Acton Town Council Meeting Minutes, November 4, 2019, Approved

  1. Call to Order, Flag Salute & Roll Call –   The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by President Jeremiah Owen.  Present at the meeting: Pam Wolter, Jacki Ayer, Jeremiah Owen, Tom Costan, Troy Peiper, and Kelly Teno.  Absent: Dylan Lunde.
  2. Community Comments – None
  3. Minutes of the Last Meetings – Tabled
  4. Treasurer Report – Tabled
  5. Sheriff’s Report – None
  6. Library Report – None
  7. Safe Clean Water Program/Measure W – Department of Public Works – Kirk Allen from Public Works made a presentation on the program which is being implemented by Measure W.  LA County homeowners will see an increase in their property tax of 2.5 cents per square foot of impermeable surface on their property.  The Santa Clara River will see about 6.0 million dollars annually for storm watershed improvements.  You can learn more at www.safecleanwaterLA.org and safecleanwterLA@pw.lacounty.gov.  Questions from the ATC included, Since Acton does not allow for concrete infrastructure , Can you give us an example of what we can do for projects?  Mr Allen said to look at the letter from them in October, it talks about outreach and how we can work.  Also asked was how it was going to be maintained and who would pay for any damages?  Mr Allen was not for sure.  Mr Allen was also asked about the committee meeting for November 7, 2019 and why Acton or our portion of the unincorporated area had no representation?  He said that we could go to any public meetings nd raise our concerns.  Questions from the audience included, Can we build our own bioswale on our property and will we have to go through a hydrology study?  Mr Allen said anyone can put in an application for credit but it will need to be engineered, the procedures are online.  He was asked if they will work with us to come up with new criteria for the credit program.
  8.  Southern California Edison – The Local Public Affairs Manager, Liz Seelman and two other managers from SCE came to speak about the PSPS Program.  They started with questions the Acton Town Council had sent to them from residents and the council so that they would come better prepared to answer our questions.  Then they answered questions from Senator Scott Wilk and then the community.  What we learned from their answers included; SCE has filed for 5 years worth of work to be done to our power lines.  Public Safety Shut Off will  minimize as areas are finished.,  SCE has 500  to 600 weather stations so they can evaluate circuit by circuit and can deenergize a part of a circuit and leave part on depending on vegetation and fire hazard.,  SCE employees are not out there making the decisions about PSPS, they have handheld wind meters and the decision is based on a number of factors including, fuel moisture, wind speed, and meteorologists predictions.,  They have worked with cell phone providers, so they will prepare all their towers.  They said that the FCC requires cell phone companies to maintain cell tower service regardless of whether SCE provides power to them, so if we have concerns with cell phone service, the matter is to be taken up with them., SCE said they designed the high school’s service to come from the “Shovel” circuit and though the “Pick” circuit is nearby, the district will have to pay a lot of money to be connected to it.,  It is SCE’s choice whether to shut off power; they are not required to shut it off nor have they been ordered to shut it off.,   Most of the unincorporated areas are in the High Fire Hazard Area but many cities are also in the PSPS. Some areas with underground lines are shut off because of what is feeding it.   State Senator Scott Wilk announced that the Governor has asked the PUC to do an investigation into PSPS.  Wilk believes it should be an independent investigation not the PUC and if nothing gets done we will need to go to the federal level.  George Andrews from Assemblyman Lackeys office raised concerns about wells and not being able to fight fires along with in the winter how do we heat homes, since we can’t have fires in fireplaces.  SCE commented that it is why they give 72 hours notice.  Our community had many concerns which included; concern for the elderly and people who cant help themselves., Safety for our community against criminal activity especially since we have little sheriff presence in the community.  Deputy Martinez reported that , during the PSPS event on and after October 30, several looters were arrested  in Canyon Country.  There is a larger chance of a fire being started by a generator, fireplace fire, candles, or kerosene lamps.,  Why are we not given another power source like being able to go off the grid which is illegal in California.  SCE should turn on the power if a fire breaks out in the area.  The ATC asked SCE to have power for the water haulers to pump water, at least provide generators to them for community safety.  On the SCE website it says to prepare with water but how can we do that??  Are there any plans to put sensors on the wires to be able to detect movement? No answer. Is the 10 the year plan for hardening going to work?  The whole purpose is to insulate so there will be no spark.  Is there a limit to the number of days that SCE can shut off.  The weather dictates it. Deputy Martinez spoke about security and doing roaming patrol in neighborhoods.  He will help and check on anyone who needs help with anything.
  9.  Participation in Upcoming PUC Action Regarding PSPS – Santa Barbara and San Luis Obisbo wrote a joint letter to the PUC asking them to investigate the PSPS.  We should ask our County and Clean Power Alliance to ask the PUC to investigate the PSPS.  Jacki Ayer made a motion to ask the County and CPA to intervene and participate on our behalf and move to intervene OII at the PUC.  Pam Wolter 2nd the motion.  After discussion the following was added.  During PSPS Edison should contract with Sheriff to put more deputies in our area.  We need to ask the County to come on board and drive this for us.  Motion carried.
  10. Issues with Restricting Equestrian Uses in Los Angeles National Forest – There are equestrian restrictions on several pieces of property in the Angeles Forest area of Acton, which are in the SEA.  The 1991 SEA study states that equestrian uses and Children are the most harmful to the SEA.  We need to bring this prohibition to Regional Planning.  It is a covenant the former property owner signed in 1996 to build their homes.  Jacki Ayer made a motion that we engage Regional Planning to eliminate this equestrian prohibition on Acton properties.  Tom Costan 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  11.  Announcements and Correspondence –  Email from Richard Marshalian requesting confirmation for a November 21, 2019 CSD Concept Draft meeting .  ZOE International will be presenting t the next ATC meeting.  Letter from Assemblyman Lackey and Senator Wilk on CARB for our waterhaulers.
  12. Councilmember Comments – Troy looked up about Megans Law and people living at Thousand Trails.  Deputy Martinez has a list o the names on Megan’s Law and has given it to Thousand Trails.  Thousand Trails conveyed that they would revoke memberships.
  13.  Committee Reports – Tabled
  14.  Unfinished/New Business – We wrote a letter to Regional Planning requesting that they not hold up our water haulers CUP’s.  We should go to Regional Planning Commission meeting Wednesday November 13  A resident asked that we take up a fight to get free spay and neutering here in Acton.  There was a three year contract with Petco and we were left off the list.  She has been trying to get Acton on the list for over two years and has not been successful.  A new contract is about to be put in place and she asked for our help.  We should put this on an agenda.
  15.  Items for next Agenda – Animal Control Issue, ZOE project, Water Issue representation on the Measure W Steering Committee.
  16. Adjournment – 11:22pm
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