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May 22, 2012

A regular meeting of the City of San Ramon Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 was held on May 22, 2012 at 6:46 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon, Board Chair Clarkson presiding.
PRESENT:  Board Members Hudson, Perkins, O’Loane, Board Vice Chair Livingstone, and Board Chair Clarkson.
STAFF PRESENT:  City Manager Greg Rogers, Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe, District Engineer Robin Bartlett, and District Clerk Patricia Edwards.

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Chair Clarkson led those present in the pledge of allegiance.

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(#5.1) Minutes of the April 24, 2012 meeting.

Mbr. Perkins’ motion to approve the April 24, 2012 meeting minutes was seconded by Mbr. Hudson and passed 5-0.

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(#7.1) Public Hearing:  Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 (GHAD) – Adopt Resolution GHAD No. 2012-09 – Confirming and Levying the Assessment for Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 for Fiscal Year 2012/13.

District Engineer Robin Bartlett provided the report.  On April 24, 2012, the Geologic Hazard Abatement District (GHAD) Board approved the Fiscal Year 2012/13 Engineer’s Report and Updated Reserve Fund Study.  The Board adopted Resolution GHAD 2012-08, a resolution of intent to order assessments for Fiscal Year 2012/13 for Geologic Hazard Abatement District No. 1990-01 and set a public hearing for May 22, 2012.  The proposed new rates for FY 2012/13 are $130.36 per residential unit and $0.0417 per square foot of non-residential area.  A total of 7,235 public hearing notices were mailed on May 4, 2011 in compliance with the Public Resources Code.  Three responses were received.  One property owner requested that the assessment be decreased and that the money be spent wisely.  One property owner opposed the assessment.  There was one request for additional information regarding the GHAD.

Chair Clarkson opened the public hearing.  There were no requests to address this item.  Chair Clarkson closed the public hearing.  

Mbr. Perkins stated that there is a misconception regarding the purpose of the GHAD assessment.  Most of the funds are not used for operations but are set aside to prepare for a large geologic hazard event.  Mr. Bartlett stated that the funds are used for: maintenance purposes; to build up reserves to endow the GHAD for long term operations; and to cover catastrophic events.  The 2012/13 fee is $5.01 more than the 2011/12 fee.  Mbr. Hudson noted that the policy is to increase the fee approximately 4% per year in order to achieve the estimated amount needed per the actuarial study.  The study recommended that the GHAD accumulate a reserve fund of $8 million (2003 dollars) to meet the long range needs for the GHAD.  Mr. Bartlett stated that the GHAD does not have an inflation factor built into its maximum assessment rate.  In order to build an endowment which is large enough to sustain GHAD activities, the Reserve Fund Study included a gradual assessment rate increase to build that endowment. 

Mbr. O’Loane was puzzled by the notion of a contingency if the City spends less than the contingency and currently has a GHAD reserve.  Mbr. Perkins stated that if the contingency funds are not spent for a number of years, it may be possible to reduce future GHAD assessment increases.  Mr. Bartlett stated that staff annually evaluates the Reserve Fund Study.  The current return on investments is very small and does not contribute significantly to the reserve balance.  Mbr. O’Loane asked what overhead costs are paid for by the GHAD.  City Manager Rogers stated that the overhead costs include the City’s costs for administering the money, collections, paying bills, direct cost of maintenance, the GHAD’s share of general overhead, auditing, etc.  Mbr. Hudson is concerned that the $8 million will not cover the costs of repairs for a major event.  Chair Clarkson asked if there is a contingent liability for the company that designed and did the work to grade GHAD property which was later annexed by the City.  Mr. Bartlett stated that the GHAD could theoretically sue the developer and others but staff would need to review when the work was done and what standards applied at that time.  Chair Clarkson asked if the liability would go with the property if the property was impacted.  Mr. Bartlett deferred to the City Attorney.  Interim City Attorney Bob Saxe stated that the City has the potential to sue and noted that several entities were involved including the County, East Bay Municipal Utility District, East Bay Regional Parks District, and the contractors.  He added that the statute of limitations may have passed.  He reviewed the City’s experience with the Cree Court situation.  Mbr. O’Loane stated that the problem appears to be located around the golf course.  He noted that a majority of the initial plantings have died.  He requested that the City communicate with Shapell and the golf course and discuss a remedy in order to stabilize the ground.  Mr. Bartlett noted the City has been in discussions with the golf course.  There are several contributing factors including the vegetation, rodents, and jack rabbits.  The golf course is engaged in a replanting effort.

Mbr. Hudson’s motion to approve Resolution GHAD 2012-09 was seconded by Vice Chair Livingstone and passed 5-0. 

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At 7:04 p.m., there being no further business, Board Chair Clarkson adjourned the meeting.


Bill Clarkson, Board Chair
Patricia Edwards, District Clerk

Approved at the June 12, 2012 GHAD meeting 4-0; Perkins absent..

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