Thursday, 29 February 2024

Regional

SACRAMENTO – State leaders this week announced the first round of awards for the Community Economic Resilience Fund, or CERF, a new state initiative supporting innovative plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create good-paying, broadly-accessible jobs for all Californians.

As part of CERF’s initial planning phase, 13 economic development entities known as High Road Transition Collaboratives will receive $5 million each to develop roadmaps, including a strategy and recommended series of investments, for their region.

Following this planning phase, the program’s implementation phase will begin in 2023 and provide $500 million to fund projects identified by the High Road Transition Collaboratives.

High Road Transition Collaboratives represent California’s 13 distinct regional economies and bring together diverse community, labor, industry, and business interests.

The announcement includes 11 of the 13 awardees. Awardees were selected through a competitive bidding process based on their readiness and commitment to conduct inclusive planning processes that engage various community groups, including voices that have been traditionally left out of economic planning.

CERF was created by Senate Bill 162 and is administered by an interagency leadership team that includes the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency.

“We have an incredible opportunity to harness once-in-a-generation Federal and State investments to build a low carbon economy that creates good-paying jobs,” said Samuel Assefa, director of the Office of Planning and Research. “We are thrilled to announce the CERF Planning Phase partnerships with organizations representing labor, community, business, and industry leaders to chart an inclusive and equitable economic future for all Californians.”

“This announcement signifies a major step forward in economic development, as regional coalitions have come together across California ready to roll up their sleeves and build regional economic development strategies that will create more inclusive and vibrant economies built on a foundation of equity,” said Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Gov. Newsom and director of the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development. “As California and our federal partners work collaboratively to make significant investments to support local economies, these High Road Transition Collaboratives will play a major part in guiding these dollars to ensure the greatest impact for all Californians.”

“This first-of-its-kind state investment recognizes that California is an ecosystem of diverse economies, each of which has its own challenges and opportunities,” said Natalie Palugyai, secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. “By empowering regions to develop the blueprints for their own futures – and requiring that they do so in a manner that is inclusive and equitable – CERF is changing the way California views economic planning.”

High Road Transition Collaboratives - Planning Phase Awardees:

North State
Fiscal agent: North State Planning and Development Collective – Chico State Enterprises
Regional convener: Partnership between Sierra Institute for Community and Environment And North State Planning and Development Collective – Chico State Enterprises

Sacramento
Fiscal agent and regional convener: Valley Vision Inc.

Redwood Coast
Fiscal agent: Arcata Economic Development Corporation
Regional convener: California Center for Rural Policy at CalPoly Humboldt

Bay Area
Fiscal agent: Bay Area Good Jobs Partnership for Equity, with the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development as the fiscal lead
Regional convener: All Home

Northern San Joaquin Valley
Fiscal agent: Merced Community College District
Regional convener: County of Merced, Department of Workforce Investment

Eastern Sierra
Fiscal agent and regional convener: Sierra Business Council

Central San Joaquin Valley
Fiscal agent and regional convener: Central Valley Community Foundation

Orange County
Fiscal agent: Charitable Ventures of Orange County
Regional convener: Orange County Business Council

Los Angeles County
Fiscal agent: California Community Foundation
Regional convener: The Economic Development Corporation of Los Angeles County

Kern County
Fiscal agent: Kern Community College District
Regional convener: Kern Coalition, a partnership between Better Bakersfield and Boundless Kern, Community Action Partnership of Kern, Kern Inyo and Mono Central Labor Council, Building Healthy Communities, and Kern Community College District

Central Coast
Fiscal agent: Economic Development Collaborative
Regional convener: Regional Economic Action Coalition (REACH)

In response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 Budget included $600 million for CERF to ensure that California’s economy creates high-quality, family-supporting jobs, advances California’s climate agenda, and helps the state’s industries to build long term resilience against climate-caused and other economic disruptions.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, in partnership with the Pepperwood Preserve, will conduct a prescribed fire on the nature preserve starting Thursday, Oct. 27, or when conditions allow.

Prescribed burning activities will occur in open grasslands and forest understory. The project size is targeting treatment of up to 105 acres to promote healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk on a strategic fire control ridge separating Franz Valley and the Mark West area.

Project objectives also include mimicking natural ecological processes by returning fire to the landscape, promote native plant propagation and wildlife habitat and reduce fuel loading in the forest understory.

Smoke will be visible from multiple vantage points throughout Sonoma and Napa counties from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please do not report the fire to local first responders as they are already aware of the prescribed fire plan.

