Mayor and Members of the City Council:
This is the weekly report for the two weeks ending March 11, 2016.
1. Meeting Notes
The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15th beginning with a Closed Session at 5:45 PM, followed by a special meeting of the Richmond Housing Authority at 6:25 PM, and with the regular agenda commencing at 6:30 PM. The agenda may be found by clicking this link.
2. Relocation of the SS Red Oak Victory Ship and Grand Opening of Riggers Loft Wine Company
Earlier last year, the Port of Richmond entered into an agreement with the Riggers Loft Wine Company to lease a portion of the Riggers Loft Building at historic Shipyard #3 located in the Point Potrero Marine Terminal, for use as a winery and tasting facility. In order to accommodate the winery operation and open up views of San Francisco Bay, the City Council approved the relocation of the SS Red Oak Victory Ship to nearby Basin 5. The relocation also enhances the historic perspective for visitors by placing the Victory Ship adjacent to the whirley crane that was part of the shipbuilding process.
Last July, the City Council approved a reimbursement agreement with the Richmond Museum Association to manage the vessel relocation. The process involved the cooperation among the Port of Richmond, Riggers Loft Wine Company, Foss Maritime, Richmond Museum Association, Red Oak Victory staff, and BKF Engineers to manage the logistics and technical aspects of the vessel relocation.
On Friday, March 4th, the Port of Richmond successfully oversaw the relocation of the SS Red Oak Victory Ship to Basin 5. The move of the vessel also signaled the launch of the Riggers Loft Wine Company, the tasting room of which is now open and offers unparalleled views across San Francisco Bay.
The City of Richmond has an exciting new destination point for visitors located at the southern end of Canal Boulevard. It is accessible by car and also by foot and bicycle along the San Francisco Bay trail. Visitors can tour the Red Oak Victory Ship, view the historic whirley crane, and visit the winery and tasting room with its spectacular San Francisco Bay views.
Please feel free to stop by and visit the City of Richmond’s new winery and historic attractions.
3. Richmond Promise Workshops
Thursday, March 17th is the deadline for submitting the Richmond Promise scholarship application. The number of Richmond Promise applicants continues to grow. As of March 12th, 469 students started applications, with 326 students applying from WCCUSD schools, 102 from charter schools, and 18 from private schools.
Students are eligible for up to $1,500 for universities, community college and career and technical certificates as long as they meet the following criteria:
- Be a Richmond or North Richmond resident for at least four year
- Graduate from a high school within the WCCUSD boundaries (WCCUSD, charter or private).
- Attended an eligible school since at least the 9th grade
All students must complete the simple online application, and upload copies of their FAFSA or CA Dream Act Student Aid Report along with a copy of their families’ PG&E bill.
The Richmond Promise will be hosting two scholarship application workshops to assist students with completing their application and provide free access to computers and the internet. The next workshop will be held in the Richmond City Hall Computer Lab at 450 Civic Center Plaza on Thursday, March 17th, 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM.
Please visit www.promiseworkshop.eventbrite.com to register for a spot in the lab now.
Applications and more information are available at www.richmondpromise.org. This is a great opportunity for students and families in the Richmond community, and we want to help make sure that every eligible student joins the very first class of Richmond Promise scholars. Please help us spread the word.
Feel free to contact the Richmond Promise with any questions at email@example.com or (510) 620-6570.
4. Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery!
Recently the Richmond Fire Department responded and extinguished a single family residential fire, which resulted in three adults being transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. There was only one smoke alarm inside and it did not operate due to a dead battery. These family members were very lucky to make it out alive.
Daylight savings time begins Sunday, March 13th at 2:00 AM, when we spring forward one hour for the purpose of making better use of daylight. As we set our clocks ahead, the Richmond Fire Prevention Services Division (RFPSD) recommends testing your smoke alarms and replacing non-operational batteries.
Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or non-functional smoke alarms. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it is usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead.
