Acton Town Council Meeting Minutes, June 5, 2023, Approved

  1. Call to Order, Flag Salute, & Roll Call – The meeting was called to order at 6:31pm by President Jeremiah Owen.  Present at the meeting; Jeremiah Owen, June Perkins, Jacki Ayer, and Kelly Teno.
  2. Community Comments – None
  3. Announcements and Correspondence – WWD37 announced relaxed outdoor water restrictions but there are still some in place.  See notice posted on the ATC website.  A state oversight committee has recommended that SB1383 be put on pause.  The pause is recommended because local agencies are falling short of statutory requirements for organic waste recycling.  FEMA has extended the deadline for houses of worship and other private nonprofits to apply for Disaster Assistance from severe winter storms.  Department of Public Works will be continuing pavement preservation through June.  The County unveiled its Draft Water Plan last week.  The plan does not take into consideration any critical concerns that the ATC has raised.  The plan is critical to protecting our local water supply and making sure Acton’s groundwater is not shipped out to urban areas.  The ATC is seeking community comments on the proposed coffee shop in front of Don Chato’s.  The site plan can be found on the ATC website.  Supervisor Barger and the LA County are hosting the Beach Bus again this year.  Se the flyer posted on the ATC website for information.  Director Bodek from the Department of Regional Planning has let the ATC know that she is checking into our concerns regarding the permits that have been issued by DPH to 1000 Trails over the last few years.  Several residents have expressed concern over the lights on the Buddha statue at night.  We will put this on the agenda for the next meeting.  LA County is conducting a survey through June 30 regarding their thoughts on bicycle routes and paths in the county.  Flyer is posted on the ATC website.  The ATC has submitted a 33 page letter with 28 attachments expressing all the concerns with the 1000 Trails CUP.
  4. Representative Updates – Chuck Bostwick from Supervisor Bargers office reported about the motion she was making Tuesday June 6 at the Board of Supervisors meeting.  He sent a copy of the motion to the Acton Town Council email.  Comments can be made by phone at 877-226-8163, Participant Code – 1336503.  Comments will be taken during Public Comment Time Period and there is no item number.  Brandon Roque from State Senator Wilks office announced that all of Senator Wilks bills he proposed made it through to continuation.
  5. Library Report – All library events are listed on the library website.  The library will be closed June 19, and July 4th
  6. Sheriff Report – OHV team has been out and citing people.  The wash is off limits.
  7. Public Works – Tabled
  8. BESS Projects (All Battery Projects) –  Jacki gave an update and a quick summary of what we know so far about the 7 BESS projects in or near Acton.  Questions and comments were taken from the audience.  The questions and comments were very good and helpful in attacking this fight. Most comments included the concerns about Fire Hazard since we live in a very High Fire Hazard Area and these storage facilities don’t have very good track records in this regard.  The poison that will be put into our air and the winds will push it everywhere.  The amount of water needed to put fires out along with the seepage into our groundwater that will affect all our wells along with the WWD37 wells that feed our residents on County water.  There were concerns about where all the water will come from.  A resident felt that the ATC should reach out to the Palmdale City Council to express our concerns.  Another concern was about evacuation of residents and not enough routes out.  Also having to evacuate animals.  This would be a large scale evacuation if all these facilities caught on fire. Another concern was about being a target for terrorist threats.  Another concern is its proximity to the train.  A question is Who pays for the Fire Department?   It was brought up that maybe our elected officials could help and would the ATC reach out to them.  Jack Ayer made a motion to ask Senator Wilk and Assemblyman Lackey to work towards introducing legislation to prohibit at the CA State level utility scale battery storage in the High Fire Hazard areas.  June Perkins 2nd the motion. The motion carried. //   Jacki Ayer made a motion that the ATC files comments in the OIR and consider becoming a party in CPUC Rulemaking proceeding R.23-05-018.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried. //    Jacki Ayer made a motion to engage the California State decision makers and environmental agency and electees to present reasons why these projects should not be approved in Acton.  Jene Perkins 2nd the motion.   The motion carried. // Jacki Ayer made a motion that the ATC reach out to the Agua Dulce Town Council to collaborate with us on BESS and ask at their meeting this week.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.  //  Jacki Ayer made a motion that the ATC comments on the motion at the Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow expressing support with the proviso that the first and foremost resource that is considered in this 45 day evaluation is the County’s own adopted General Plan and Area Plan documents and with the additional proviso that the County not rely solely on SCE to provide party input on sitting issues and to expand outreach to non-utility transmission system experts.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.  Ruth Brock from the group Acton Takes Action spoke about a study from the UK she had received.  It included thermal runaway does not need oxygen to start and keep going.  The cooling fire suppressant agent does not stop thermal runaway.  Almost all BESS projects have had incidents and thermal runaway.  You can contact her at [email protected].
  9. Community Wildfire Protection Ordinances –  Jacki gave background information on the ordinance and our issues.  The draft was issued 6 months ago.  One of the ATC’s issues was with all the dirt roads that will go to paved roads if this ordinance goes through.  The ATC submitted all of our issues with the Draft.  One suggestion is that the County Fire Departments in areas with dirt roads get trucks like the Forestry Department that are meant to travel on dirt roads.  Jacki Ayer made a motion to write a comment letter on the Wild Fire Ordinance and send to a representative from the ATC to the Regional Planning Commission Hearing.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  10. Treasurer Report – None
  11. Bylaws – Table
  12. Minutes – Kelly passed out minutes from the last meeting and asked everyone if they could be prepared to comment and hopefully pass all past minutes.
  13. Councilmember Comments – June asked if the ATC wants to do anything at the 4th of July, the decision was that not enough of us would be there.
  14. Committee Reports – The following committees had reports.  ARTC – The Draft County Water Plan was announced at the last ARTC meeting.  There will be a 30 comment period.  None of the concerns we raised appear to have been addressed in the Draft.  Nobody at the table represents private well owners.  Jacki Ayer made a motion to write a comment letter on the Draft Water Plan.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.  Trails, Open Space, and Recreation –  The ATC received an email that Trails is trying to make changes to their GIS System.  The next Trails meeting will be in July.  Utilities –  We will table for now the complaint about Edisons misrepresentation of the location of Acton as related to the BESS projects to the PUC.  Film Coalition – The ATC received an email about Film issues which are all correct.  Jacki will take this up.
  15. Unfinished/New Business – The ATC will not have the next meeting on June 19th due to the library being closed, instead the meeting will be on June 26th.  The ATC will keep the meeting on July 3rd open as for now to see if we need a meeting because of issues that need to be addressed.
  16. Items for Next Agenda – Budda Lights, BESS, Fire Insurance
  17. Adjournment – 9:30pm
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