Skip to Content

Board of Supervisors Department

Mark West Area Municipal Advisory Council

Neighborhood Improvement Funding Program

The MWAMAC’s Neighborhood Improvement Funding Program, funded by Cal Am Water franchise fees, supports neighborhood improvement projects in the communities serviced by Cal Am Water – Mark West, Larkfield, Wikiup and parts of Fulton. Please note that the funding may not be eligible to all areas overseen by the MWAMAC, only the communities serviced by Cal Am.

Cal American Water Franchise Fees
The California American (Cal Am) Water Franchise Fees were established in 2009 by two Sonoma County Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) resolutions:
• 11/17/09 BOS Resolution No. 09-1089 intent to establish franchise fees with Cal Am Water
• 12/8/09 BOS Ordinance No. 5861 granting a franchise to Cal Am Water

The franchise fee is paid to the County for the use of “County streets to supply water to consumers in connection with the regulated water system owned and operated by Cal Am in the Mark West-Larkfield- Wikiup area of unincorporated Sonoma County” which includes parts of Fulton.
The Resolution No. 09-1089 states that, “the Board intends to pass through a portion of the franchise fees from Cal-Am to a new Community Services District in the Mark West Larkfield-Wikiup area, subject to approval of the CSD by the Local Agency Formation Commission and voters in the area… two percent (2%) of the gross annual receipts of Cal Am arising from the use, operation, or possession of the Franchise” would go to the County for a “term of 20-years, and may be extended by mutual agreement.”

The funds are administered by the Sonoma County Department of Public Infrastructure within their regular budgeting functions.

Eligibility and Criteria
Residents of Mark West, Larkfield, Wikiup and parts of Fulton who are serviced by Cal Am Water are eligible to apply. Projects must identify the benefit(s) to the community, and have a specific timeline with defined steps and costs. Costs must be broken down by line item. Justification will be provided for anticipated costs. A minimum of three written bids may be requested for each project if an outside vendor is to be used. For instance, if materials must be purchased, the applicant should provide the cost of purchasing those materials at current prices. Funds cannot be used for any “ongoing” costs after the project’s completion (examples: maintenance, watering, electricity, etc.) If there are “ongoing” costs to the project, detailed explanations as to how those costs will be met must be included.

Project Examples
The intent of the funds is for “public good” projects with a one-time cost. Public good projects that increase neighborhood pride and identity such as community gardens, bicycle racks, picnic tables, benches, signage, curb appeal enhancements, welcome signs, etc. The MWAMAC approves the proposals for funding and encourages residents to look around their neighborhoods for projects that all residents can enjoy and be proud of.

A group of three or more active and involved residents in Mark West, Larkfield, Wikiup and Cal Am Water customers in Fulton can apply for the Neighborhood Improvement funds. In addition, groups such as an homeowners association or a non-profit can also apply. Applicants must have a valid fiscal agent, such as a non-profit agency, a government agency, or a business approved by the County.

Project Design
Projects must be detailed and include site specific drawings, photographs, maps and any other supporting documentation that would assist the MWAMAC’s understanding of the project. The application must demonstrate that the project will meet all local, state and federal codes, if applicable.

Application Process
A fillable application is available online at here. Complete the application and submit to the MWAMAC Secretary:

  1. By email at
  2. In-person at a MWAMAC meeting at 6pm on the second Wednesday of the month at Mark West Union School District’s Learning Center, 305 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

Applications are accepted by the MWAMAC at any time. There is not a “first come first served” policy.

The MWAMAC’s NIFP Subcommittee will review and select projects to be considered by the full MWAMAC. If funding is available, the MWAMAC will request payment by the department of Public Infrastructure. Occasionally, a project may need to be considered by the Board of Supervisors. This review process will include discussions with the County to determine the proper procurement methods for the project. Once the projects are reviewed, they will be considered by the Board. If the Board approves a project the applicant will be receive a notice to proceed in writing from the MWAMAC Secretary. Neighborhood groups will be required to present their projects to the MWAMAC at a monthly meeting.

Funding or Reimbursement
Funds can be distributed before or after a project is completed.

  1. If funding is requested prior to completion: After the MWAMAC and/or Board of Supervisors approves the project, the applicant may be awarded funding up front. The amount should be consistent with the costs detailed in the application. Once the project is complete, the applicant will submit all receipts to be reviewed by the MWAMAC. The applicant will also return any unused funds. If the use of funds is inconsistent with the application the MWAMAC may request reimbursement from the applicant.
  2. If funding is reimbursed: After receiving and confirming all project expenditures the MWAMAC will submit the project for payment (payable to the designated fiscal agent).