Berkeley Neighborhoods Council

 

Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all
by creating a unified neighborhood voice
for promoting livability and resolving problems

 

Featured Neighborhood

With more than $500 million in unfunded infrastructure needs, BNC decided that the “Featured Neighborhood” Section in this eNEWS would provide information about this basic problem that affects everyone in Berkeley.  We are going to start with Measure T1 which was approved by the voters in November 2016.  These funds are to be used to “repair, renovate, replace or reconstruct the City's aging infrastructure and facilities, including sidewalks, storm drains, parks, streets, senior and recreation centers and other important City facilities and buildings.” The measure did not include a specific list of projects but instead promised there would be a “robust public process” conducted by the Public Works Commission and the Parks and Waterfront Commission to obtain input to determine the best use of the $100 million bond proceeds.

On December 22, 2016, City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley presented to the City Council staff's recommendations for allocating and managing the T1 funds.  This was a report on the four-month effort by staff to develop a robust public process while delivering projects in an efficient manner.

The process they put forward included:

  1. Phasing:
    • There will be three phases over a 12-year period
    • $32 million allocated for fiscal years 2018-2021
    • $40 million allocated for fiscal years 2022-2015
    • $28 million allocated for fiscal years 2016-2029
  2. Community Process:
    1. The Parks and Waterfront Commission will gather input from the the following commissions:  Children, Youth and Recreation;  Civic Arts;  Environmental Advisory;  Disaster and Fire Safety and Energy.
    2. The Public Works Commission will gather input from the following commissions:  Aging;  Disability;  Housing Advisory;  Transportation and Zero Waste.
  3. Timeline:
    • January through February:  Staff-Commission discussions
    • March:  Lead Commissions hold two joint meetings.
    • April:  Staff and Lead Commissions prepare recommendations.
    • May-June:  Council consideration and approval.

Projects proposed in Phase 1 must be completed within three years of bond issuance, and should include planning or design project to prepare construction projects for Phases 2 and 3.

  1. Recommended Criteria:  Each project must meet at least one of more of the following criteria:
  2. Prioritize Safety Improvements:  e.g.  upgrades to building alarms, sprinklers, mechanical and electrical systems that pose safety concerns.
  3. Address Critical Infrastructure Needs:  e.g.  improvements to infrastructure whose life cycle is long-expired.
  4. Meets Community Needs:  Impacts the greatest number of Berkeley residents, and considers Berkeley's changing demographics.
  5. Advances Equity:  Creates benefits for all communities, including communities of color, considers geographic and economic equity.
  6. Advances Environmental Sustainability:  e.g.  through increasing energy and water efficiency and renewable energy use.
  7. Improves Preparedness:  Contributes to community preparedness for disasters.
  8. Leverages Funding:  Uses T1 dollars to compete for grant-funded projects using other financing.

Other Considerations:

Projects must be on property either owned or under a long-term lease by the City.  This excludes School District properties and the City's camps.

Projects Recommended by Staff for Phase I, $32,200,000, by Category

Facilities:  $14,150,000

  • North Berkeley Sr.  Center-$6,800,00 (possible leverage for a $2 million FEMA grant for seismic upgrades.
  • Live Oak Community Center-$4,900,000 Planning, Design and Construction
  • Frances Albrier Community Center-$750,000 Planning and Design
  • West Berkeley Service Center-$150,000 Conceptual Design, a visioning process to evaluate alternative uses
  • Citywide Improvements-$1,000,000 at
    • Berkeley Health Clinic:  electrical upgrades
    • Public Safety Building:  mechanical/HVAC upgrades
    • Willard Clubhouse:  roof and restroom improvements
    • Corporation Yard:  roof improvements
    • Marina Corporation Yard:  electrical upgrades
  • Old City Hall and Veterans Memorial Building-$300,000 Conceptual Design to determine best future use.
  • Transfer Station Modernization-$250,000 Master Plan, including the recycling center.

Streets:  $5,500,000, including adjacent sidewalks, gutters, curb ramps, retaining walls and drainage

  • Adeline Street from Derby Street to Ashby Avenue
  • Hearst Avenue from Milvia Street to Henry Street
  • Bancroft Way from Milvia Street to Shattuck Avenue
  • Hopkins Street from San Pablo Avenue to The Alameda
  • Monterey Avenue from The Alameda to Hopkins Street
  • Second Street from Delaware Street to Addison Street
  • Ward Street from San Pablo Avenue to Action Street
  • University Avenue from West Frontage Road to Marina Boulevard-$500,000 Planning and Design.

Green Infrastructure:  $1,000,000

  • Dwight and Sacramento Bus Stop Permeable Pavers-$100,000 Design and Construction
  • Civic Center Park Bioswale-$200,000 Design and Construction
  • San Pablo Park Bioswale-$200,000 Planning and Design
  • Willard Park Bioswale-$150,000 Planning and Design
  • North Branch Berkeley Library Bioswale-$150,000 Planning and Design
  • King School Park Bioswale-$200,000 Planning and Design

Parks:  $5,950,000

  • Grove Park Phase 2-$1,000,000 Restroom/Sports Field
  • San Pablo Park Tennis Courts-$800,000
  • Rose Garden-$2,000,000 Drainage, Pathways, Tennis Courts
  • Berkeley Municipal Pier-$900,000 Planning and Design re structural renovation
  • Gilman Sports Fields-$250,000 Planning and Design, restroom and storage
  • Aquatic Park-$250,000 Planning and Design, Tide Tube replaement
  • Irrigation Systems Modernization-$750,000

Staffing/Management:  $4,600,000

Transaction Costs:  $800,000

The above was approved by the City Council.  BNC has not included the reasoning behind these staff recommendations.  If you want to read that go to the City website, click on Council meetings and then go to the meeting for December 22, 2016.

About a month later, on January 31, 2017, newly-elected Mayor Arreguin submitted revisions to the public process for implementation of T1 funds.  These included:

  • Three joint meetings for the general public and commissions to provide input on criteria and projects.  Meetings are to be in “Workshop Format” so that citizens, commissions and staff will be able to talk with each other.
  • Ranking criteria will include, but not be limited to, complexity (“shovel ready” to master plan), safety, environmental impact, equity in outcomes and impact across all city neighborhoods, cost/matching fund/grant availability and resiliency.
  • A program-based development approach to maximize the benefit of phasing larger projects or multiple project implementation.
  • Opportunity to review staff recommendations and suggest modifications based on matching criteria and public input.
  • Development of a long-term plan for projects that will extend beyond the funding capacity of T1, including possible future funding mechanisms.
  • Ongoing oversight and reporting process including timelines for financial reassessment.

This proposed public process would supplement the City Manager's proposed timeline for implementation of Measure T1.

BNC appreciates that the Mayor has provided an expanded opportunity for neighborhoods to participate in this important process.  Now, neighborhoods have to step up to the plate.  We highly encourage every neighborhood to get involved and to monitor the process closely.  BNC has recently learned the following schedule of meetings:

Measure T1 Workshop #1 
Focus:  parks and general City facilities
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 10AM — 12PM
Frances Albrier Community Center
2800 Park St.

Measure T1 Workshop #2
Focus:  streets and storm water infrastructure

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 12 — 2PM
Live Oak Community Center
301 Shattuck Ave.

Measure T1 Workshop #3
Focus:  gathering additional input on City staff recommendations and summarizing input gathered to date

Saturday, April 8, 10AM — 12PM
Tarea Hall Pittman South Branch Library
1910 Russell St. 

You still have time to attend Workshop #3 on April 8.  Maybe the City should consider coordinating with State funding regarding the proposed $5.5 million for streets to make our T1 money go further.