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April 30, 2012

MAC Hears from Community

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:23 pm

The Fall River Valley Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) met on April 26 at the Lions Hall in McArthur to gather input for the Fall River Valley Community Services District (CSD) about what the citizens of the area would like to see included when the Services District builds a community center and park near where the Fall River Falls flows into the Pit River.
Hugh Williams suggested a natural amphitheater with the rivers as a back drop. Williams says all that is needed is a concrete slab and a plug in. Steve Knoch of Fall River Mills said that one day the Rolling Stones might consider playing at the Fall River Amphitheater. Other ideas were for the schools to hold their band’s concerts at the amphitheater. Maybe one day the Fall River Valley can host their very own orchestra there. The rest of the community can utilize and rent the space as well for celebrations and meetings.
Everyone in attendance agreed with the concept of including a swimming and wading pool that would be covered so it could be open year round.
If all goes well with the acquisition, planning, and funding phases, the CSD could start on the projects they can fund within a year. Granting of the land has yet to be finalized, plans for the park are ongoing and an environmental impact study still needs to be conducted.
Members of the MAC committee say at least three to four new long term jobs will be created, as well as the construction jobs.  

Assembly Stops Funding That Would Help Implement SRA Fee Collections

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:20 pm

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (RGerber) announced today that the State Responsibility Fire Service Area (SRA) Fire Tax issue was considered in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3. By a bi-partisan vote the Committee chose not to approve the funding needed to create the necessary positions at the Board of Equalization to collect this tax.
“Actions today indicate members of both parties are concerned about this tax; rightfully so,” said Nielsen. “Fifty six out of the fifty eight California counties have SRAs and citizens are going to launch a fire storm of protests over this tax.”
Also, the Assembly Appropriation Committee heard Assembly Bill (AB) 1506 which would repeal he SRA Fire Tax immediately. The Committee placed the bill on the suspense file, meaning it will be taken up for a vote sometime in May.

Ray Morrison Gives Land to Mayers

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:19 pm

Mayers Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and CEO Matthew Rees acknowledged a land donation from Joseph “Ray” Morrison to the hospital at their recent Board of Directors meeting on April 25. The assessed value of the parcel of land is approximately $30,000 and will expand the hospital’s footprint at the site of their Fall River facility.
The hospital is also in negotiations with Fruit Growers Supply Company to acquire the 9.25 acres their Burney facility sits on.
Rees reported that he had been busy consulting with legislators and he gave an update on the CHFFA Bond Financing which earmarks windmill projects that will help with measure D Funds. Ultimately Rees says that taxpayers will be paying approximately 20% less in taxes. He also said that an application will also be submitted for USDA loan funding, which could bring $36 million to the Hospital. Plans for construction for a replacement ER lab, X-ray and acute care are going forward for the Fall River facility. A bid was steel frame for the new facility was submitted as well as a bid for flooring. Plans for the new construction must be turned in to the State by December 31.

Water Meeting Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:18 pm

Did you know the Fall River spring system is the largest in the state?
The public is invited to an educational panel presentation, “Fall River’s Unique Geo- Hydro-Ecology” with local watershed experts.
The Water Talks program will be held Monday May 7th 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Fall River Lions Hall in McArthur.
The informational Water Talks are free and open to the public. The first Water Talks to be held in Fall River Valley is on the topic “Fall River’s Unique Geo-Hydro- Ecology” and will feature presentations from:
• Andrew Braugh, Director of Programs for the Fall River Conservancy on “Fall River Valley: Who’s doing what and why,”
• Michelle Berditschevsky, Conservation Director for Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center on “Connectivity of Water Resources: Medicine Lake Volcano and the Fall River Springs”

