Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Curtis Park Village Project

Curtis Park Village soil clean up
Toxic clean-up for the Curtis Park Village Project has picked up this year. The original plan for cleaning up all toxic soil was to have it taken by train to Utah and dumped  where it would not threaten any ones health and then replace it with clean soil from somewhere else. That does not appear to be the case anymore? When they first started the clean-up of the soil several years ago, railroad cars lined up next to the site filled with soil to be taken to Utah, what happen? In my observations over the last year, it  appears to be the same soil from the site but just moved around? I don’t see any soil cleaning equipment being used like what was used at the rail yards? At the rail yards, even though the soil is considered “clean” the state has mandated that all schools be built up off the ground by one floor and play areas be on top of other buildings. The state does not want to take any chances that a child could eat some dirt or breathe some dust while playing and then having the state liable for any sickness or illness linked to the soil. I wonder what the plan is for Curtis Park Village? Last I heard in July 2009, the project was stalled for over a year because Superfund clean-up costs exceeded the $4 million grated to the project in 2008 from Proposition 1C grants.
Curtis Park Village soil clean up

Project Background:
Prior to the proposal for the Curtis Park Village project, the project site was owned by Western Pacific Railroad (WPRR) and was used as a railyard and operations center. During the early 1900s, WPRR established the railyard for maintenance of steam locomotives and railcars, and in the 1950’s diesel engine repair and maintenance began at the proposed project location. Sothern Pacific Railroad acquired the WPRR in 1982, and discontinued maintenance yard operations at the Curtis Park Village site (Southern Pacific was subsequently acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad). Prior to discontinuing the railyard operations, the maintenance and refurbishing work conducted at the site involved the use of dangerous and toxic chemicals and substances. Cleanup procedures on the site started in 1986, and in the mid 1990s the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) determined that the site was contaminated and more extensive clean up would be necessary.
Curtis Park Village soil clean up

In 2004, Union Pacific Railroad sold 72 acres of the railyard to the applicant (Curtis Park Village, LLC). The application for development of the Curtis Park Village project was submitted to the City of Sacramento in early 2004.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sutter's Landing Park Solar Project

Sutter's Landing Park Solar Project Mound and Site Plan

The City of Sacramento is working with Conergy on a potential Solar Park located at the former 28th Street Landfill (now known as Sutter's Landing Park). The proposed Solar Park will generate up to 20 megawatts of power (that's enough to power 15,000 Sacramento homes). The power from the facility will be sold and will help generate revenue for the City.

The City and Conergy are currently seeking a special use permit for 95,300 solar modules and will then conduct a CEQA review. Pending City Council approval and amendments of the State permit for the landfill, the City anticipates work to begin on this project in summer 2012.

The landfill operations occupied approximately 172 acres. The landfill was used for disposal of nonhazardous residential, commercial and industrial wastes, collected primarily by the City’s waste collection services. Refuse filling took place beginning in 1963. The landfill has not accepted new waste since 1994.

The proposed solar project is a Department of Utilities-sponsored project on City property that has not been released yet for park development because the landfill cannot yet support park development. The solar project is not a park project. It is located at a site designated for a future park. The time period for the solar use may extend beyond the landfill closure period, depending on the progress of post-closure activities.

Last year the City Council looked at a two year study conducted by the Community Development Department to move the zoo to Sutter’s Landing site for a modest expansion of the zoo, those plans never moved forward.

This project would include a viewing platform for the public to use.
Solar Photovoltaic Park Environmental Impact Report

Friday, September 16, 2011

Old Postcards of Sacramento

Tower Bridge and downtown 1967

Greyhound Terminal

Shortly before I-5 1968

10th & K Street 1950's

1950's K Street

Monday, September 12, 2011

Retrofit of Sacramento Valley Station

This Tuesday the 13th, the City Council will approve plans for the structural retrofit of the Sacramento  Valley Station. Diede Construction, Inc. will be awarded the contract for $8,869,000. An additional $50,000 will be added to the total from AMTRAK to demolish several communications tower as part of the Sacramento Valley Station Structural Retrofit job. The project will be paid for with Measure A Funds, Historic Places Fund, Federal Transit Administration Grant Funds, California Transportation Commission, and State Public Transportation Account Grant Funds.

Structural Retrofit involves completion of structural upgrades, improvements in facility accessibility and completion of life-safety work necessary to protect the public and seismically stabilize the building.

The approval of this project will support 254 jobs in the City of Sacramento based upon the model provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of one new job for every $35,000 of transportation project investment. Structural Retrofit work is planned to begin in fall 2011 with completion by Spring 2013.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Redevelopment Lawsuit Halts K Street Project

The SacBee’s reporting that David Taylor’s 800 K Street redevelopment plan has hit a snag with his exclusive right to negotiate the development deal lapsing last month. City officials say they can't restart talks until litigation over the state's attempt to overhaul redevelopment agencies resolved.