RFPSD provides the following guidelines around smoke alarms:
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
• Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
• Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
• Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
• For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
5. S.A.T. Preparation Workshop – Applications due Monday, March 14th
Taking the SAT is an essential component of the college application process. Preparing well will help students achieve a high score and attend the college of their choice.
Richmond Public Library Teen Services is now offering a six-week S.A.T. Preparation Workshop for college bound teens. The 19th annual workshop is open to students in West Contra Costa County. Participation in the workshop can be used to fulfill the college readiness requirement for the Richmond Promise Scholarship. Enrollment is limited and applications are due by 7:00 PM on Monday, March 14th.
For more information and an application, go to www.richmondlibrary.org or contact Angela Cox at (510) 620-5516. The workshop is sponsored by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library in partnership with College is Real.
6. Richmond-ECIA Community Grant Program Application Scheduled for Release on March 16th
The City of Richmond is scheduled to release the Richmond – ECIA Community Grant Program Guidelines and Application on Wednesday, March 16th by 5:00 PM. This grant program is funded through the Chevron Modernization Project Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) that was entered into between the City of Richmond and Chevron in 2014. Funding will be available over the next 10 years to fund programs that support the community, youth and youth sports. Grants will be awarded on an annual basis and awards will range from $5,000 to $75,000. Governmental entities and non-profit organizations that provide services focused on community, youth and youth sports services to Richmond residents are all encouraged to apply. Non-profits must have 501(c)(3) tax status or plan to use a fiscal sponsor that has 501(c)(3) tax status.
The application will be released on the City’s BidsOnline system, so all organizations that are interested in applying for the grant should register as a vendor: City of Richmond BidsOnline. When registering your organization on BidsOnline, please make sure you select category “#99888 – Not-for-profit organizations.” City staff will use the BidsOnline system to provide updates to all interested parties.
For more information or questions contact (510) 620-6828, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ci.richmond.ca.us/eciagrants. Also, to receive electronic alerts please subscribe to the City’s e-news sign-up and select "Environmental & Community Investment Agreement Program."
7. Richmond-ECIA Community Grant Program Review Panelist
The City of Richmond is seeking individuals interested in reviewing applications for the Richmond - ECIA Community Grants Program. Grant review panelists are fundamental to the decision making and awarding process. We are looking for individuals that will: (1) thoroughly review and objectively score grant applications in accordance with specified criteria, (2) serve on the panel from May 2016 - April 2017 (majority of work will be done in May/June 2016), and (3) make recommendations to City Council for grant funding consideration. Anyone interested should complete a Board or Commission Application and submit it to the City Clerk's Office by Friday, April 1st: Board or Commission Application.
For more information or questions contact (510) 620-6828, email email@example.com or visit www.ci.richmond.ca.us/eciagrants.
8. Tenant and Landlord Resource List
Because of the very difficult housing rental market, the Richmond City Council asked that staff prepare a list of resources that are currently available to assist renters and landlords to advise them of their rights and responsibilities, and that might be of assistance in resolving conflicts over rent increases and other issues.
Resource lists in both English and Spanish are now available on the City’s Housing Policy webpage: housing resources.
We welcome suggestions for other resources to be included on this list.
9. Richmond Main Street Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting
All downtown Richmond stakeholders — residents, community members, business and property owners — are invited to the Richmond Main Street Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting on Thursday, March 24th, from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (in Iron Triangle Theater Lobby, 2nd floor). Join Richmond Main Street for a look back on the successes and challenges of 2015, and its vision and goals for 2016 and beyond, including exciting economic development projects and updates from special guests. Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP online here (Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting RSVP) or by calling (510) 236-4049.
For more information visit http://www.richmondmainstreet.org/ or call (510) 236-4049.
10. City Manager Chronicles
I have listed below some of the topics for meetings that I attended during the past week in the hope that it provides an idea of the varied issues with which our organization deals routinely.
