Although it’s not receiving much media attention, there is an item that will be discussed tomorrow by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors that potentially will ban commercial vehicles over 14,000 pounds at all times on Marsh Creek Road while improving safety on the roads.
The purpose of the ordinance is to prohibit commercial vehicles with a gross weight exceeding 14,000 pounds from traveling on Marsh Creek Road, between its intersection with Byron Highway/State Route 4, and its intersection with Bixler Road, because that section of roadway cannot support those commercial vehicles according to a Truck Restriction Study.
Meanwhile two other items which are receiving the most media attention include the Health Benefit Exchange Call Center and the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative.
The Health Benefit Exchange Call Center location will be decided which they will consider either a Concord or Richmond location—Antioch should have received stronger consideration but the lack of BART made that impossible. The big deal about this is the center is expected to produce 200-300 jobs.
This would have been placed in Richmond a few weeks back, however, Supervisor Piepho rejected the staff recommendation to better study options available in a more central location.
The other item is the acceptance of a report on the proposed Northern Waterfront Development Initiative. Dubbed the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative, it would collaborate with stakeholders to create a strategic plan for the Contra Costa waterfront from Richmond to Oakley where the shoreline is 92-miles long and encompasses many cities.
Here is the short summary of each item and I’ve included the longer summary with the staff report elbow.
Here are the full Staff Reports on the three items:
D4: Prohibit commercial vehicles exceeding a maximum gross weight of 14,000 pounds at all times on Marsh Creek Road (Road No. 8943), Discovery Bay area.
OPEN the public hearing on Ordinance No. 2013-02 (uncodified), receive testimony, and CLOSE the public hearing.
FIND that the segment of Marsh Creek Road between Byron Highway/State Route 4 and Bixler Road cannot support commercial vehicles with a gross weight of more than 14,000 pounds.
ADOPT the attached Ordinance No. 2013-02 (uncodified), which prohibits at all times commercial vehicles with a gross weight of more than 14,000 pounds from traveling on Marsh Creek Road, between its intersection with Byron Highway/State Route 4, and its intersection with Bixler Road.
DIRECT the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to publish the ordinance in the Contra Costa Times within 15 days after its adoption, with the names of the Supervisors voting for and against it.
DIRECT the Public Works Director, or designee, to post appropriate signs at the above-specified intersections of Marsh Creek Road to provide notice of the restriction imposed by the ordinance.
No fiscal impact.
After receiving several complaints of unsafe conditions and traffic hazards, the Public Works Department Transportation Engineering Division staff conducted an engineering analysis of the segment of Marsh Creek Road between Byron Highway/State Route 4 and Bixler Road. The purpose of the analysis was to determine whether that segment of roadway is able to support commercial vehicles with a gross weight of more than 14,000 pounds. Staff prepared the “Marsh Creek Road (Road No. 8943) Truck Restriction Study” (the “Engineer’s Report”) to document the results of the analysis. A copy of the Engineer’s Report is attached hereto as Attachment A and incorporated herein by reference.
As more particularly described in the Engineer’s Report, based on accepted engineering standards, the above-described segment of Marsh Creek Road cannot support commercial vehicles with a gross weight of more than 14,000 pounds on the unpaved portions of the roadway right of way. Trucks off-tracking the paved roadway surface damage the shoulders and create dangerous depressions that make it difficult for vehicles to return to the paved roadway. Truck off-tracking may also result in encroaching onto the opposite direction of travel, leading to broadside or head-on collisions. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds cannot travel on the above-described segment of Marsh Creek Road without creating a traffic hazard for other vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and persons that are simultaneously traveling on that segment of roadway.
In order to prohibit at all times commercial vehicles with a gross weight of more than 14,000 pounds from using the above-described segment of Marsh Creek Road, the Public Works Department recommends that the Board of Supervisors adopt the ordinance attached hereto as Attachment B.
CONSEQUENCE OF NEGATIVE ACTION:
Commercial vehicles with a gross weight of more than 14,000 pounds will continue to use the above-described segment of Marsh Creek Road, which cannot support those vehicles.
Attachment A: Truck Restriction Study
Attachment B: Ordinance No. 2013-02 (uncodified)
D6: CONSIDER the following actions: ACCEPT update on establishing a Health Benefit Exchange Call Center in this County; PROVIDE further direction on facility selection and other matters related to the Health Benefit Exchange Call Center; APPROVE and authorize execution of a contract with the State of California for call center services; and ADOPT Personnel Resolution No. 21231, for staffing purposes.