Earth Day Events a Huge Success

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:17 pm

McARTHUR – The Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds was buzzing with activity last weekend with the first annual Earth Day celebration hosted by the Fall River Resource Conservation District. According to event coordinator, Kelly Shuler, it was very successful. “For the first year, it was well attended and we received a lot of positive feedback.”
Informational talks ranging from gopher control to composting to solar energy were presented in half hour segments. Shuler said the talks were well attended and very informative. Experts in the field made ten different presentations. UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Dan Marcum coordinated the mini sessions.
Local vendors and businesses displayed products and information. Attendees were able to purchase gardening supplies, plants and accessories. Local nonprofits such as the Fort Crook Historical Society, Hospice Thrift Shop, Fall River Valley Library, Intermountain Preschool, Boy Scouts, Intermountain Quilters, Lioness Club and the Wayside Garden Club were also represented.

Editorial

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 12:56 pm

The Fall River Municipal Advisory Committee held a lightly attended public meeting last Thursday to make input into what the citizens of the Valley would like to see in a community center and park tentatively planned for the old Fall River Feed Store’s property and PG&E owned Stewardship land that the Community Services District hopes will be deeded to them.
A lot of people have put a lot of effort into acquiring the stewardship land award, getting additional monies, and brainstorming possible uses for that money. Once the CSD applies for and gets their parks and recreation powers back so they can legally operate parks, things will be a lot easier.
The concept of a swimming pool has been one of the key dreams of Valley folk ever since PG&E bulldozed its pool at the Pit One Power House under and for good reason.
A pool is an ideal spot for kids and adults to gather, cool off, swim, wade, picnic and while away the “lazy, crazy days of summer.” It’s nice, its fun, if properly run it is clean and safe. The entire community or in this case, communities benefit.
That said, I’m going to be a spoil-sport and remind folks that it is going to cost money to build. It is going to cost money to insure and it will cost money to staff, and maintain.
The money has to come from someplace. Sure, money may grow on grant trees, but the grants have to be found and in general matching funds come into play.
Burney bent over backwards to do the homework. They visited and checked pools all over the north state (several of which are no longer in operation). They had as good a feel for what was likely to happen as could be obtained. They knew what they could afford. They knew what to do and what not to do. They knew how to fund it. They got a measure put on the ballot and got it passed, charging every water user a monthly fee whether they used the pool or didn’t. They charged what they felt was a workable admission fee to those who didn’t qualify for a pool pass. It was built and has been in annual summer use ever since. They had to go back to the people to get an increase a few years ago. They have raised the use fee at the gate several times.
Good help was a major problem for several years. The winters played havoc and cost them a lot of money. Equipment wore out. Vandalism has been a problem and on and on.
It is not just a matter of gunniting a hole in the ground, pumping water in it and opening the gates to everyone who wants to use it. There is electricity, heaters, repair or replacement of urinals that have been severely damaged. Who qualifies for a pool pass and who doesn’t will be a major issue, especially if you get the CSD water and sewer district users to partially pay for upkeep.
The concept of an enclosed, year-round pool was mentioned. Burney rejected that concept when they built it because the cost was prohibitive. They revisited the decision a little while ago and rejected it again for the same reason.
I’m not trying to be a jerk or a spoil-sport, but I witnessed what happened in Burney. As president of the Rotary Club one year I went around and emptied containers where people donated their aluminum cans and occasionally a few rotting fish. Donna and I donated to it. When we lived in the Burney Water District we paid the fee on both our business and our residence without complaining. I’ve followed the pool’s progress through five water district managers and I have no idea how many pool managers and I haven’t had the time or inclination to use the facility myself.
What I am telling you is not to rely on the internet alone, if you truly want the pool, find out what you need in a pool, what the community wants and is willing to pay to have a pool. Look at every public pool in existence, talk to board members, managers, employees and users of those pools. Delve into the various pool’s histories.
Get community support, get organizations like the Lions, 4-H, and Chamber to raise funds and solicit local funds. If they won’t or try and can’t that will tell you something right there.
Talk to several pool contractors and engineering firms who specialize in pools. Get tentative plans that can be used to determine costs, then look for the grants and loans necessary to construct it.
While you are at it, be sure to do a realistic cost analysis and 20 year look at what it will cost to run a pool and remember to increase that amount by whatever the experts suggest, because I’ll guarantee you – if something can go wrong it will and no matter how detailed your plan, you will miss something.
There is nothing that makes any worse of an eye sore, or looks worse for the community than an empty deteriorating pool facility, indoor or outdoor.
I argued against a pool when I was chamber president in the 80’s because I felt those who wanted it, wanted it so bad, they were working with blinders on. They didn’t want to find anything that might slow or stop the project from going forward. If you are going to do it – do it right.