Activities and meeting topics during the past two weeks included:
- Met, along with Planning Director Richard Mitchell and Senior Planner Lina Velasco, with staff from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to discuss activities associated with the clean-up of the former Zeneca site;
- Provided training to staff members, along with City Clerk Pam Christian, on preparation of agenda reports;
- Met, together with Planning Director Richard Mitchell, with Jeff Kilbreth, to discuss potential housing development partnerships with Habitat for Humanity;
- Met with Kyra Worthy, of For Richmond, to discuss various issues of mutual interest;
- Met with staff from the City Manager’s office and Finance Department to discuss ways in which to improve the effectiveness of the City’s performance measurement systems;
- Attended the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)/Disaster Council meeting, led by Emergency Services Manager Kathy Gerk;
- Met, together with Finance staff, and staff from the Wastewater and Port Departments to discuss budgeting for the City’s enterprise functions;
- Met, together with Interim Police Chief Allwyn Brown, with residents of Kensington to discuss police operations in their community;
- Met, along with Human Resources Director Lisa Stephenson, with the City Council’s ad hoc personnel subcommittee, to discuss the performance evaluation process for the City Clerk;
- Met, along with Economic Development Manager Janet Johnson, with new Richmond Chamber of Commerce Executive Director James Lee and Board Chairman Amit Patel, to discuss issues of common interest;
- Interviewed candidates for the Richmond Chief of Police position;
- Participated in meetings and the final presentation of the Pt. Molate Technical Advisory Panel assembled by the Urban Land Institute, and sponsored by The Trust for Public Land;
- Attended the monthly meeting of the Contra Costa County Public Managers Association;
- Met, along with Economic Development Manager Janet Johnson, with San Francisco Foundation Executive Director Fred Blackwell, and Dexter Vizinau to discuss issues of common interest;
- Met with representatives from the Raise Up Richmond advocacy group to discuss issues of common interest.
These meetings were in addition to attending the regular management staff meeting, agenda planning, reviewing staff reports to the City Council, doing department head “check-ins,” having discussions on various personnel matters, and having short discussions with staff, community members, members of the press, etc.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the substance of these or any other topics.
11. Solar Home Energy Program
Last week, the City of Richmond, in partnership with the nonprofit Grid Alternatives, hosted a sign-up workshop for Richmond’s new solar home energy program, funded through a partnership between the City of Richmond and the State of California. This program provides free solar energy systems for income-qualifying Richmond homeowners. The sign-up event included a presentation of program details, an overview of the application process, and a Q & A session. There were 40 households that attended the event, and by the end of the evening, 20 households had successfully submitted a completed application.
Interested Richmond homeowners who qualify for the program can still apply by visiting www.gridalternatives.org/richmond, or calling GRID Alternatives at (510) 731-1333. Due to the volume of interest, GRID Alternatives appreciates your patience as they respond to all inquiries.
12. Budget Award
The City of Richmond learned this past week that it has received the Operating Budget Excellence and Capital Budget Excellence Award from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) for fiscal year 2015-16. This is awarded to municipal agencies in California whose budgets meet high quality professional standards. The award program uses a peer review process to evaluate budget documents based on meritorious and excellence criteria set forth by the CSMFO.
13. Terminal One Project Draft Environmental Impact Report Available
On February 26th, the City of Richmond Planning Division released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Terminal One Project (Project). The DEIR, which is required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), evaluates the environmental impacts associated with the Project, analyzes alternatives and identifies mitigation measures to avoid significant environmental effects. Release of the DEIR opens a 45-day comment period that closes at 5:00 PM on April 11, 2016.
Comments on the Draft EIR should be sent in writing by 5:00 PM on April 11, 2016 at the following email: Lina_Velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us or address:
City of Richmond Planning Division
ATTN: Lina Velasco
450 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 4046
Richmond, CA 94804
The DEIR is available online at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/terminalone. Copies are also available for review at the following locations:
- Richmond Public Libraries:
- Main Branch, 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, and
- West Side Branch, 135 Washington Avenue, Richmond (Point Richmond); and
- City of Richmond Planning and Building Services Department, City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond. The Planning Department public counter is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM and Fridays from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
14. Historic Preservation Awards
The City of Richmond and the Richmond Historic Preservation Commission invites nominations for the 2016 Richmond Historic Preservation Awards. The purpose of the Historic Preservation Awards program is to increase public awareness of Richmond’s heritage by recognizing individuals, organizations, businesses, and agencies whose contributions demonstrate outstanding commitment to excellence in historic preservation, local history or promotion of the heritage of the City. Awards will be presented in May during National Preservation Month.
