GA-RTAC Meeting Highlights
May 10, 2018
Sandy Benson - Mountain Transit:
Mountain Transit will kick off a project in late May funded by a grant through SBCTA. All Tuesdays in July will be TAKE TRANSIT TUESDAY’s. All Mountain Transit routes will be free on Tuesdays in July. Additionally, postcards are being mailed to all mountain residents with a free 5-day pass. The pass is good for all routes in Big Bear and Rim as well as the off the mountain routes to San Bernardino and Victorville. These efforts are to encourage locals to ride Mountain Transit, see where they can go on the bus and how easy it is to use the transit system to get around the mountains as well as off the hill.
Stephanie Thoth - Big Bear Chamber of Commerce:
Please consider donating to the Fireworks on the Lake. The Chamber handles all fundraising for the Rotary Club to produce the July 4 show. Distributed information from the Association of California Water Agencies concerning Congressional SB 623, that would impose a state tax on drinking water proposal before the state and a budget trailer bill related to safe drinking water. The Chamber Awards Breakfast and Annual General Meeting is on June 5 at the Elks Lodge. Alpenhorn Bed and Breakfast and Goldsmiths Sports are being recognized with an Ebbie. Alpine Slide is receiving the prestigious Summit Award.
Shannon Dunkle - Field Representative for Assemblyman Jay Obernolte:
- AB 2004 - The bill would authorize the Big Bear Fire Authority to assume all revenues, debts, obligations, and liabilities of the City of Big Bear Lake’s safety plan, which covers the employees of the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District.
- AB 1873 - Existing law allows an in-person applicant for a driver’s license or I.D. to request the word “VETERAN” be printed on the face of the driver’s license or I.D., subject to certain requirements, including, among others, verification of veteran status, as specified, and payment of a $5 fee, which the department is authorized to increase by regulation, in an amount not to exceed $15, as specified. On July 1, 2019, existing law prohibits a fee from being charged in certain instances. The bill would repeal those fee provisions, thereby authorizing an applicant whose veteran status has been verified, as prescribed, to make a veteran designation request, and requiring the department to make that designation on the applicant’s license, without additional charge.
- AB 2265 - This bill would establish a State Seal of STEM to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in these areas. The bill would establish criteria, would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to prepare and deliver to participating school districts an appropriate insignia to be affixed to pupil diplomas or transcripts, and would require participating school districts to maintain records and affix the appropriate insignia to diplomas or transcripts of recipient pupils. The bill would not become operative until both (1) data from the statewide administration of specified state science assessments are available and (2) the State Board of Education, in a public meeting, makes specified declarations. The bill’s provisions would be inoperative on July 31, 2026, and repealed on January 1, 2027. The bill is in the Appropriations Committee.
- AB 1901 - The bill would extend a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provision that exempts a project or an activity to repair, maintain, or make minor alterations to an existing roadway, as defined, if the project or activity is carried out by a city or county with a population of less than 100,000 persons to improve public safety and meets other specified requirements, including a requirement that the project involves negligible or no expansion of an existing use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency’s determination. This bill would extend the above exemption to January 1, 2023 and would revise it to specify that the exemption applies if, among other things, the project involves negligible or no expansion of an existing vehicular use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency’s determination. The bill is in the Rules Committee.
John Harris - City of Big Bear Lake Public Works:
Reported that the project on Village and Pine Knot was delayed and will begin late summer or early fall. Twenty paving projects are set to begin July throughout the area and ending this winter. Road striping is nearly completed. He reported the department is working on getting the parks and the Village in shape for the season.
Scott Swift - Caltrans:
In Fawnskin, a project to reline the culverts begins in July. The Rt. 18 at lower Waterman project to grind and replace begins Monday with lane closures. The Santa Anna River Bridge will close in July with signalized traffic control in place and could extend through the winter. On Rt. 38 another grind and replace project will also begin in July. Road maintenance at Lakeview will begin after Mother’s Day weekend and likely extend through the summer. Distributed a flyer about the upcoming Bridge Railing Replacement Project at City Creek Bridge and East Fork City Creek Bridge on State Route 330. The project will begin this winter and continue through the summer of 2019. He also advised that a sediment control project on SR-18 in Big Bear will begin mid-May and is expected to be completed in mid-summer. The work is necessary to prevent further soil erosion. Motorists should expect delays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Stephanie Thoth asked that the Chamber receive plenty advance notice of all road closures to share with businesses. She asked for Caltrans cooperation in avoiding work, if at all possible, on Fridays during big event weekends and in general for visitors travelling to and from Big Bear during peak seasons.
Joshua Monzon - Field Representative for State Senator Mike Morrell:
Reported on results of a recent survey of potential businesses in their considerations about locating a business to California. He said that the high cost of real estate, labor laws and regulations and the education system were noted as major decision factors.
- SB 1371 - The bill would compile all licensing, fees and regulation information on one page to assist applicants in having all requirements on one document. Bill failed.
- SB 921 - The bill requires state agencies to post on the agency’s website homepage the current and previous agency budget and the number of employees. Bill failed.
- SB 999 - The bill would repeal from licensing individuals who shampoo hair. The bill is in the Appropriations Committee.
- SB 623 - The bill would impose a statewide “Drinking Water” tax and is moving through the legislature. If the budget passes, this bill will also pass.
Sierra Orr - Department of Water & Power:
The Water Use and Conservation Survey has received 37 responses. Big Bear water usage is still lower than the state, using only 41.5 gallons a day per household. The survey is for all DWP customers and takes only three minutes. Complete the survey at https://www.bbldwp.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=87. She urged everyone to check irrigation systems for cracks and breaks and set watering schedules to comply with water use restrictions.
Danielle DeClercq - Bear Valley Electric:
Earth Day Expo attracted 800 people and there were 28 booths. They are working on improved communications with the community and clients, in light of the tree trimming project and community comments.
Josh Garcia - Congressman Paul Cook:
- The Omnibus legislation now includes an independent fund for fires only. Previously, the funding was in the discretionary fund, creating a problem for funding other projects during a very active fire season.
- Iran Deal - Cook supported President Trump’s decision to pull out from the Iran deal.
- Gas Tax bill review - Sent a letter of support for the Summit of Americas to the Vice President. (John Harris noted that at a recent League of Cities meeting, it was reported that 52% favor repealing the law.)
- HR 400 - The bill withholds federal funding from sanctuary cities. A federal lawsuit has been filed by several states, including California regarding the withholding of federal funding.
The Chamber established the Government Affairs - Regional Transportation Advisory Committee to foster regular communication between county and state government elected officials, agencies and utilities. Meetings are held monthly on the second Thursday in the Chamber conference room at 9:00 a.m. GA-RTAC Member Roster