CONSIDER the following actions:
- ACCEPT update on establishing a Health Benefit Exchange Call Center in this County;
- PROVIDE further direction regarding facility selection and lease negotiation;
- APPROVE and AUTHORIZE execution of a contract with the State of California for call center services; and
- ADOPT Personnel Resolution No. 21231, creating new classifications and adding positions at the Health Benefit Exchange Call Center.
100% of the cost of the Health Benefit Exchange Call Center will be covered by the State of California, via Federal Funds, authorized under the Affordable Care Act. No County general purpose revenue will be used to support the Call Center.
On January 18, 2013, the Health Benefits Exchange Commission/Covered California (HBEX) announced their intent to award to Contra Costa County a contract to open and operate a call center within the County.
On February 12, 2013 the Director of the Employment and Human Services Department provided the fourth update on the progress made toward establishing this Call Center. At that time, the Board of Supervisors provided direction on the selection of a facility to house the Call Center. This report provides an update on the efforts since February 12th and requests further direction from the Board and approval of the recommendations detailed above. CONTRACT APPROVAL
County staff, including EHSD administrative, fiscal, and program personnel; Human Resources Department; County Counsel and the County Administrator’s Office have concluded a number of conference call meetings to discuss contract language and have come to agreement on the terms of the contract and contract language. A copy of the contract is attached to this Board Order. Staff recommends the Board approve the contract and authorize the Chair of the Board to sign the agreement.
STAFFING/LABOR Three new classifications and 205 positions are requested to be established for the operations of the Call Center. Two of these positions, the Secretary-Journey Level and one of the EHSD Division Managers will have their duties split between the Call Center and other programs within EHSD. The balance of these positions, a net of 204, are 100% dedicated to the activities of the Call Center. Position Adjustment Request No. 21231 is attached to this Board Order and requests the establishment of three new classifications and the addition of the positions necessary to operate the call center.
The HBEX requires a certain staffing pattern at its service centers and this requirement also applies to the County’s Call Center. The prescribed staffing pattern requires that EHSD hire and train employees by July 1, 2013. This includes three managers (one half time), one trainer, 13 supervisors, 180 customer service Agents (both permanent full-time and permanent intermittent), and eight support positions (e.g. Secretary (half time), Personnel Services Assistant, Clerical Supervisor, Exchange Call Center Quality Assurance Monitor, and four Clerk-Experienced Level). While some of these positions may be filled laterally, it is anticipated that the majority will be new hires.
The Call Center will be required to accept calls for 59 hours a week, Monday through Saturday. During the Affordable Care Act’s annual enrollment period, the Call Center will extend its hours to 72 hours per week Monday through Saturday. The plan and budget for the Call Center is to staff the core 40 hours with permanent full time staff and the extended hours, i.e. those past 40, with permanent intermittent employees. Permanent intermittent employees will also be used to ensure adequate coverage and to fill in behind permanent staff during vacation, sick leave, etc.
The Call Center is to be operational by July 1, 2013, to begin the State required testing of the hardware, software, and staff. That live testing and program refinements continue through September with open enrollment commencing on October 1, 2013.
The majority of these new positions are entry level and will be attractive to our residents. EHSD will be working with the County’s Workforce Development Board and Richmond’s Workforce Investment Board to coordinate outreach and inform job seekers of these opportunities. EHSD will be informing CalWORKs participants of these jobs and encouraging them to apply. Additionally, we will out-reach to our non-profit partners in the community. It is anticipated that these outreach efforts will include group presentations and job fairs.
To date, the State has been clear that we should enter into a three year lease and that their intent is to continue this partnership for beyond that period. However, in the event that a reduction in force or layoff of County employees at the Call Center becomes necessary, the Employment and Human Services Department will follow normal County protocols, including notification of labor representatives, placing individuals into other jobs for which they qualify and lay off of employees, if necessary. EHSD will be notified by the State of the date whereby a decision will be made whether to reduce or phase out operations at the Exchange Call Center or to continue as an independently sustainable operation under HBEX after January of 2015. If it is determined that operations at the call center will be reduced or terminated, the project management team will prepare a plan to phase out operations. There would be an extensive internal communication plan in which employees would be notified ahead of time that the center would be downsizing or closing down. Employees would have an opportunity to consider future opportunities. The Workforce Development Board’s Rapid Response team would become engaged to provide staff with information, job training, access to the One-Stop Career Centers, and employment opportunities. The County Tactical Employment Team (TET) would assist employees by identifying possible employment opportunities within other County Departments and assisting with placements. Employees in jeopardy of being laid off would have first priority for position vacancies for which they qualify. EHSD would hold appropriate positions vacant to backfill with call center employees who are interested in maintaining employment within Contra Costa County.