April 23, 2012

More Exercise in Burney’s Future

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:20 pm

BURNEY – Is more exercise in the future plans of this mountain community? The Pit River Tribe in conjunction with CalTrans is thinking ahead about making the town a friendlier place for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The two groups combined to hold a public workshop/forum in a design Fair Thursday night at the Burney High School gym, and then held a walk-around through town Friday to highlight what could be down the road – so to speak.
Officially titled Pit River Tribe – Burney Design Fair Community Bicycle and Walkway Planning Event, the evening workshop allowed some 100-plus in attendance to voice their ideas about improving walking and cycling opportunities and making it a safer place. The forum/workshop, along with the work being done by a group out of Sacramento – Local Government Commission – as well as the consulting group of Fehr & Peers was funded by CalTrans through a grant received by the Pit River Tribe.

Water District to Replace Aerators

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:15 pm

BURNEY – Three members of the Burney Water District unanimously approved a request to purchase two aerators to replace two of the four at the District’s sewer ponds on Black Ranch Road. The Thursday evening approval to spend up to $25,000 will replace two on one side of the pond’s aeration area, one of which currently has a broken shaft.
District Manager Willie Rodriquez told the board that both of the two were original to the system, but had been modified at some point when the trench they are installed in was modified. That modification had compensated for a change in the trench’s depth, but had caused the one to fail before and it has broken again.
Rodriquez reported that he had met with the Pit River Casino manager regarding the tribe’s request for a 1.5” meter for their RV park.

Captain Bill Covert of Burney Fire Among Firefighters To be Honored

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:14 pm

REDDING – Nine firefighters from throughout Shasta County will be honored Thursday (Apr. 26) at the Exchange Club of Redding’s 8th annual Firefighter of the Year awards.
The luncheon ceremony starts at 11:30 in Win- River’s Eagle Room.
The purpose of the event is to recognize the continuous, outstanding contributions that firefighters make to the community on a daily basis.
John Kaylor, retired Assistant Chief for the Redding Fire Department, will be the guest speaker.
The honorees include: Karen Ellena of the Anderson Fire Protection District, Billy Covert of the Burney Fire Protection District, Jason Rodgers of Cal Fire, Chris Murrill of the Cottonwood Fire Protection District, Andy Chambers from Happy Valley Fire Protection District, Corey Welch of the Redding Fire Department, Nikki Howard of the Shasta County Fire Department, Debbie Shiffer of the Shasta Fire Department, and Roger Moses of the Shasta Lake Fire Protection District.

Candidates Address Fall River Chamber

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:13 pm

McArthur – Candidates for Congress and Shasta County Supervisor District 3 were present last week at the Lions Hall to answer questions directly from local community members. All candidates for the June 5 ballot in these races were invited, although some were absent.
For the First Congressional District, candidates Michael Dacquisto, Jim Reed, and Pete Stiglich were present. Incumbent Doug LaMalfa, and candidates Gary Oxley, Nathan Arrowsmith and Gregory Cheadle were absent.
In the race for Shasta County Supervisor District 3, Pam Giacomini and Fred Ryness greeted the audience from the beginning. The third candidate Patrick Jones arrived late and was able to participate in half of the question session.

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