Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.
Rail Safety Precautions That Save Lives, Raising Community Awareness
September 21-27, 2020 is Rail Safety Week. Led by Operation Lifesaver, this annual event educates and spreads awareness about the importance of taking precautions around trains.
Even though safety is the number one commitment between industry, roads managers and municipal first responders, rail tragedies still occur. Last year, in California, there were 189 deaths related to pedestrian trespassing and grade-crossings. Increasing community awareness, and safety education continue to be the best strategies for preventing rail tragedies. In a recent blog post, Operation Lifesaver sheds light on the issue and provides tips to keep drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists safe when encountering rail crossings.
For materials or information about how your community can participate in Rail Safety Week, see here.
Application Deadline Extended for Community Development Block Grant Program
Due to recent wildfires, the California Department of Housing and Community Development has amended the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Round 1 (CDBG-CV1) , extending the application deadline from August 31, 2020 to September 21, 2020.
Funding for this NOFA is made available pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding is available on an allocation basis for eligible non-entitlement jurisdictions, and will serve the same jurisdictions as the state administered CDBG program.
The CDBG-CV1 funding provides support for communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with various types of assistance, including:
- Businesses and microenterprises/Economic development
- Public services
- Acquisition of real property to be used for treatment or recovery of infectious diseases
- Medical and homeless facility improvements
Applications are being accepted through HCD’s online Grants Network, eCivis. Find more information on the CDBG Website and send questions to CDBG@hcd.ca.gov.
Upcoming Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC) Meeting Hosted by the U.S. EPA
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is holding a Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC) meeting September 10-11, 2020. The FRRCC is a policy-oriented committee that meets twice per year to provide policy advice, information, and recommendations to the U.S. EPA Administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. More info on FRRCC here.
SAFER Advisory Group Meeting and Question and Answer Webinar
The SAFER Adviory Group will meet on September 11, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This meeting is by remote participation only. A webcast will be available here. If you wish to comment on an agenda item or would like addiontal information, the notice is available in English or Spanish.
HCD Announces Help for Those Affected by Northern California Wildfires in Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties
On August 22, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the White House approved California's request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state's emergency response to wildfires burning in Northern California and support impacted residents in Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties.
This declaration helps people in those counties through support and services that includes:
- Crisis counseling
- Housing and unemployment assistance
- Legal services
If you sustained losses from the Northern California fires in Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, or Yolo Counties, you can now apply for assistance.
To begin the process:
- Apply online with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) OR
- Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY).
HCD encourages the use of online applications whenever possible. For additional information and important details, see the entire HCD announcement here.
CARB to Host Regulatory Training for Public Agencies
The California Air Resources Board will be hosting a compliance overview of the Truck and Bus Rule, Off-Road Regulation, and Portable Equipment on October 8, 2020. Course topics include the following:
Truck and Bus Regulation:
- Regulation Applicability
- Engine Model Year Schedule
- Exemptions & Extensions
- How to Report for Regulation Flexibilities
- Broker and Dispatcher Requirements
- DMV Registration
Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP):
- Regulation Applicability
- Program Updates
In-Use Off-Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation:
- Regulation Applicability
- Requirements Currently in Effect
- Future Compliance Deadlines
Portable Equipment Registration Program (PERP) & Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM):
- PERP Eligibility
- Program Requirements
- ATCM Program & Updates
- Enforcement & Inspections
DATE: October 8, 2020
TIME: 1:00 p.m.
Bureau of Reclamation Seeks Public Input on Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement About Proposal to Raise Shasta Dam
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input on the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to the proposal to raise the 600-foot-tall Shasta Dam by 3% (or an additional 18.5 feet). This proposed project would increase water storage capacity in the Shasta Lake reservoir by 634,000 acre-feet or more than 200 billion gallons—enough water to support two million people a year. The resulting dedicated environmental storage is anticipated to improve water quality in the Sacramento River below the dam by lowering water temperatures for anadromous fish survival, such as Chinook salmon and other fish that migrate from the ocean to rivers to spawn.
The supplemental EIS provides information relevant to Reclamation’s application of Clean Water Act Section 404(r), updates modeling to be reflective of the 2019 Biological Opinions, and provides an updated analysis on effects to the McCloud River. View the Draft Supplemental EIS here. Submit comments to David Brick, Bureau of Reclamation, CGB-152, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, via telephone at 916-202-7158 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are due by close of business on September 21, 2020.
State Water Board Now Accepting SAFER Advisory Group Applications
The State Water Board is now accepting applications for the Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) Advisory Group, which provides the State Water Board with advice on the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Expenditure Plan and other SAFER-related policies. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2020.
There are 10 seats open for the 2020 application period. Applicants will be selected and notified by Winter 2020. County resource staff and other interested parties are encouraged to apply. The electronic application form is available on the SAFER Advisory Group website here.
The SAFER Advisory Group website will be updated with tools and resources regularly, so keep checking the website for more information.
HCD Announces the Release of the Homekey Notice of Funding Availability
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has announced the release of the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for $600 million in Homekey funds. The grant funding is available to cities, counties , or other local public entities within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, as well as hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. Prior to submitting an application, all applicants are required to engage in a pre-application consultation. All applications are due by September 29, 2020. Visit the Homekey webpage to learn more.
The county of Colusa is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Director of Public Work/Road Commissioner. The position is open until filled. Details are available here.
Amendment to the Federal 2019-20 Community Development Block Grant
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has released an amendment to the federal 2019-20 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The NOFA applies to state CDBG non-entitlement cities and counties applying for funding under Community Development activities, Special Allocations for Economic Development, Colonia, and Native American Communities.
This amendment only affects the Economic Development (ED) set-aside and:
- Removes the competitive process, allowing all applications, both program and project, to be reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Extends the ED program application deadline to September 15, 2020.
- Makes other changes to program activity limits and requirements for proof of capacity, while providing more local flexibility in ED program design and implementation.
You can access the 2019-2020 CDBG NOFA amendment and links to the online application here.
RCRC Annual Meeting in Napa County Cancelled
The RCRC Annual Meeting 2020 has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, the RCRC September Board of Directors Meeting will take place on September 16, 2020 via Zoom.
The Annaul Meeting was scheduled to occur in Napa County this September. Planning is underway to hold a future Annual Meeting in Napa – most likely in 2022 – in order to enjoy the beauty of the County as well as contribute to its economic recovery. More information on the return to Napa will be forthcoming after consideration and action by the RCRC Board of Directors.