Over the last week, the Employment and Human Services Department, Human Resources Department and County Administration have been meeting with the labor representatives from the impacted unions, including:
- American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 2700
- American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 512
- Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
- Service Employees International Union, Local 1021
The labor representatives are as excited about this opportunity as County staff and are working closely with us and have expedited the meet and confer process to come to agreement as quickly as possible regarding the classifications and working conditions of these new employees. Discussions continued as late as Monday, February 25, 2013. Additional information not available at the time this Board Order was published will be provided orally.
The Public Works Real Estate Division was asked to identify possible sites in east, west and central county, in areas of highest unemployment, that were large enough for 180-200 employees (mostly in office cubicles) that would require the least cost, both in terms of rent and renovation costs necessary to convert the space to a Call Center, provide access to public transportation and were in the vicinity of other Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD) offices. These criteria were developed at the request of the State and were included in the County’s proposal. The criteria were approved by the Exchange Board and considered in their decision to award the contract to Contra Costa County.
On February 12, 2013, the Board of Supervisors considered four possible facilities to house the Call Center: 1450 Marina Way South, Richmond; 2500 Bates Avenue, Concord; 4041 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; and 5065 Deer Valley Road, Antioch. After considering the four sites presented and accepting public comment from members of the community, the Board directed staff to return with additional information, including a comparison, of two of the four sites – the Richmond and Concord site. On February 14, 2013 staff from EHSD, the State, the Department of Information Technology, and Public Works Real Estate toured both sites.
A complete report, prepared by Public Works Real Estate staff is attached.
In addition, the attachment titled “Community Comparison” includes information on the following: demographics, unemployment rates, CalWORKs clients, childcare sites, and public transportation.
CONSEQUENCE OF NEGATIVE ACTION:
The Board of Supervisors and the public will not receive up-to-date information on the progress made in negotiating a contract with the State of California, staff will not receive needed direction from the Board, and over 200 well-paying potential County jobs will not be created.
|State HBEX Contract 2-20-13|
|Position Adjustment Request|
|Community Comparison Charts|
SD 7: Northern waterfront Economic Development Initiative.
- ACCEPT report on the proposed Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative.
- AUTHORIZE the Department of Conservation and Development to undertake activities associated with the proposed Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative in collaboration with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including but not limited to federal, state, and regional agencies, the cities and special districts located along the waterfront, and the industrial/commercial, railroad and maritime transportation interests located along the waterfront.
- ESTABLISH the Board’s Transportation Water and Infrastructure Committee with oversight responsibility for the Department’s activities under the 2013 Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative.
- DIRECT the Conservation and Development Director to formulate and forward a detailed work program and timeline for the 2013 Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative to the Transportation Water and Infrastructure Committee, which would include:
- Survey key stakeholders within the Northern Waterfront area, including businesses, industrial plants, transportation service providers, and public agencies, to understand the current and emerging trends and issues affecting waterfront development (e.g. adaptation to sea level rise, maritime improvements, etc.) and to identify their needs in relation to waterfront development.
- Inventory and map the industrial and commercial lands within the Northern Waterfront area, and the maritime and landside transportation facilities that serve the waterfront.
- Prepare an opportunities and constraints analysis related to the Northern Waterfront Area’s access, infrastructure, and utilities to assess current and future needs in support of waterfront development.
- Compile the stakeholders survey, the inventory and mapping of land and facilities, and the opportunities/constraints analysis into a report to the Board of Supervisors assessing the economic development prospects along the Northern Waterfront.
- Convene a public forum on Northern Waterfront Economic Development.
- Based on the Northern Waterfront economic development assessment report and the public forum, prepare a Strategic Plan on Northern Waterfront Economic Development for the Board of Supervisors consideration and adoption by the end of calendar year 2013.
Much of the costs in staff time and material for the Department of Conservation and Development’s work activities associated with the 2013 Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative can be absorbed under the department’s existing budget and supplemented with funding that might be secured from other sources. The department will pursue grant funding and other funding mechanisms.
At the January 29, 2013 Board of Supervisors Special Meeting, the Board received a presentation from the Workforce Development Board, Contra Costa Community College District, Contra Costa Council, and the Department of Conservation and Development on economic and workforce development in Contra Costa County. As a follow-up to the presentation, the Board requested that the Conservation and Development Director return with a report on an economic development initiative for the northern waterfront. The purpose of this report is to outline a recommended approach for a new Board initiative aimed at promoting economic development along County’s working waterfront.
