CSD approves budget, examines Security's role
A replacement is being considered for the sign that has stood for decades at Jackson Road and Murieta Drive. The old sign, which is in bad shape, could be replaced by an electronic sign.
The Rancho Murieta Community Services District board of directors completed the budget process for 2012-13 last week by approving rates that will increase the average monthly residential bill for water, sewer, drainage, security and trash collection services 5.35 percent, a slight reduction from the budget that was presented last month. In response to a recent DUI incident, CSD personnel are reviewing security procedures to address future incidents and holding internal meetings on the matter.
The budget process began in January, with reductions and revisions that continued up to adoption last week. The average monthly increase was 5.37 percent in the version presented at the May board meeting. The slight reduction in the adopted budget reflects a lower-than-expected rate increase for trash collection in the contract with California Waste Recovery Systems and the annual audit cost remaining at last year's rate.
The budget is in the board meeting packet on the CSD web site.
Increased DUI enforcement is being considered at internal CSD meetings that began Friday, General Manager Ed Crouse reported in a memo to the board and at the board meeting. The examination of Security's role follows a DUI incident in May in which a vehicle ended up in a resident's front yard. Crouse said three meetings are tentatively planned.
Security Chief Greg Remson said the CHP is "still investigating whether alcohol was involved" in the June 12 rollover accident on Murieta Parkway in which the driver was hospitalized with a head injury.
Remson said Security and sheriff's deputies "make a presence" at popular swimming areas along the river on a regular basis to deal with underage drinking.
Security is also working with the Country Club to enforce its rules and address night use and improper use of the courses, in addition to trespassing and vandalism, Remson said.
Signs that are in the plans
The road on the way to Granlees Dam now has a gate with a keypad that CSD and other staff will be able to use to open it. Warning signs are coming too.
- Rancho Murieta Association and Community Services District officials are talking about working together on an effort to replace the deteriorating wood sign on the corner of Highway 16 and Murieta Drive. The RMA has a proposal for a new aluminum sign, while the CSD "strongly urged" installing an electronic reader board that could be used for messages about meetings, events and "other things of note," CSD General Manager Ed Crouse said at the CSD meeting last week. The discussion about the sign occurred when RMA, CSD and Country Club officials met earlier this month.
- Once the PTF installs signage for three newly installed gates on its property in the back lake area of Murieta North, the gates will be closed and kept locked, Security Chief Greg Remson said. Bicycling, hiking and horseback riding will be allowed, and motorists will be prohibited, with the exception of CSD and other authorized personnel who regularly use the gated road leading to Granlees Dam, Remson said. Security won't police the gates. "People will find ways to get back there anyway, and we'll just give the information to PTF and they'll close it off," Remson said.
- Signs warning of rattlesnakes are slated for Lake Clementia, also a swim-at-your-own-risk notice in response to the recent Giardia infection scare, Crouse said. Testing showed the swim area did not have a bacterial problem. Next year, the CSD, RMA and Country Club intend to look into reducing the goose population because of the copious droppings, Crouse said. Dogs that harass geese to keep them from establishing nesting areas and coyote statues are two measures tried in the past. The statues were taken before they had a chance to work.
Upon permanent closure of the gate to the Cosumnes River on the north, the river is now closed to residents unless they are willing to walk a half mile or more. This is the same beach that has parking already, garbage cans and an information board. The same beach myself and countless others have driven to for over 20 years in cars and golf carts. The same beach where I have seen people from one-month to 90 years plus go to. The same beach I have swam, floated and watched fall salmon.
If you are reasonably fit you can still get there by walking or shoving your bike under the gate. If you have small children or cannot walk distances or require other assistance to remain ambulatory, too bad.
This is an absolutly horrible decision cutting off access to the river to residents and I fear just the beginning of more access being denied in the future.
Re: Access - Just want to say I agree with Mac Hamel's comments, though I admit I don't have a clear understanding of exactly where these gates are or why PTF chose to do this. Why are we being kept out and what is the point? I need some additional clarification. Otherwise, this just feels like Big Brother (PTF not CSD).
Re: A New Sign - I'm all for a new sign. The current one looks a bit sad. I'm a little ambivalent about the electronic part of it, though. On the one hand, I totally see the benefit of being able to change the messages regularly and easily. On the other hand, I'd hate to see the electronics impede on the rural ambiance that exists now. (Went through that with the ugly auto mall sign in Elk Grove. Ugh!)
That said, if we are careful in how the electronic sign is crafted, we could accomplish both things - retain the look and ambiance of the community and improve the sharing of information in a modern way. We just need to be cognizant of both goals. I'll be happy to serve on an ad hoc committee working on this project.
CSD rates are going up AGAIN!!! This time a nice fat 5% plus and at the same time, gates are going up to shut down our access to the river!!! THIS STINKS!!! I am not happy with the way this community is headed!!!
Maybe we could just call 2012 the year of Higher Rates and More Gates!!!
But of course, the Community Center / Pool is exactly $12.00 and that's something we can bank on...
They are following the script exactly as I said. Next step, we will loose all bike and foot traffic access. We had established an easement, and this will go away as people don't want to walk the distance from dam to beach and back just to be hot, sweaty and dusty by the time you are back to the car. Walking out there has effectively ruled out myself with my bad knees and my dad with his heart condition.
I use to think they were trying to reduce liability exposure, that was till I saw the large brand new home on acreage in the back country across the river. Development in RM with large tracts of homes is out of the question because of insufficient water, but what about a few river front homes on acreage? Could this be their end game? Just brain storming, but there two things you can always count on, follow the money and they aren't making any more land.
Admittedly I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV, but wouldn't allowing residents unrestricted access to PTF property in RM since it's inception have created an easement of some sort? I found this:
"An easement by prescription arises through an individual's use of land as opposed to the possession thereof. An easement of this nature will be recognized in these instances: (1) the easement is adverse or contrary to the interests, and absent the permission, of the landowner; (2) it is open and notorious; (3) it is continuous and uninterrupted; and (4) it exists for the period of time prescribed by state statute. If for a period of time beyond the prescribed statutory period A creates and openly uses a right of way across B's land without B's permission then an easement by prescription is created."
Now, PTF isn't completely restricitng access- just vehicular traffic- so, if an easement has been created with all these years of unrestricted access, they may still be within their rights. Again, I'm not a lawyer. I would assume that their concern is not liability involving access in general (ie: they are not worried about being sued if someone is injured on their property), but either damage from vehicles (a likely excuse) or the fact that less people will use the property if they can't drive there (more likely). I too frequent the river at Granlees Dam despite living on the south. The access there was easier when my kids were small and it clearly looked designed for the purpose with an actual parking lot, trash cans etc. The south beach access is rough and there are no "proper" roads. If damage by vehicles was the determining reason, then that is happening in other areas owned by PTF too and we can look forward to more property being blocked off. I agree that access to the back country is something that sets apart our community from others and something I cherish. I would love an explanantion and I figure CSD and RMA know why PTF did this. Why is this information not being shared with the residents?
I just want to make sure I understand these new gates. PTF put them in not CSD? And why would security report anything to PTF.