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The Rancho Murieta Association board began planning for 2018 projects at a goal-setting meeting Tuesday evening. The session, which lasted a little more than an hour, was meant to give directors a look at the costs of possible 2018 projects. Still to come is a budget workshop, the annual exercise when projects get funded – or not.

Last month's fish kill at Laguna Joaquin and requests for cleaner water from downstream users prompted conversation around proposals that touch on those problems. Several times, directors said they would prefer a holistic plan rather than a collection of one-off efforts. They also brought up the possibility of seeking funding from downstream users of the water.

    General Manager Greg Vorster asked the board to consider these projects, proposed by prior boards, present directors and staff:

    • Lighting for Riverview Park tennis and basketball courts. The $35,000 cost is covered in the 2017 budget and the 2018 budget under consideration.
    • A four-year plan to fund a new passive-entry gate at Escuela and Stonehouse roads. The 2018 contribution, $29,500, is in the 2018 budget.
    • Putting two acres of Bermuda sod on Stonehouse Park. The $50,000 cost is in the 2018 budget.
    • Hiring a landscape consultant to examine the RMA’s irrigation system on the North, around Laguna Joaquin, Chesbro, Domingo Drive and Camino Del Sol. The cost was estimated at $30,000, which amounts to a budget impact of $1.07 per household per month. It is not yet in the budget.
    • Building a containment basin on Laguna Joaquin. This would create a smaller, contained body of water that could be treated aggressively for algae to allow a cleaner operation of the irrigation system fed by the lake. The cost, $35,000, is $1.25 per member per month. It is not yet in the budget.
    • Replacement of concrete curbs, mainly in Unit 1 on the North, was proposed at $20,000, or 72 cents per member per month. It is not yet in the budget.
    • Another $20,000 was proposed to fund hiring tree trimmers to work on select landscape trees in the community. That would be another 72 cents per member per month.

    Director Cheryl McElhany suggested the RMA develop an emergency notification system, requiring members to register with an email address and primary and secondary phone numbers. She said RMA couldn't notify residents about this summer's fires at Deer Creek Hills, which could have been a community disaster if the wind had been blowing from a different direction. Beyond emergency communications, she said the system could be used for social messaging too. She said the Communications Committee, which she chairs, could develop a proposal.

    Director Rob Brown suggested adding cable and post fencing to keep carts off the grass at Stonehouse Park.

    Vorster walked the board through the 2017 goals that had been completed. Among them were:

    • Pickleball courts were built at Stonehouse Park at a cost of $6,000.
    • A pump enclosure was built for Laguna Joaquin within the RMA’s operating budget (at a cost of about $6,500).
    • Work was done on the Laguna Joaquin fountains at a cost of $30,000.
    • The Lake Clementia boat dock was rebuilt out of RMA operating funds.
    • The Greens Park on the South is being constructed now, financed by the Parks Fund.
    • A barrier was erected along the Stonehouse Park path out of operating funds.

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    RMA Nominating Committee

    Also at this meeting, the RMA approved members of the Nominating Committee, the group that works to get candidates and stage the RMA election. The members: Renee Bechthold, Nancy Pohll and Allyson Warr.

    The terms of Directors Tim Maybee, Bob Lucas and Sam Somers Sr. end Nov. 30, and all three are termed out. If you're interested in being a candldate, applications are available at the RMA. The deadline is Sept.13.

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