Newspaper Archive of
Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
December 10, 1980     Cloverdale Reveille
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December 10, 1980

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Page 4 - - Wednesday, December 10, 1980 Continued from page 3 to $30 million using a 10 percent return factor. So we're looking at possibly $100 million we are losing with these developers at The Geysers. That's a pretty good loss to Sonoma County,and that's not counting the future development by foreign municipalities. I thir this is really inequitable, an inequity we have to resolve. And that's basically what I'm trying to do. "Heaidsburg is supplied by NCPA. NCPA has agreed to pay an "in lieu' tax instead of property taxes. I feel comfortable in making that statement because, too, that's a wash. It offsets a generation fee or property tax. So it would basically be a wash. I met with the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce to test the waters a week ago and they seemed to be I00 percent on my side. I asked specifically if there was anyone who would oppose it or not find that statement to be true. When you have an 'in lieu' tax you can be safe in sayingit would be a wash Cloverdale Geysers Road off and come back and put a layer of asphalt because it doesn't have the base and it wouldn't hold. "We're probably looking at $6 million to put the Cioverdale Geysers Road in good condition. And there aren't funds available at lhis point. Not even in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management ) fund. In 'The generation fee I'm proposing would not effect rate-users or taxpayes in Sonoma County." Federal Lease Monies through AB 1905 Bosco bill there was $18 million that came back to the State of California supposedly be applied o the Heald- sburg side of the Geysers Road because that's where lhe development is going. We'll have to wait for mitigations fees on the Cloverdale Geysers Road until Ihere is some fulure developmenl lhere where we can get some mitigation fees. In the past somebody really slipped somewhere. The issue was never really addressed. As I. said, because Ihe three municipalities from which we'll try It) gel mitigation fees are on the Hedldsburg side the monies will have 1o first go to the area where they are located. The Cloverdale Geysers Road will have to wait until funds are available from the generation ax. "We might get enougl money fror6 lhe mitigation fees to satisfy the Heald- sburg Geysers Road completely. The monies for the Cioverdale side will come, but it will have to come from the Bureau of Land Management and the generation fees, and then if there's any development on the Cloverdale Geysers Road side, whether its private or public agencies, we could also ask for mitigaton fees on this side. And that could be alplied directly Io the Cloverdale road. "I'm going to go before the Board of Directors of Sonoma County Alliance -- also to the Press Democrat to get their feeling and to make sure they can support the issue and find out where any of the problems might be ahead of time. Then I'1t take it before the Board of Supervisors and gel their approval, which I don't think there's any doubt that I'll get their full support. From that point will develop a schedule and get out and work and inform the news media, Taxpayers Assn., the Alliance, the Chambers of Commerce, the city councils, even the service clubs. We'll educate them to what we're really trying to do. We'll get all the support we can get in order to gel our two-thirds majority vote from the people of Sonoma County and I don't think that's going to be too hard to do. , .. i  Photo of the Cioverdale Geysers Road taken in the 1800s, when stagecoaches used to travel it. Photo courtesy of Cloverdale Historical Society. and have no affect on the people of Healdsburg. As I said. I've taken my plan to the Healdsburg chamber trying to get feedback from them and to see how they would take it ---with the main point being increase Io their rate-users -- due to the fact, they are directly involved with NCPA "Both Geysers Roads were basically to serve agricultural needs -- not for the heavy equipment that's been rtmning over them. The real problem is the Cloverdale Geysers Road. It is tolally unsafe. The Slate of California Department of Waler Resources are going through the Energy Com- mission now. They are trying to get th'd''-, com- mission to place a condio,n on their permit that would have them pay an in lieu tax to us. They came into my office a couple of weeks ago and explained that they were trvinE to resolve the problem and it would be laken care of hrough the permitting process. The Energy Commission said "n" lhey didn't want to do this - that they didn't want to become involved. Even if the Energy Commission had agreed to the "in lieu" tax it would have not been aqccpt able to me anyway.Because what they would do then would be 1o Iry to pacify us and say, 'Here, we have a condition and we're going to pay you an 'in lieu'tax. ' They hoped we would say, 'Okay, thai will satisfy us and we will not pursue it any further.' They could then go to our legislature and try to gel fulurt legislations to block this, then they would come back and say, after they achieved their goal, II "It will be a long, hard fight ahead. It's not going to be easy -- but I believe my plan can and will work." 