Contra Costa County’s waterfront is a 92-mile long shoreline stretching from the City of Richmond to the City of Oakley. It is comprised of the shoreline along the San Francisco Bay (Richmond), San Pablo Bay (North Richmond, Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo), Carquinez Strait (Crockett, Port Costa, and Martinez), Suisun Bay (Clyde), and the Sacramento River (Bay Point, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Oakley). See attached map which shows the general location and boundary of the waterfront along Bay/River shoreline. There is a varied mix of industrial, public, parkland, recreational, habitat/open space, and residential uses located along the immediate shoreline in both the incorporated city limits and the unincorporated area. The following table provides a breakdown of the mix of land uses along the waterfront:
For the purposes of this report the “working waterfront” is defined as land along the shoreline devoted to industrial, commercial, railroad, and maritime uses or activities. In the unincorporated area, the “working waterfront” is mostly comprised of the industrial uses located along the shoreline in the communities of Rodeo, Crockett, Bay Point, and unincorporated areas of Martinez and Antioch. These industrial uses have had a long tenure and are predominantly related to the petroleum/chemical manufacturing industries. This is also generally the case for the shoreline within the incorporated city limits with the exception of the City of Richmond where a large port complex occupies much of their working waterfront. Additionally, the Military Ocean Terminal Concord (formerly the Concord Naval Weapons Station) an important military trans-ocean shipping installation operated by the U.S. Army occupies a significant portion of the County’s shoreline along the Suisun Bay.
What is noteworthy about Contra Costa County’s shoreline is the extent to which it is now occupied by parkland and open space/habitat uses (see CCC General Plan Land Use table above). These uses would not be considered part of the “working waterfront” as defined in this report.
Industrial development in Contra Costa County historically began along the waterfront and this explains why several industrial facilities have had a long tenure here in Contra Costa County dating back to the early 1900’s (e.g. the four oil refineries in the County were established between1900-1920). Contra Costa County’s “working waterfront” is more than an historic artifact, it is still a vital part of the region’s economy. The continued vitality and future economic prospects of the waterfront are important to anyone concerned about economic development in Contra Costa County. However, as the working waterfront matures and the region’s economy evolves, it is in the County’s interest to gain a better understanding and insight about the waterfront’s future and strategically plan for that future.
To that end, it is recommended that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative that would involve sponsoring a multi-stakeholder forum on the future of the County’s waterfront and culminate in the preparation of a Strategic Plan for Northern Waterfront Economic Development by the end of the calendar year. This forum would focus on a range of maritime and landside transportation and economic development matters affecting the waterfront. The purpose of the forum would be to gather the various stakeholder interests along the waterfront from both the private and public sectors that are concerned with its economic future; wherein, the stakeholders could share information and exchange ideas about the emerging trends and issues affecting the waterfront with a specific focus on how maritime and landside transportation influences the waterfront’s current and future economic prospects. The forum is premised on the notion that the waterfront is a vital part of the County’s, and for that matter, the region’s economy, that maritime and landside transportation and economic development along the waterfront are linked and inter-related, and therefore, that broad participation and coordination is needed to advance and improve the waterfront’s economic prospects. It is anticipated that this forum will result in:
- An understanding or agreement among the many stakeholders (public and private) along the waterfront to cooperate and work collaboratively on maritime/landside transportation matters that would promote or provide economic benefits to the waterfront; and/or,
- Establish a regional approach by the county, cities, special district, other public agencies, and the private sector to, in general, foster economic development along the waterfront, and more specifically, to formulate on overall strategic economic vision for the waterfront – one that takes advantage of the waterfront’s existing maritime and landside transportation assets; and/or,
- Establish an inter-agency staff working group for the waterfront, comprised of city, county, special district, and other public agency staff, to coordinate on maritime and landside transportation matters, and other related matters affecting waterfront development (e.g. interagency coordination and planning for sea-level rise resiliency and adaption of vital public infrastructure serving the waterfront), to enhance and improve the waterfront’s maritime and landside transportation assets, and, to foster innovative economic development strategies/approaches that would provide benefit to the waterfront, particularly in the absence of redevelopment or dwindling economic development assistance programs.
If this initial forum on the waterfront is considered successful, and there is desire and interest in continuing the dialogue about the future of the waterfront, then the Board could consider sponsoring an annual waterfront forum (similar to the annual Contra Costa Watershed Forum, but different in scope and purpose).
As a final matter, should the Board authorize the Department to undertake the Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative, staff recommends the Board establish the Transportation Water and Infrastructure Committee (TWIC) with oversight responsibility and progress reports to the Board could be provided through TWIC. Staff is prepared to submit a more detailed work program to the Transportation Water and Infrastructure Committee at their March 7, 2013 meeting that elaborates on next steps and provides timeline to convene the Board-sponsored waterfront forum.
CONSEQUENCE OF NEGATIVE ACTION:
Without Board authorization the Department of Conservation and Development would not undertake activities for the 2013 Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative as described in this report.