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Fall Newsletter 2015

Roads Receive $13.5 Million in Additional Funding

On Tuesday, November 10th, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved new one-time funding that will help build approximately 100 miles of new roads. Drawing from multiple sources within the general fund, the Board added $13.5 million, which will be combined with next year's annual general fund investment of $11.5 million, for a total of $25 million. This level of funding will result in about 100 miles of new road surface, which will be selected in 2016 and built in 2017. The Board also reinforced their commitment to stable, ongoing funding by indexing the annual general fund contribution toward road repair by up to 2% annually.

The additional funds come from a combination of sources in the general fund, including a total of $12.1 million from Teeter and various fund balances. Specifically, the Board dedicated fund balances from fees charged to offset the negative impacts of aggregate mining ($90,000) and waste hauling ($709,300); funds collected to offset impacts of cannabis farming ($213,200); and funds that had been set aside to incentivize local leveraging for special districts to match road funding ($357,400).

In addition to these sources, the Board will consider possible additional revenue in spring 2016, including Vehicle License Fees, revenue from the Transient Occupancy Tax (often referred to as hotel-bed tax revenue), and general obligation bonds. Additionally the Board will consider a possible increase to aggregate mitigation fees and other heavy vehicles.

In California, 19 of 58 counties invest general fund money into roads, with Sonoma County dedicating the most funds to roads out of all California counties, according to a report from the State Controller’s Office. Sonoma County contributes ongoing funds for pavement preservation (rebuilding roads at the end of their life and treatments to extend pavement life), and corrective maintenance (pot holing, signals, signage, etc.).

To view more information on the Pavement Preservation Program please visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Pavement-Preservation/

Roads Resurfaced with Chip Seal

Skaggs Springs StripingAs part of the 2015 Pavement Preservation program, we chip-sealed 21.49 miles of roads in Sonoma County. Chip Seals are a relatively fast and cost effective road surface treatment that extends the life of the pavement. Chip seals are done in house by the Transportation and Public Works road maintenance crews

Preparation work for chip seals includes pavement repair, roadside drainage and vegetation maintenance. To create a Chip Seal, an oil polymer designed to penetrate the existing asphalt surface and replenish the lost oils is sprayed onto the road, which creates a tough binder for the rock chips. A thin layer of crushed rock is then applied immediately behind the oil. The new surface is then rolled to embed the chips in the oil. The chip seal application is followed by two to three days of sweeping for excess kick-off of the rock chip as needed, and finally reapplying striping and stenciling.

This summer we completed the following work: 

  • Laguna Road, from Guerneville Road to Trenton Road.
  • Piezzi Road, from Occidental Road to Hall Road.
  • Hall Road, from Sanford Road to Santa Rosa City Limits.
  • Corona Road, from Ely Road to Adobe Road.
  • Pressley Road, from Roberts Road to Sonoma Mountain Road.
  • Roberts Road, from Petaluma Hill Road to Lichau Road.
  • Trenton Healdsburg Road, from River Road to Eastside Road.
  • Chalk Hill Road, from Spurgeon Road to HWY 128.
  • Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road, from around Warm Springs Creek east for four miles.

To learn more about Pavement Preservation and see what roads are proposed for next year, visit the Pavement Preservation page here.

Glen Ellen Receives a Face Lift

Arnold Drive Before and After 200x375 11-18-15This summer we completed major upgrades to downtown Glen Ellen. We built new ADA compliant sidewalks and curb ramps, installed railings and repaved Arnold Drive. This project improves conditions for drivers and pedestrians in this vibrant and culturally significant area. Upgrades to Arnold Drive were made possible and funded by the ongoing dedication of local funds by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. 

Arnold Drive is classified by the Federal Highway Administration as a Major Collector, meaning it carries high average daily traffic volumes. In the Sonoma County road network Major Collectors are normally in good condition, with an average Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of 66. Before the roadwork on Arnold Drive the average PCI was 44, with the improvements the PCI will be about 100.

To learn more about Pavement Preservation and see what roads are proposed for next year, visit the Pavement Preservation page here.

County Service Areas Reduce Water Use in Drought

Communities across California have struggled to reduce water use during our persistent drought, and here in Sonoma County it’s no different. Sonoma County’s Small Water Districts have worked hard to make reductions in water usage across the board, and use less gallons of water per person per day than the average North Coast community. TPW administers water service to four Community Service Areas around the county: Fitch Mountain, Freestone, Jenner, and Salmon Creek.

This summer, these communities reduced their water use compared to averages in 2013 or 2015, and have maintained an average daily use lower than both the State and North Coast average. In August 2015 the State Water Resources Control Board reported that the statewide average gallons of water used per person per day was 102.4 gallons. Through consistent and vigilant conservation these small communities have averaged 43 gallons of water used per person per day in 2015, a remarkable effort!

For information on water restrictions and rebate programs visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/TPW/Water-Systems/.