'You know. now we're paying an 'in lieu' lax and i's illegal.' So anyway. thal's whal they would like us to believe, say one thing and do somelhing else. "I think this is totally unaccep able. All they would be doing is buying a lilIle zime -- coming in with somelhing io block us and coming back and saying it's illegal for a public agency Io pay a property lax or an "in .l'mu" of a property lax. If l, Jaal happened, and it held up in court, we'd be on the oulside looking in again. So that's why we want to prolect ourselves. And how do we intend Iv do this? By bringing the issue before the po)ple of Sonoma Counly hrough the ballot process. Yes. ii will be a long, hard fighl ahead. I 's not going to be easy. as I said. but it's a slep in he right direction. Otherwise. you'll never see those roads improved, as I see i 'Td be happy if I can say in five or six years we're going to have something done on these roads, because oherwise nothing is ever going to happen. "'The grealest amount of impact is going to be on the Healdsburg Geysers Road, so that is to be set as the firsl priorily. Second priority would be the Cloverdale side. Through lhe miligalion fees process, we should basically take care of he Healdsburg side and from that point on we can work on the Cloverdale side I think with my plan it can be done. As I said, it's going to take time. In the past. we haven't been able o satisfy either road. At leasl this will give us a slarl. 'Tve been asked what my thinking is about the helicopler I didn't an- ticipate the crash of Angel II and !he loss of our two depulies. Knowing I am the Criminal Jusitice Liaison, I know Ihe time is going to come when we're going to have lo replace this unit, so I asked the companies a the Geysers for money also. to help us oul on the replacement. We've had many accidents on these roads. We've lost lives. We have chemical trucks using these roads. Several trucks and automobiles have gone over the side. And I figure as long as the developers use Ihese roads for taking our resources they should pay fees. As I said, the roads were originally built for agricultural purposes and are hlalty unsafe for other uses. "'We're self-insured in Sonoma County and we're highly exposed. And if the developers, feeling is that maybe a miligation fee is oul of order because they feel lhe resources belong to he people of California. then maybe three votes on the Board of Supervisors should close lhe road down because, as I said, we're highly exposed At lhat they began to listen and we wenl on from hal point. "'In he meantime, getting back =o the helicopter, after lhe recen crash I've talked Io Ihe sheriff about it and I've indicaled Ihe Board's supporl in replacing il. We alked abow a helicopter thai w)uld accommodate medical needs. The sheriff came up wilh a figure of $700,000. This would be, I'm sure. a twin-engine job and a lile bigger unit. I don't know if we can go thal route --whether the need is there. I believe we could replace what we had with the safety equipment for around $400,000. Again, this is just a ballpark figure. I've discussed it with PG&E and Union Oil. because I'm sure lhey have some real con- cerns about the safety of 'heir people up there. They assured me they were very concerned, so I asked if they could help us out in any way financially. At leasl with some of the vublic resistance we may have replacing the helicopter. We've lost two helicopters and three people so we want to replace it. We want to have the people up at The Geysers to have this service and we'll be able to do it. I'm sure PG&E, Union and some of the other com- panies at The Geysers will be happy o help us to some degree. I'm not saying they should give us $50,000 a piece, but even if they could give us $I0,000 each it would us from of the re could come unit and maybe more than patrolling costs  an hour to keep in the air, s to use it "My other professional unit. I Gunderson, a pilot. The who went down hours in. brought up ranks but I that qualified. like to see pilots who and I believe resolve our "As I said-, it hard fight ahead going to be believe my] work." Vivian Menicueci points out automobile at the ravine to Supervisor Esposti. Services 00lot The Fnshion FI Ear Piercing Waxing Sculptured Nails .._... GIFT Certificates Available The Fashion FI 112 N. Cloverdale Blvd. 894-5226 "We need a two- thirds majority vote fromthe people of Sonoma Coun- ty." II Although P. C. Hale, one of the main property owners on that road has opposed a belier roadway up there, I believe he has agreed now with the public utilities, when the time comes, he wouldn't oppose a 16 foot roadway which would be the total width, compared with the 9 foot Width in many places now. You could put a yellow line down the middle of it and it would be passable for two vehicles and basically safe. That's the most important thing. "The Healdsburg Geysers Road is a little wider and in better shape. Most all the equipment, travel, gravel trucks, chemical trucks are basically now going up the Healdsburg side. Our Sonoma County Main- tenance Road Fund is about $4.5 million. We have 1600 miles of county roads in the county, I'd say about 8 percent, and I'd say that was a good proportion of our maintenance funds, are going directly on The Geysers Roads. But it isn't enough to property improve them. As I said, they were basically to serve agricultural needs and with all this heavy travel they don't hold up. They don't have a base to them. As an example, it wouldn't serve any purpose to grade the II : ec| Photo shows the Cloverdale Geysers Road almost narrow, and dangerous as was in the 1800s. ! ' ATT[ :00NTION L/:: Foreign Car Owners that there is an AUTO REPAIR SHOP in Cloverdale that wo o.. earmarked to go back to the counties of origin. Now we 'find Ihat after the bill is developed and passed there is no money available -- that all the BLM fund of the past from the federal govern- menl has been pul in the educational fund of California and allocated. We lhrealened to sue Ken Cory on state level. However, he has agreed to take $2 million a year out of incoming funds to replace il. So we agreed on that. "I allocated $400,000 of lhis money for the Cloverdale Geysers Road to be used at Sulphur Creek from the BLM fund Io be used down there to cleanup that area and widen the r road. "Now, if we can come up with a mitigation fee from Ihe three agencies, DWR, SMUD, and NCPA, as a condition in their use per- mit, then I believe, we could go ahead on the Healdsburg Geysers Road in the nex',t year or so -- depending when they would come in line to pul up lh front money for their mitigaton fee. If it's in the next year or so we could go ahead on lhe con- slruclion of the Healdsburg side and gel it out of the way. 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