In addition to public and private buildings and structures, historic preservation projects may include media, publications, presentations and exhibits, parks, burial grounds, public art, oral history, theater productions, events and video presentations.
Eligibility: Any individual, group, organization or agency involved in historic preservation or promoting Richmond’s heritage is eligible to receive a Richmond Historic Preservation Award. The preservation project or activity (or a substantial portion of a large-scale multiple activity project) must have been completed no later than December 31, 2015.
Nomination Form: You may nominate an eligible preservation project or activity by submitting a completed 2016 Historic Preservation Awards Nomination Form to the Richmond Planning and Building Services Department. Additional details about eligibility, evaluation criteria used, and submittal requirements are found in the nomination form which can be downloaded at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/preservationaward or you can pick up a nomination form from the Planning and Building Services Department located in the City Hall Building, 450 Civic Center Plaza, second floor.
Nominations are due by 5:00 PM on March 24th. Feel free to call Soco Montore at (510) 620-6705 with any questions.
15. Making Waves Career Day
The fire crew from Engine 62 joined the Making Waves Academy for their annual career day. With more than 45 careers represented, 5th -12th grade students were captivated by the opportunities that exist for them to become future firefighters and serve the Richmond community.
16. Fire Department Hiring
The Richmond Fire Department accepted applications for the position of firefighter trainee. This one day application event yielded nearly 1,000 participants, eager for the opportunity to serve the Richmond community. Applicants will next participate in a written examination, followed by an oral interview process to qualify for vacant firefighter positions.
17. Code Enforcement Updates
Blight abatement is an ongoing, important, and time-intensive activity for the Code Enforcement unit of the Police Department. I have offered several success stories of their work below.
The Code Enforcement unit worked for over a year to abate the violations on the property pictured below. This property was acquired through a foreclosure, and the “owner” was an investment company that immediately went out of business soon after they acquired the property. Using a combination of investigatory skills and enforcement tools, staff was able to finally get the responsible party to take the necessary action to not only abate the blight that surrounded the property, but to fully rehabilitate the building with the required permits and finally put it on the market. The current status is SALE PENDING!
On December 8, 2015, the Public Works Parks & Recreation division requested assistance from the Code Enforcement Abatement Crew to build a fence surrounding a vacant lot on 7th Street. Parks and Recreation donated a concrete mixer, a water tank, a bobcat tractor and additional manpower to begin work on the fence. After obtaining a warrant to abate the lot, and scheduling around inclement weather, the combined City work groups completed the project by the end of January. The project required 96 bags of concrete, 29 fence posts, and the installation of 250 feet of chain link fencing. The result of the collaboration is a visually pleasing deterrent for illegal dumping.
R-Transit provides door-to-door transportation service to persons with disabilities and seniors (age 55 and older) living in the communities of Richmond, Kensington, El Sobrante, East Richmond Heights, Hasford Heights, Rollingwood, and North Richmond. Register for service and reserve your next trip to the movie theatre for $2.00 each way. See the flyer below for additional details.
19. Information Technology
Top 10 Webpage views for the week ending 03/11/2016
People reached increased by 939%
Post engagement increased by 900%
KCRT DATANET OF THE WEEK:
KCRT PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:
City of Richmond Website and Mobile APP UPDATE
An upgraded version of the City of Richmond’s mobile phone app is now available on the Apple App store and Google Play store.
You may watch the informational video for an overview of the app available for free at Apple App Store for IOS devices and at Google Play for Android phones.
The City of Richmond is looking forward to feedback from the community on this upgraded Mobile App. We welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
20. Recreation Highlights
The 13th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration held at the Richmond Auditorium on Saturday, February 13th, was a huge success with over 425 people enjoying the festivities.
