Sebastopol City Council preview
, , May 18, 2021
At its meeting on Tuesday, May 18, the Sebastopol City Council will be holding a public hearing about a program meant to outline the inspection and repair of sewer laterals and will be viewing a handful of presentations ranging in topic from the Russian River Watershed Association to PG&E’s community wildfire program to the city’s own fire department. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and to view the council agenda and corresponding meeting Zoom link, click here.
The Sebastopol City Council will view four informational presentations — one from the Russian River Watershed Association about its 2021 Work Plan and what membership in the RRWA does for cities involved, one from the city’s Climate Action Committee, one from the city’s Zero Waste Committee and another about PG&E’s community wildfire safety program.
The council will also consider the following consent calendar items:
● Approval of second reading, waiving further reading and adoption of the ordinance that prohibits the sale and use of fireworks
● Approval of second reading, waiving of further reading for development impact fees
● Approval of declaration declaring weeds a public nuisance
● Approval and receipt of upcoming vacancies on the Local Task Force on Integrated Waste Management — spots held by Sunny Galbraith and Guy Tillotson, both set to expire in August
● Approval of consultant and authorization to execute a contract for online permitting services
● Approval of contract agreement #1 for city engineering consultant services and approval of resolution
● Adoption of resolution for amendment to city manager contract
● Adoption of resolution of the city of Sebastopol authorizing entrance into an agreement for collection of special taxes, fees and assessment
● Approval to reopen community benefit grant applications in response to the elimination of safe and sane fireworks
Public hearing — sewer talk
The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing to introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance allowing the creation of a mandatory program that outlines the inspection and repair of sewer laterals for properties within city limits. The creation of the program is outlined in an agreement that the city entered into with California River Watch in June 2020, according to the council agenda packet.
Per the agenda, “The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewer system and applies to private properties when one of two trigger events occurs: 1) upon transfer of property ownership if the sewer lateral was not inspected or repaired within the last 10 years; or 2) the sewer lateral caused two or more sanitary sewer overflows within two years. The sewer lateral is defined as the private sewer lateral maintained by the private property owner and is the part of the sewer piping located on private property that extends from the building drain to the city’s sewer main.”
Fire committee report
As part of its regular agenda, the council will receive a report from its Emergency Services Fire Committee and the fire department about long-term staffing goals and budget requests. The fire committee was formed in 2017 and is tasked with analyzing the Sebastopol Fire Department, where it is, where it needs to be and how it can reach related goals.
The report, while it contains no action items for the council, will focus on budgetary needs and requests from the committee to help the Sebastopol Fire Department better meet the needs of the community.
“The Sebastopol Fire Department has seen the number of requests for fire department services increase over the years. As evidenced from the Annual Level of Service Report presented to the council at the April 20, 2021 city council meeting, emergency calls for service for 2020 for the fire department were as follows:
Year-to-Date = 1164
▪ Medical/Vehicle – 626 (54%)
▪ Public Service – 98 (8%)
▪ Fire Alarms – 54 (5%)
▪ Hazmat/Spills – 61 (5%)
▪ Good Intent – 274 (23%)
▪ Fires/Misc – 51 (5%)
As the community grows, public expectations for a more efficient fire service grow. The funding resources for our city fire department are not increasing at a rate equal to the increase in costs for this department such as vehicles, apparatus, staffing, station repairs, etc. It is our responsibility as a council to look at all avenues in how we provide these services. This committee is committed to looking at all avenues, from remaining status quo to consolidation, that would provide continuation of the high quality of fire services to the community,” states the council agenda packet.
Administrative Services Director Ana Kwong will be presenting to the council about a lease agreement that, according to the council agenda packet, would ultimately save the city money.
“In March 2021, city staff began discussions with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. (“Oppenheimer”) regarding a refunding of the city’s 2006 lease and 2014 agreement,” state the agenda, referring to the city’s 2006 decision to finance the acquisition, construction and improvement of various municipal projects in a lease agreement and its 2014 decision to finance the construction of the water well 7 water treatment system. “Due to a favorable interest rate environment, a refunding of the 2006 lease could provide savings to the city’s general fund, and a refunding of the 2014 agreement could provide savings to the city’s water system. The city decided to explore the refinancing of the 2006 lease via entrance into a new lease agreement and the refinancing of the 2014 agreement via a new loan agreement payable from the water system. Both financings are being done via the private placement method of sale.
“City staff began working with Oppenheimer as placement agent and Jones Hall as bond counsel. On April 6, Oppenheimer distributed a Lender Request for Proposal to 16 banks, asking each bank to provide their terms for purchasing the 2021 lease and 2021 loan.”
According to the council agenda packet, the 2021 lease provides savings to the city’s general fund and various other funds, and the 2021 loan provides savings to the city’s water fund.