Progress on three projects took center stage at the Rancho Murieta Association board meeting Tuesday – the skateboard park, the Country Club's plans for Bass Lake, and the cable system's move towards digital broadcasting.
The board approved a memorandum of understanding with Rancho Murieta Youth Enrichment Advocacy for a skateboard park. The agreement will allow the group to begin fundraising efforts to build the 10,000-square-foot skateboard park, which is estimated to cost just under $350,000. The facility would be located at Stonehouse Park. The park will be turned over to the RMA to own, operate and maintain when completed.
The design phase of the project was carried out by the Parks Committee last year. The committee agreed to make the skateboard park a top priority on the parks matrix and added $600 from the parks fund to the $9,400 donated by the Kiwanis Club to fund the $10,000 design last year.
Country Club General Manager Bob Johnson said work at Bass Lake could begin in July. The work is part of a drainage diversion project for Bass Lake and the golf course lakes used to irrigate the courses. The project is expected to take three months to complete and cost $1.2 million.
The five voting members of the Parks Committee -- two RMA directors, two representatives of the development community in Rancho Murieta, and one CSD director -- control the parks fund, which consists of developer contributions and smaller, matching contributions from the RMA through dues.
Committee members approve funding for projects identified in a master plan for the community's parks that was established in 1990. The skateboard park was added to the matrix at a later date at the request of community members. It appears as an unfunded project because it wasn't part of the original matrix and funding plan for the community's parks.
The Parks Committee will vote on the skateboard park project at a meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the RMA Building.
Bob Johnson, general manager of the Country Club, provided information about Bass Lake's role in the club's storm water diversion project. The club's goal is to prepare residents for the extent of the construction that will take place over the next few months and reassure them about the result.
"It's not a small project. There's going to be a lot of soil displaced in putting in these drains. … You're going to see trenches, you're going to see piles of dirt," Johnson said. "… We believe when the project is completely finished, it will be a beautiful addition to the golf course and to the community."
The RMA board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Country Club last month that allows the club to move forward with plans to divert drainage and storm water from Bass Lake into underground pipes to eliminate wet season overflows. The lake is RMA property.
Bass Lake sits next to the 5th hole of the North Course and across the road from the entrance to Lake Clementia Park. It's also part of the backyard view for a small group of million-dollar homes along De La Cruz Drive in the Fairways.
Although residents will continue to know it as Bass Lake, "we're calling this an irrigation reservoir now, and that's a legal term we're going to be carrying forward," Johnson said.
During the irrigation season, the lake is used to store reclaimed wastewater provided at no cost to the club by the Community Services District. Both golf courses are irrigated with recycled water.
Last year the club was required to end the seasonal overflows that occur at the irrigation lakes by January 2008, as part of the cease and desist order issued to the club and the CSD by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The club's solution will capture storm water runoff and drainage in pipes to keep it from entering the lakes and causing spills that contain diluted quantities of recycled water in violation of the no-discharge permit for wastewater operations.
According to Johnson, the overflows from Bass Lake have probably never reached the Cosumnes River, "but the potential to reach the river is there. Therefore, it is something we have to guarantee will not happen in the future."
On a large aerial photo of the area, Johnson pointed out the extensive network of pipelines that will be installed at Bass Lake. He said 2,800 feet of pipe ranging in size from 24 inches to 54 inches will carry drainage water to a settling basin 100 yards square in size. Excavations up to 16 feet deep will be required in some areas to maintain a downward slope to the detention basin.
The basin will be located on property that belongs to the Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers, the Country Club's landlord. The land sits in the flood plain below Lake Clementia. Johnson estimated the basin would be dry 90 percent of the year and could be used for playing fields or as a park. It will be bordered by a 12-foot wide maintenance road.
Johnson said the fairways of the 5th hole will be "dissected" to accommodate 36- to 48-inch pipe and the hole would be closed to play during some of the work. The club hopes to accomplish the most disruptive phase within a two- to three-week period, he said. The entire project is expected to take three months and cost $1.2 million. Johnson said the PTF has committed to paying the hard costs of the project and is negotiating with the club on the other costs.
Country Club plans to use the excavated soil to address existing maintenance problems and make improvements by filling in the "finger" of the lake to create a natural area, and eliminating an existing de-silting basin.
Rerouting the drainage will reduce the amount of silt that was being deposited in the lake and provide an opportunity for deepening it, Johnson said. A walkway will be added around the lake, as well as landscaping, and the islands of tules now growing in the lake are expected to remain.
The comment period for the project's environmental document ends July 2 and the club expects a grading permit to be issued after that. Johnson said work is expected to begin in mid to late July.
Johnson provided information about another project the club is pursuing that involves rectifying the tree mitigation debacle that occurred about five years ago at the club when South developer Reynen & Bardis planted hundreds of trees.
Johnson said the county Department of Environmental Review and Assessment is "not happy with the program" and neither is the club. There are also additional trees that need to be mitigated.
Johnson said the club's goal is to work with DERA and the developer "to take that over... We don't want to see those trees or those inches lost to our community. … We have plenty of room to plant them in the right locations."
Johnson appeared at the CSD board meeting with the presentation the following evening.
Cable project moves ahead
Testing for the changeover of the premium channels from analog to digital broadcast had a successful conclusion, with testers becoming the first sign-ups for the service, the Communications Committee was told this month.
At the RMA meeting, Director Mel Standart said the beta testers' input was "impressively very favorable." Premium channel users are now being contacted about signing up for digital service before the July 16 deadline and Standart asked those who are not available at their home numbers during business hours to contact Teresa Ellis at 354-3538 about continuing their premium service when it changes over to digital.
There are currently 272 premium cable subscribers.
The first phase of the marketing plan for the digital changeover is a mailer that's being prepared for premium users by a marketing consultant.
The board approved the first expenditure for 2007 cable improvements, a $15,000 fiber-optic cable run from the North Gate to Camino Del Lago. Standart said Justin Jordan, a former member of the committee who has contracted with the RMA to provide technical services, donated an additional 20,000 feet of fiber-optic cable valued at $20,000 to the association.
Jordan's workdays have been increased from two to three under a new contract with the association.
- The RMA board approved spending $27,582 to replace the fountain pumps at Laguna Joaquin. Replacing the 13-year-old pumps is expected to address noise complaints from neighboring townhouse residents.
- The board approved $240,000 in annual roadwork maintenance.
- The board approved using $8,000 to $10,000 from exclusive use funds for the construction costs of the temporary Riverview trail for the pedestrian bridge. The RMA Maintenance Department completed the work over a two-week period.