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With the community’s biggest celebration coming up, the Rancho Murieta Association reminds residents that visitor passes for the Fourth of July are now available at the RMA Building. Each lot is entitled to five free passes to get visitors in for festivities that conclude with the fireworks display at Laguna Joaquin. Getting the passes to your visitors before the big day helps take pressure off the North Gate security operation, Assistant General Manager Danise Hetland said at Tuesday’s board meeting. Each pass is good for a carload of visitors.

During a meeting that lasted under an hour, the board heard updates on a project to rebuild the North Gate, a plan to lease the cable system, and RMA water-saving efforts.

North Gate update

General Manager Greg Vorster said the architect and consulting team are finishing up plans for the North Gate project that will be presented to the county later this month for review.

Cable lease plan

Regarding a proposal to lease the RMA-owned cable system, Vorster said the RMA is awaiting a response from the development group represented by John Sullivan of Cosumnes River Land LLC to amendments proposed for the Mutual Benefit Agreement and the cable agreement that will allow RMA to enter into a leasing arrangement.

Later in the meeting, Bob Lucas, chair of the Communications Committee, reported that the committee had met with Bob Powers, CEO and president of Greenfield Communications, the company that proposes to lease and operate the system. After “a robust discussion,” Lucas said the committee recommended going with Dish satellite service instead of DirecTV for the television component of the fiber-to-the-home service Greenfield proposes to install if it leases the system.

Lucas said committee members thought Dish offered better programming packages and was more responsive, agreeing to make the Golf Channel part of the basic package, while Direct didn’t return Powers’ phone calls.

RMA reduces water use

Before the start of the RMA meeting, General Manager Greg Vorster distributed a compilation of RMA water usage in April and May compared with the same months last year.

According to the spreadsheet, metered water reads at Stonehouse Park, the Riverview park restroom, Riverview Park, Chesbro and other common area locations showed an overall reduction of 74 percent in April and 53 percent in May.

These reductions exceed the Community Services District goal of a voluntary 10 percent reduction in water use,  Vorster told the board.

In addition to potable water, the RMA uses water from Laguna Joaquin for irrigation needs.
Maintenance Manager Rod Hart related efforts the association is making to reduce water needs and waste for the board.  The measures include adjusting irrigation to avoid overspray onto roadways, using penetrants and adding drought-resistant Bermuda grass to turf areas. Compost is planned for dry areas, Hart said.

At the CSD meeting Wednesday, staff said water use has dropped about 27 percent in the community this year compared to last, although a five-year average puts the reduction at 8.8 percent.

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