The redevelopment plans moved forward with Taylor’s team last July when the City Council asked his team to rebuild the 800 block. It also named a group headed by developer Bay Miry to redo K Street's 700 block.
Government funding for this project and others around the state halted earlier this year when Gov. Jerry Brown threatened to do away with local redevelopment agencies. Cities later sued, saying Brown's plan is unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court has blocked the agencies' shutdown while it reviews the suit.
The project for the 700 block of K Street is still moving ahead with construction scheduled to start early next year.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Downtown Arena Funding Unveiled

With the Sacramento Kings on the verge of moving to southern California, both The Think Big Sacramento task force and Mayor Kevin Johnson have unveiled today several funding sources that could keep the Kings in town. The plan must be in place by next March or the Kings' owners say they will seek NBA permission to move the team out of town.

The project will lean on a mixture of income that has a connection to the arena, leasing city-owned parking spaces to private operators, surcharges on tickets and concessions, hotels “taxing” themselves, and a sell off five different land parcels.

Also, the arena could seek investment dollars from foreign nationals under a federal program known as EB-5, a controversial program that offers green cards and a path to citizenship to foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 into U.S. businesses that create at least 10 jobs. The program has helped create jobs at the former McClellan Air Force Base in North Highlands.

Voters won't be asked to approve a sales tax increase to finance the $387 million facility.

This is it folks, after ten years of hearing various city leaders throwing one idea after another on the wall hoping to see something stick, this is now the cities last chance to pull something together and build an arena while we have a team to build it for. I can see all the above ideas working except the asking hotels to “tax” themselves. At this late date, with no other options to fall back on, I’m not confident this plan can come together on time… so prove me wrong Think Big task force!

Read more at either the SacBee or espn.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Miserably Fun City?

This year Sacramento has been ranked by both Forbes as the fifth most miserable city in the U.S. and by Bloomberg Businessweek as America’s sixth Most Fun and Affordable city… quite a contrast? In the past, I could hardly care about what one of these rankings had to say because they did not change my opinion of how I viewed the city, but they do influence others opinion whom have never been here before.

Well, for what it’s worth, Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked Sacramento sixth out of twenty-five as a great place to find good times with low prices. You can check out the full list here.

25 most fun, affordable U.S. cities
No. 6: Sacramento, Calif. 95814
Number of bars and restaurants: 188
Population: 10,061 (based on zip codes)
Median home price: $228,500

Besides museums and shops, downtown Sacramento, the city’s original commercial district, has a variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and wine bars, according to the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Grant Money for Township 9

Tonight the City Council will assign the second round of Proposition 1C money in the amount of $10.9 million to Capitol Station 65, LLC and to increase the amount assigned under the first grant by $ 1 million to reflect the change in the cost of the parking garage for the Township 9 project.

The first awarding of Proposition 1C grant money was for $19.1 million in 2010. Capitol Station 65, LLC ("Master Developer") will dedicate a site to an affordable housing for development of 180 affordable units housing and undertake the off-site improvements needed for development of these parcels.

In 2008 and 2009, the City was awarded a total of $30 million in Proposition 1C Infill Infrastructure Grants from the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for the Township 9 project under two separate grants. Part of the HCD grants provides funds for project infrastructure and part is in support of the affordable housing project.

Affordable Housing Developer for the project has since changed. The initial grant allocated $7.2 million of the overall grant to the affordable housing parking garage. The initial budget for the parking garage was based on estimates for construction at the time of application. The budget has been refined, based on current cost estimates, and the amount needed to construct the parking garage is currently estimated to be $6.2 million. HCD has approved reducing the parking garage portion to $6.2 million and increasing the grant allocation to other infrastructure projects in the overall T9 budget.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Sacramento's 12th Annual Gold Rush Days

Sacramento’s heritage celebration-is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend. More than 200 tons of dirt will be dumped on the streets of Old Sacramento as the annual festival "turns back the clock," transforming Sacramento’s historic district into a scene straight out of the 1850s. Costumed re-enactors, Wild West gun fights, musicians playing period instruments, and many aspects of life during the Gold Rush will be highlighted during the four-day event.

FREE Event
September 2-September 5, 2011

Fri 9am-4pm
Sat 11am-7pm
Sun 11am-7pm
Mon 11am-4pm

Tower Garage and the Old Sacramento Garage (I Street enterance) will have pre-paid parking, $8

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Chalk it up Sacramento

Chalk It Up 2011 is here - Join us at Fremont Park this Saturday - Monday, September 3rd-5th.

Each Labor Day weekend Sacramento’s Fremont Park is transformed into a giant canvas that encourages professional and wannabe artists to explore their creativity with chalk. The event features over 200sidewalk paintings, live music, entertainers and plenty more. Children’s activities are also featured during Chalk It Up, and like all the other activities at the festival, the proceeds go in aid of charity. CADA isproud to be a sponsor of this Labor Day weekend event to benefit Children’s arts education. Everyone iswelcome to “chalk it up” for free in the Community Square Area, or purchase a square for a nominal fee.1O PM TO 6 PM. For more information, call 484-5710, or