College Students and Veterans Continue to Ride Free on Sonoma County Transit

Vets and Students Ride FreeDid you know that during 2015 and 2016 Sonoma County College Students and Veterans can ride Sonoma County Transit for free? 

Since January 1, Sonoma County College Students and Veterans have been able to use Sonoma County Transit at no charge. The pilot program, approved by the Board of Supervisors in September 2014, has seen increased ridership among College Students and Veterans. On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors committed ongoing annual funding that allows Veterans to ride Sonoma County Transit for free.  The Board also extended the pilot program for Sonoma County College Students to ride free through 2016.

Based on recent calculations, it is projected that 209,220 individual trips will be taken during the 2015 pilot program, 30,950 by Veterans and 178,270 by College Students. 

In 2016, the program will be funded with contributions from the Sonoma County Veterans Services Office, Sonoma State University and the Santa Rosa Junior College, and a general fund reimbursement for the remaining cost of fares. 

For information on routes and other fares you can view the Sonoma County Transit Website here.

New Buses for Sonoma County Transit

Sonoma County Transit Bus ShellTransit buses don’t come off a lot; rather they are built to meet specific requirements of transit agencies in terms of performance, range, fuel-type, appearance and passenger amenities. 

Sonoma County Transit is currently building seven new buses. Like current Sonoma County Transit buses, the new coaches will operate on natural gas and will feature high-back reclining seats, parcel racks, reading lamps, on-board WiFi and 3-position bicycle racks. The new buses will also have advanced video security systems and the NextBus passenger information system.

Three of the new buses will be 40 feet in length and four will be 30 feet. During their 12 to 15 year service life, they are projected to accumulate in excess of 650,000 miles each.

Approved by the Board of Supervisors in April, the buses went into production in early September and will be completed in December. The new buses will be in service in February.  For information on routes and other fares you can view the Sonoma County Transit Website here.

Banners Near Airport Show Our County's Values

Airport Banner Installation ProjectSonoma County work crews have been busy hanging more than 50 banners on Airport Boulevard light posts, west of US101. These banners welcome visitors to Sonoma County or bid adieu to locals heading out. The project was a collaboration between Sonoma County Airport, former Arts Council of Sonoma County, former Supervisor McGuire, and Sonoma County Tourism.

The banners have six main themes: Grow, Innovate, Inspire, Taste, Explore, and STS destinations, and were chosen to respect local values and character, as well as provide a source of community pride.

Feature images were provided by local organizations, farmers, artists and beyond. This project will strengthen the collective impact between business, tourism and the arts to attract, retain and expand business, and increase length of stay and return visits. You can view the website for the airport here.

New facility will help Sonoma County recycle 80% (and beyond) of waste

A new Material Recovery Facility or MRF (pronounced “murf”) is being developed at the existing Transfer Station located at the Central Disposal Site southwest of Cotati. The MRF will recover material for recycling and reuse from the self-haul public customers, construction and demolition loads, and commercial dry-waste streams. These three classifications are currently transferred directly to the Central Landfill for disposal. Once the MRF is up and running it is expected that about 60% or more of this material will be diverted from the landfill, and recycled or reused. 

As of 2014, Sonoma County’s estimated waste diversion level was 74.6%. The MRF at Central has been identified as a key component in helping the county take the next step in achieving the 80% (and beyond) diversion goal set by the City/County Solid Waste Advisory Group (SWAG) through their multi-year public policy process. The MRF’s waste diversion will also be a big contributor to Green House Gas (GHG) reduction.  The environmental review completed for the Use Permit process last year conservatively estimated that the MRF diversion would reduce GHG emissions by over 55,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Construction of the MRF will involve installation of waste processing equipment in the existing transfer building. The primary materials targeted for recovery will include; wood, cardboard, mixed paper fiber, metal, concrete and other inert material, roofing, carpet and padding, film plastic, etc., along with small screened material suitable for use as an alternative cover material at the landfill. The processing system will incorporate both mechanical and manual sorting techniques. The system will include size reduction for bulky items such as wooden pallets, screening units for size separation, conveyors for material movement and manual sorting and quality control as well as a baler for packaging recyclables for transportation to end-use markets. The project also involves the expansion of the transfer building to add a roof enclosure for recyclable bale storage.

The MRF is projected to cost up to $5 million and is being financed and developed by Republic Services of Sonoma County as part of their long-term operating agreement of the county-owned solid waste transfer and disposal system. Republic Services is currently working on final system design as well as securing additional permitting required to incorporate the MRF into the existing transfer operation. Securing building permits, construction, and start-up of operations are expected to be completed within the next 12 to 18 months. For more information, visit the Integrated Waste page here.

Sonoma County Material Recovery Facility MRF

Contact Information

Johannes J. Hoevertsz

Director

Transportation & Public Works
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Office Location
La Plaza B
2300 County Center Drive
Suite B 100
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.462006, -122.725384