Downtown plaza

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September 27, 2019

City Manager's Office

Welcome to the new Friday Update!

In an effort to provide more timely communication with our community members and stakeholders, we've launched a newsletter for the City Manager Update, which is published every other Friday of the month. In the past, we just posted the update here:

Now, this update can also get sent straight to your email inbox. If you haven't signed up yet, go to our "Notify Me" page and choose "City Manager Update - Newsletter" to do so. And let us know what you think of this new format. Email Rhea Borja, Public Communications & Community Outreach.

Community Services

Students picking up trash near Foss Creek

Sept. 28, Foss Creek Clean-Up & Safety Fair

Foss Creek is one of our key local natural resources and contributes to Healdsburg's quality of life. So every year, community members roll up their sleeves to help maintain and protect this waterway to the Russian River at the Foss Creek Clean-Up. Last year, students and other volunteers picked up more than one ton of trash! Girl Scout Troop #10176 from Healdsburg won the Crud Cup for cleaning up the most trash and debris.

This year's Foss Creek Clean-Up will be held this Saturday, Sept. 28
. Meet at the Community Center at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and instructions; the event ends before 11:30 a.m. After the Foss Creek Clean-Up, volunteers are encouraged to stay for the Safety Fair, which will also be held at the Community Center, and is scheduled to end at 2 p.m. The Safety Fair will focus on healthy and sustainable living and offer activities for all ages. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to volunteers.

Farm to Pantry with new farm cart

“Farmacy” Cart arrives at the Senior Center 

Farm to Pantry donated a farm cart to the Senior Center that will be filled with fresh organic produce, and will be free for everyone. Farm carts are one way Farm to Pantry helps seniors and other vulnerable populations get fresh produce to supplement their everyday diets. The fruit and vegetables are gleaned to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions. A special thank-you goes to Connie Newhall and the gleaners for their hard work and generous donation. Learn more:

Picnic in the Plaza
Kids playing games at last year's Picnic in the Plaza event.

Oct. 1-6, International Active Aging Week

The Senior Center will celebrate International Active Aging Week from Oct. 1-6 and invites the community to join the festivities. Active Aging Week challenges society’s diminished expectations of aging by showing that adults over 50 can live fully. The Senior Center is offering FREE classes all week and a wide range of presentations and demonstrations for participants of all ages. The celebration will end with the Age-Friendly Picnic in the Plaza on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 12 – 2 p.m. For a full list of programs and events, visit:

Oct. 10, Business Showcase & Community Resource Fair

The Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce and the City of Healdsburg announce the return of the Get Downtown Business Showcase and Community Resource Fair on Thursday, October 10. The community is invited to the downtown plaza from 4-7 p.m. and meet local businesses, enjoy free giveaways, wine and food tastings, live music, and a silent auction. The City will set up booths with information on senior services, volunteering, park and arts planning, public outreach and communications, utilities and conservation, and planning and building resources, as well as an opportunity to meet your City Council. Bring the kids to see fire and police vehicles and enjoy games from our mobile rec unit. Learn more:

Update on Open-Space Team

One of the proposed recommendations from the Fitch Mountain Management Plan included the creation of an open-space advisory group. Now that ownership of the Healdsburg Ridge has been fully transferred to the City, staff convened the first Open Space Team (OST) last week at the Community Center. The meeting was well attended by local residents, open-space advocates, LandPaths, and representatives of the Parks and Recreation commissioners. The meeting focused on evaluating public uses, educating the public, protecting natural resources, and creating connections from Fitch Mountain to Healdsburg Ridge. The OST will act in an advisory role and will meet on a quarterly basis. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2020.

Repairing Fence at Railroad Park
Repair work at Railroad Park.

Railroad Park Flood Update

The flood event of February 2019 damaged several fence sections on the northern and southern areas of Railroad Park, including along the riverbank.  A contractor installed a temporary fence until staff could create a long-term plan. Since the planned redevelopment for the park is in the initial planning stages, we are moving ahead with repairs to the northern section of fence and replacing the fence along the riverbank.

The southern section of the fence will be addressed with the redevelopment of the park. This week, the contractor began installing the new posts and removing several damaged sections with the goal of completing the project by the end of the week.

Planning & Building

320 Healdsburg Ave CUP for Harris Gallery

On Sept. 24, the Planning Commission unanimously approved (4-0) a request to amend the conditional-use permit (CUP) to allow wine tasting at the Harris Gallery.

Update on 146 Healdsburg Avenue, Mill District

Replay Resorts is preparing plans for a design-review application for Lot 5, the .78-acre park in the center of its proposed mixed-use development. Although the Planning Commission approved the design-review application for the affordable housing on Lot 7 (by McDonald’s), there won't be any building construction until after the spring of 2020.

Public Safety

Flyer for Fire Department Open House

Oct. 12, Healdsburg Fire Open House

The Fire Department will host its annual open house during Fire Prevention Week on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Please join us: Meet your first responders, including Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey the Bear. We will have lots of demonstrations for the kids and emergency preparedness information for the parents. This year's theme is "Plan and Practice Your Escape." Lunch will be provided.

Public Works

Grove Street Roundabout Construction

Grove Street, near the Healdsburg Skate Park, will be closed to southbound traffic starting Monday, Sept. 30, for about four weeks. During this time, southbound traffic will be detoured to Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg Avenue, to Grant Street and back to Grove Street. This one-lane closure allows the contractor for the Farmstand residential development project to build a small roundabout on Grove Street. The roundabout will help slow down traffic on Grove Street, one of the goals of the Grove Street Neighborhood Plan. The detour will be in place 24 hours a day, every day. Active work hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Learn more:

US-101/Dry Creek Road Improvements Project Update

Construction is almost done on the US-101 and Dry Creek Road Intersection Improvements Project. Signing and striping should be finished by the end of next week, and signs noting “Changed Conditions Ahead” will be installed along with portable changeable message boards to alert drivers once the new STOP locations are installed. Please observe and adhere to the signage.  


PG&E Public-Safety Power Shutdowns

This week, PG&E warned Sonoma County and six other counties in the North Bay and the Sierras that it may shut off power due to very hot, dry, and windy weather. PG&E activated two public-safety power shutdowns (PSPS) but neither affected Healdsburg. While the City of Healdsburg owns and operates its own electric system, we work closely with PG&E personnel to closely monitor PSPS watches. In all but the most extreme cases, PG&E’s shutdowns will not affect the City’s electric system. Go to the City’s Utility Wildfire Safety page to learn more:

Reach Code Workshop attendees

Energy, Sustainability and Buildings Workshop

The City hosted a workshop on Sept. 24 on options for Healdsburg’s proposed energy reach code. Presenters detailed how reach codes can avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in new buildings, reviewed efficient electric technologies to avoid high utility bills, and quantified cost savings in new construction by eliminating natural gas infrastructure. Twenty residents and stakeholders attended to learn about reach codes, ask questions and provide feedback. Learn more:

Underground Cable Replacement

Earlier this week, City Electric crews performed a short power shutdown to finalize repairs on a section of underground electric cable. Performing this preventative maintenance work did require to planned power outage but avoided a much longer unplanned outage. 

Update on Wastewater Capital Projects

Throughout the summer, City staff made steady progress on two major projects related to the City’s wastewater treatment system. In one, pond-grading and lining has been completed to increase recycled water storage. In another, tunneling under Dry Creek is now beginning to replace two wastewater force mains. Both projects are key to the City’s ability to treat wastewater and meet regulatory compliance obligations.

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