It was a full house for the 5th Annual McKinley Williams and John Easterling Community Chess Tournament sponsored by the City of Richmond Recreation Department and the West Coast Chess Alliance (WCCA). The tournament was held on Saturday, January 30th at the Richmond Recreation Complex. The day was a tremendous success, attracting 60 chess players, making it one of the largest chess tournaments in the history of Richmond.
The event was fun-filled and the participants really enjoyed the four-quad format, where players are grouped four to a table playing a round robin (three games) with the winner of each quad receiving a trophy. Ages of participants ranged from six to over 80. Players ranged in ability from novice to a United Chess Federation ranked player with a 1,900 ranking.
The City of Richmond is increasingly being recognized as a place to play chess in the Bay Area. Every Friday, one can find chess being played at the Richmond Senior Center. Every other Friday night, Richmond families are invited to participate in Family Chess Night at the Richmond Recreation Complex.
If you would like more information about chess in Richmond, starting at chess program at your school or community group, contact TC Ball at (510) 439-6311 or email@example.com.
21. Public Works Updates
Facilities Maintenance Division:
Carpenters installed a new floor in the utility closet, repaired the drop ceiling both within the Recreation Complex, work station adjustments in the Finance Department and improvements to the Parks and Landscaping offices.
Floor Repair at the Recreation Complex
Painters completed the utility closet at the Recreation Complex and painted the Parks and Landscaping offices.
Painting at the Recreation Complex
Utility Workers delivered tables to the Plunge, waxed the floor at the Main Library and cleaned 29 City-owned facilities.
Floor Waxing at the Main Library
Electricians repaired the traffic signal controller at Richmond Parkway and San Pablo Avenue, fixed knockdown and turned signal at Carlson Boulevard and Bayview Avenue, replaced the light fixture in the Main Library elevator and installed the power for the new “Auto-Pay” at the Parking Garage.
Signal Controller Replacement
Stationary Engineers discarded items from Auditorium basement, repaired flexible hose in the apparatus room of Fire Station #64, fixed the backwash controller at the Plunge, replaced partition door at Fire Station #64, installed sump pump at Pt. Molate, replaced faucet in the Youthworks Building, repaired the air conditioning unit in the server room of the Dispatch Center, replaced seals at Fire Station #66, changed belts on all supply/exhaust fans in the Auditorium and re-keyed the Family Justice Center.
Parks and Landscaping Division:
General maintenance crews removed graffiti at Rain Cloud Park, trimmed the Ivy on Elain Pathway and at Tiller Park, clean up on the Greenway from San Pablo Avenue to Carlson Boulevard, irrigation repair at Nicholl Park, performed maintenance at Solano Play Lot, installed the final bollards at State Cloud Park, graffiti maintenance at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, installed additional refuse cans in Triangle Park and Point Richmond and continued prepping sports fields at; Tiller, John F. Kennedy and Wendell Parks.
Wendall Park Ballfield
Hilltop Districtcrews continued general maintenance at Bay Vista and Country Club Vista Parks.
Marina District crews removed two large trees from Marina Park, completed graffiti removal from Shimada Park, power washed Marina Trail steps, weed abatement from lots and continued weed abatement along Marina Bay Trail. Volunteers, with the assistance of City staff, turned out to help clean Meeker Slough.
Meeker Slough Clean-Up
Paving staff prepared and paved the Marina lot near the boat ramp, conducted storm patrol, prepared sand bags and worked from the outstanding pothole and sidewalk lists.
Preparation of Sandbags
Street sweeping performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the first Monday and the second Tuesday through Friday in the Parchester Village, Hilltop Bayview, Hilltop Green, Fairmede/Hilltop, Clinton Hill II – IV and East Richmond neighborhood council areas.
Signs and Lines staff installed 21 new poles and signs, painted 108 feet of curbs, repaired 12 signs and poles and installed one pavement message.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804
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