Prescribed burns are carefully planned and must meet strict criteria for ecological benefit, weather parameters, smoke management and fire safety guidelines. The planned operation is subject to last-minute changes due to those conditions.

When all conditions are met, trained wildland firefighters conduct the burn while monitoring the set criteria, fire behavior and designated fire control lines. The prescribed burn will comply with requirements of the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District.

Located in eastern Sonoma County, approximately 25 minutes from downtown Santa Rosa and a 90-minute drive north of San Francisco, Pepperwood manages a 3,200-acre nature preserve located in the heart of a globally-recognized biodiversity hotspot.

The preserve is an important refuge for over 750 varieties of native plants and 150 species of wildlife including birds, reptiles and mammals representing California's diverse climates.

Pepperwood offers a wide array of opportunities for public engagement via the Dwight Center for Conservation Science, a 9,400 square-foot green facility featuring classrooms, laboratories, offices and space for visiting scholars.

For information on wildfire safety, please visit us at https://www.readyforwildfire.org/.

GLENN COUNTY, Calif. — Caltrans is alerting motorists that the long-term closures of the northbound and southbound Interstate 5 Willows safety roadside rest areas, or SRRA, in Glenn County have been extended to Nov. 6.

The Willows rest areas have been closed since January 2021 for construction and were expected to reopen by the end of summer.

However, additional time is required for the contractor to complete final facility improvements.

During the closure, northbound I-5 motorists will be directed to use the Red Bluff SRRA in Tehama County (about 42 miles north of Willows). Southbound motorists will be directed to the Maxwell SRRA in Colusa County (about 34 miles south of the Willows SRRA).

Caltrans is investing more than $6.9 million to update the wastewater, water, and lighting systems at the Willows rest areas. TSI Engineering Inc. of North Highlands, Sacramento County, is the contractor for the project.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.”

The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.


CHICO, California — In partnership with United Way of Northern California, Tri Counties Bank has launched the NorCal Wildfire Fund, with an initial contribution of $20,000.

The goal is to raise $3 million, which will assist communities affected by wildfires across Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties.

The bank encourages donations to the NorCal Wildfire fund at any Tri Counties Bank branch or online at https://www.norcalunitedway.org/wildfirerecovery.

“Together, we can begin to heal the damage left by these wildfires," said Richard Smith, president and CEO of Tri Counties Bank. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their homes, and our brave firefighters and first responders who protect us.”

Funds will be distributed through United Way of Northern California, or UWNC, directly serving fire victims with immediate needs, as well as major recovery efforts:

• RV assistance program.
• Stable Housing Opportunities Program (SHOP).
• Unmet Needs Roundtable.
• Mental health services for survivors.
• 2-1-1 helpline.
• Grants to community service providers.

The 2022 season has seen six individuals dead, 400 homes destroyed and 200,000 acres burned.

“Tri Counties Bank has worked with United Way during our relief efforts for many wildfires,” said Larry Olmstead, president and CEO, United Way of Northern California. “Like us, the bank cares deeply about the communities it serves. This partnership, aided by the generosity of our neighbors, will allow us to deliver crucial aid to those in need.”

The Department of the Interior on Monday announced $210 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will bring clean, reliable drinking water to communities across the West through water storage and conveyance projects.

The projects are expected to develop over 1.7 million acre-feet of additional water storage capacity, enough water to support 6.8 million people for a year. The funding will also invest in two feasibility studies that could advance water storage capacity further once completed.

Among the projects is the Sites Reservoir Project, which will create north of delta off stream storage.

The project will receive $30 million to pursue off stream storage capable for up to 1.5 million acre-feet of water in the Sacramento River system located in the Coast range mountains west of Maxwell, California.

The reservoir would utilize new and existing facilities to move water into and out of the reservoir, with ultimate release to the Sacramento River system via existing canals, a new pipeline near Dunnigan, and the Colusa Basin Drain.

“In the wake of severe drought across the West, the Department is putting funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to work to expand access to clean, reliable water and mitigate the impacts of this crisis,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Water is essential to every community — for feeding families, growing crops, powering agricultural businesses, and sustaining wildlife and our environment. Through the investments we are announcing today, we will advance water storage and conveyance supporting local water management agencies, farmers, families and wildlife.”

“Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris administration is dramatically advancing our mission at the Bureau of Reclamation to deliver water and power in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner for the American West,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “Our investment in these projects will increase water storage capacity and lay conveyance pipeline to deliver reliable and safe drinking water and build resiliency for communities most impacted by drought.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates $8.3 billion for Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure projects over the next five years to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean water for families, farmers, and wildlife. The investment will repair aging water delivery systems, secure dams, and complete rural water projects, and protect aquatic ecosystems. The funding announced today is part of the $1.05 billion in Water Storage, Groundwater Storage and Conveyance Projects provided by the Law.

In addition to the Sites Reservoir, the other selected projects include the following.

Arizona

Verde River Sediment Mitigation Study: $5 million to provide the federal cost share for conducting the Verde River Sedimentation feasibility study, which would identify alternatives to restore at least 46,000 acre-feet of water storage lost due to accumulation of sediment at Horseshoe Reservoir. It would also determine a plan for future management of sediment at Horseshoe and Bartlett Reservoirs and investigate potential operational flexibilities created with increased storage capacity to assist in mitigating impacts of drought and climate change on water availability. An appraisal study was completed in 2021.

California

B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project: $25 million to the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Authority, to pursue the B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project. The project is associated with the B.F. Sisk Safety of Dams Modification Project. Once complete, the project will develop approximately 130,000 acre-feet of additional storage.

Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Phase II: $82 million to efficiently integrate approximately 115,000 acre-feet of additional storage through new conveyance facilities with existing facilities to allow Delta water supplies to be safely diverted, stored and delivered to beneficiaries.

Colorado

Arkansas Valley Conduit: $60 million to continue the facilitation of supplying a safe, long-term water supply to an estimated 50,000 people in 40 rural communities along the Arkansas River. Once complete the project will replace current groundwater sources contaminated with radionuclides and help communities comply with Environmental Protection Act drinking water regulations through more than 230 miles of pipelines designed to deliver up to about 7,500 acre-feet per year from Pueblo Reservoir.

Montana

Dry Redwater Regional Water System Feasibility Study: $3 million to provide the authorized federal cost-share for finishing the Dry Redwater Regional Water System Feasibility Study.

Washington

Cle Elum Pool Raise: $5 million to increase the reservoir’s capacity an additional 14,600 acre-feet to be managed for instream flows for fish. Additional efforts include shoreline protection that will provide mitigation for the pool raise.

The department also recently announced new steps for drought mitigation in the Colorado River Basin supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, releasing a request for proposals for water system conservation measures as part of the newly created Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program.

The act provides $4 billion in funding for water management and conservation in the Colorado River Basin, including at least $500 million for projects in the Upper Basin states that will result in water conservation throughout the system.

The California Transportation Commission, or CTC, this week allocated nearly $3 billion for projects to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state.

The allocation includes more than $452 million in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and more than $123 million in funding from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

“This allocation – which includes a significant federal investment – allows Caltrans and our local partners to continue building the equitable, sustainable, and safe transportation system on which future generations will depend,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares.

Projects approved this week include:

• Approximately $1.9 million toward roadway, guardrail and culvert repairs along Route 299 west of Three Creek Road near Willow Creek in Humboldt County.

• Approximately $1.1 million toward construction of a left turn lane at Timbers Boulevard, lighting and other roadway improvements along U.S. 101 near Smith River in Del Norte County.

• Approximately $2.6 million toward embankment, guardrail and drainage repairs along U.S. 101 from Water Plant Road to the East Hill Undercrossing near Willits in Mendocino County.

• Approximately $858,000 toward road and guardrail repairs along U.S. 101 from Shimmins Ridge Road to Old Sherwood Road near Willits in Mendocino County.

The CTC allocated more than $2.1 billion to Caltrans' Division of Local Assistance in its annual federal fiscal year investment.

These local assistance funds are used by more than 600 cities, counties and regional agencies throughout California to build and improve roads, bridges, tunnels and other transportation infrastructure, and for projects that enhance safety and help protect the environment.

Annually, more than 1,200 new projects are authorized through the Local Assistance Program.

SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually that is shared equally between the state and local agencies.

Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1.

For more information about transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit http://www.rebuildingca.ca.gov/.

Upcoming Calendar

29Feb
02.29.2024 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Vision resource group
29Feb
02.29.2024 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Clearlake City Council special meeting
2Mar
03.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Special Olympics Polar Plunge
3Mar
03.03.2024 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Pianists Benefit Concert
10Mar
17Mar
03.17.2024
St. Patrick's Day
31Mar
03.31.2024
Easter Sunday
1Apr
04.01.2024
Easter Monday
15Apr
04.15.2024
Tax Day

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