen of Danville.

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