Oct 2, 2019
by Sarah Glade Gurney
The Council usually meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. But for October, it will meet on October 15 and October 29 this year 2019. October is an unusual month this year.
Please note that the Mayor has changed the Council meeting dates to October 15 and October 29 this year AND thestart time for October 15 will be one hour earlier, at 5 PM, to hopefully accommodate an earlier end time to let Council Members travel to the annual conference of the League of California Cities.
The next meeting, after the specially set meeting of October 29, will be the regular meeting on November 5, only one week late, one year in advance of Election Day 2020.
Please check the official schedules closer to the proposed dates to confirm the Council calendar.
Sebastopol will receive up to $1.5 million in flood relief to cover the flood damage and to better prepare for our future in the flood plain. How this big pot of money gets distributed is the subject of the Council meeting on October 15.
Each Council Member was asked to submit his/her idea to the Budget Sub-Committee (Mayor Hinton and Council Member Glass) who will recommend to the full public body how to allocate the funds.
The October 15th Council meeting will be the first public discussion about how to allocate this money. I am hopeful that the Council’s complete list will be included in the Staff Report, meaning the comprehensive record of what each Council Member proposes, all together in one place. It will be interesting to note any similarities and differences, and the Budget Sub-Committee recommendations.
Here’s what I submitted as my “first pass” list for recovery projects on public land. I focused on the SCCC, Laguna Preserve, and Park Village:
1. Non-reimbursed flood-related improvement projects for the
2. Commercial community kitchen for the SCCC
3. Cafe and terrace for the SCCC, with inside and outside service from a commercial kitchen
4. SCCC building renovations, such as a big indoor-outdoor roll-up door, an attractive acoustic ceiling, public bathrooms with showers
5. Evacuation route across the connector Bike Trail, between Grav. Station and Park Village through the Dan Davis property, to provide escape during flooding for Park Village evacuees and Dan Davis Project evacuees
6. Connecting trail from the Dan Davis Property across Park Village to Tomodachi Park to provide escape
7. Park "furniture" for lower Tomodachi Park that can withstand flooding
8. New signage for Tomodachi Park
9. Clearing, maintenance, and upgrades to the seasonal trail that connects Tomodachi Park to the Rodota Trail
10. Riparian planting in the flood area, for instance: at the SCCC property; on the easterly facing slope of DPW
11. Connector trail joining the Laguna Preserve interior circular "Bluebird" trail to the Pedestrian-only trail
12. Benches along the City's portion of the Laguna Trail and the Bluebird Trail
13. Permanent bridge across the Laguna from the SCCC to the Preserve
14. Observation tower and deck to view the Laguna wetlands
15. Purchase of the easterly portion of the "cement plant" property, for public access to the Laguna, an observation tower, and a kiosk/building for the Laguna Foundation
16. Connector trail from Rodota Trail to Eleanor Avenue to provide an escape/alternate route during flooding.
There has been a groundswell of public sentiment in favor of the “Community Center we deserve,” indicated in many postcards and emails — not just to repair what was damaged but also to make the facility more functional and pleasant to all who use it.
In addition to the Community Center, Sebastopol has a Senior Center, Library, and public pool at Ives Park providing exceptional services to a community much bigger than our City limits. Each one could use a grander building. It’s time the West County users of these facilities considered donating to their grander future.
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