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Sonoma County Gazette
Monte Rio Musings by Chuck Ramsey

The New Bridge
& Infrastructure Maintenance

Jan 29, 2019
by Chuck Ramsey, Russian River Alliance


February, when early Spring arrives, we move past the winter rains and wind storm damage, and the days get sunnier and longer. Living in the River has its challenges, but we always manage to make the best of it, clean-up, and move on. 

The new bridge is moving forward. The latest preferred placement will have the bridge going in next to Noel’s Automotive. The County is in charge of the project; however, Caltrans administers the Federal funds. The anticipated construction timeline is summer 2021 and 2022. Noise impacts should be minimal as there will not be piling drillings. The old bridge will be removed due to high on-going maintenance expenses if it were to remain as a pedestrian bridge.

Infrastructure maintenance is an ongoing issue for many of our roads. On Starrett Hill Drive we have a failing retaining wall due to rains over two years ago. PG&E has had to relocate their power pole, the fire hydrant has been decommissioned and has a black plastic bag over it, and every month the damage gets worse. Now two relatively small redwood trees are all that is holding the retaining wall and the road from collapse. On Middle Terrace, drainage issues are causing pavement damage and damage to the firehouse below. A little proactive action would prevent small issues from turning into lengthy expensive reconstruction projects.

If you were wondering why the junipers were cut back at the entrance to MRRPD, it is because the sign facing the Rio Theater will be rebuilt and will be turned sideways instead of facing the Rio Theater. You might have also noticed work on the landscaping at our Park & Ride lot. Some of the old plants were taken out, new native plants planted, and the old irrigation system is currently ripped out. This work was done by a volunteer and information as to the completion date will be provided when known. Also, the USPS mailbox at the lot has a sign on it that states due to the limited usage the box will be removed within 30 days. When I posted this on Facebook, there was comment that this was not true, and it would remain. So, it remains to be seen what is going on with our Park & Ride lot. 

Although July seems a way off, Monte Rio will hold their fireworks on Friday July 5th. Monte Rio consistently has the best local fireworks and this year may have the only ones. Bodega Bay has cancelled theirs due to environmental issues and the negative effects the fireworks have on wildlife and domestic pets. Word has it Guerneville will not be having theirs either. More controversy and drama. Last year Monte Rio’s used somewhat less big bangs which was an improvement. It seems this is a good compromise.  As with any controversy, listening to both sides, trying to understand all concerns, and reaching a moderate compromise is usually a good approach.

Update on Apple Maps. I’ve talked to representatives and engineers in Canada and Texas and still no resolution as to why we are being shown as Occidental. 

Also reported last month, Russian River Alliance has requested our fire districts to install air quality monitors on their fire stations. I’m happy to report that Cazadero was the first to respond and will be installing the sensor. Other districts are still addressing the request with two wanting to consider adding additional sensors to their local school buildings as well. 

While we are fortunate to have less crime here than say Guerneville, crime appears to be up recently especially with car break-ins and vandalism. Please be vigilant and look out for your neighbors. If you see suspicious activity or if crime occurs, post it on Nextdoor to alert your neighbors, report it to Sheriff dispatch, and obtain a copy of the police report. Purchasing a Ring Doorbell or other video surveillance product is also helpful. 

Some good news from the county. The Mobile Support Team has recently expanded their services to the River area. Mental health staff will work and go on joint calls with local law enforcement to assist with responding to individuals experiencing a mental health emergency.

Need help with issues you have been unable to get resolved? Have any ideas or suggestions for the betterment of our neighborhoods? Have any suggestions for items you would be interested in learning more about or contributing to in this column? What do you like about Monte Rio and what do you think could be better? Email me or post on Nextdoor. 

Vacation Wonderland, we just keep getting better.  




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