Oct. 27 City Council Meeting Recap
Pioneer Community Energy Considering Expansion
Pioneer Community Energy currently generates electricity for residents in Rocklin, Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Loomis and unincorporated Placer County. PG&E delivers the electricity generated by Pioneer through PG&E transmission infrastructure.
Pioneer’s electric generation provides local control over rates (resulting in a current 8% reduction in electric generation rates when compared to PG&E), and a power supply mix and energy programs that are consistent with local community goals.
Pioneer presented an overview of the expansion proposal to the Rocklin City Council on Tuesday night.
Council discussed potential benefits and drawbacks of the expansion with concerns focused on two areas.
The first concern was that the municipalities joining Pioneer would do so without contributing to the financial reserves built by current member organizations to this date, amounting to approximately $25 million. Members of council suggested new members have their residents pay higher rates until they have contributed a fair share of funding.
The second concern raised was that the new organizations would reduce the voting power of Rocklin on the Pioneer Board of Directors, reducing Rocklin’s ability to advocate for City interests in Pioneer decisions. Currently, Rocklin has two votes, and all other members have one.
Pioneer did not ask City Council to take action Tuesday night, but plans to present an impact assessment and seek a formal approval of the plans in November.
Approval of the Placer Parkway Phase 1 Reimbursement Agreement
On Tuesday night, the City Council approved Phase 1 of the Placer Parkway Reimbursement Agreement, allowing Placer County to borrow funding for the first phase of the construction and then be reimbursed by the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority (SPRTA) Tier 2 fee program. With approval of the agreement, there are no fiscal impacts to the City of Rocklin.
Placer Parkway will be an expressway from State Route 65 in Placer County to Highway 99 in Sutter County, designed to relieve the traffic conditions of Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville, and Placer County.
Without Placer Parkway, SPRTA would have to expand Interstate 80 or Highway 65, at a much higher cost and risk of community upset.
The first phase of the construction consists of the completion of the Whitney Ranch Interchange, an overcrossing constructed over the Union Pacific Railroad and Industrial Avenue, roadway construction to Foothills Boulevard, and intersection signalization. The project’s final design is nearly complete and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2023.
Ruhkala Award Recipients Honored
Mayor Greg Janda and members of the Community Recognition Commission presented the 2020 Ruhkala Community Service Awards to this year’s honorees, listed below:
Wendy Smith – Individual
Michael Clark – Pioneer
Allegiant Giving – Service Organization
The Ruhkala Award winners are traditionally honored in April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their recognition occurred at Tuesday’s council meeting. The City of Rocklin thanks each person and organization for their longstanding commitment to serving the Rocklin community.
Read more about the honorees.
Restaurant Assistance Program Report
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council approved the establishment of a Business Support Program On August 11, authorizing $200,000 in Coronavirus Relief/CARES Act funds for a Restaurant Business Assistance (Grant) Program, plus funding for program administration services rendered by the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce.
The Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce received 57 grant applications and the City anticipates providing a $146,605 to local small business restaurants, with the bulk of that money already sent.
City Council believes small restaurants not only provide essential food service to residents and visitors, but also are vital employers. The businesses are part of the unique culture of Rocklin and City Council and the Chamber of Commerce hope funds can offset a small portion of the costs of additional safety precautions and operating restrictions caused by the pandemic.