Although San Bruno’s Crestmoor neighborhood is mostly rebuilt three and half years after the 2010 Pacific Gas and Electric Company pipeline explosion and fire, the City Council will be deciding which neighborhood projects are top priority since more money has been spent from a $50 million trust established by PG&E than anticipated.
The total cost of the remaining projects is about $34 million, which exceeds the expected $11 million-$14.5 million that may be available from the trust established for costs related to recovery and rebuilding after the explosion and fire. Because of this, the city will vote Tuesday night to prioritize projects and that higher priority projects be completed, according to a staff report. Staff time and additional projects contributed to the lack of funds needed to complete the entire project list.
“Our concern is what we’re going to be able to do in the future,” said Mayor Jim Ruane.
To date, considerable work has been completed, but much of the neighborhood reconstruction is ongoing and will continue for another 10-12 months, according to the staff report.
Staff recommends that three projects be prioritized from each the following categories: immediate public safety projects; neighborhood related infrastructure projects; and other neighborhood safety and maintenance projects, according to the staff report. Councilmembers will need to hone in on what the most important projects to come are. Staff is recommending focusing in on the replacement of Fire Station No. 52; Crestmoor Canyon fire safety improvements and trail; a traffic signal priority control system at Sneath Lane and San Bruno Avenue; connections for the Skyline waterline replacement; the Sneath Lane waterline replacement; a Crestmoor Canyon storm water detention basin; Crestmoor Canyon slop stability repairs; Plymouth Way and Sneath Lane corridor tree replacement; and a maintenance fund for neighborhood landscaping and a park.
“When we negotiated the $50 million, we did not know the scope, or extent, of what the relevant issues would be,” said City Manager Connie Jackson. “We want to get this done.”
The city’s trust agreement with PG&E terminates Nov. 1, 2017, unless the city notifies the trustee that the purposes of the trust are continuing, in which case the trust will continue until Nov. 1, 2020. Jackson said she can’t anticipate whether the city will ask for additional money to go into the trust at this point.
“Fifty million dollars is a substantial amount of money though,” she said. “The City Council might not see it as reasonable.”
There is a chance some money can go to the projects from the nonprofit San Bruno Community Foundation, which manages the $68.75 million in settlement funds negotiated with PG&E as restitution for the explosion. Providing funding for these projects would be up to the foundation’s board since it is a separate entity from the council.
Projects listed as lower priority are replacing Water Tank No. 3; replacing or slip-lining the existing diameter pipeline from Pump Station 2 to Tank 7; making improvements to Pump Station No. 1; replacing suction piping within Sneath Lane; provide standby generators at Pump Stations No. 1, 3 and 7; replace portions of the Crestmoor Canyon sewer system; a San Bruno cable fiber conversion project; and pedestrian safety improvements on Sneath Lane and San Bruno Avenue.
Eight people died as a result of a Sept. 9, 2010, PG&E pipeline explosion and fire in the Crestmoor neighborhood. There were also 66 people injured, traumatizing a community and affecting the entire city.
For more information on the rebuild effort, visit rebuildcrestmoor.org. The City Council meets for a study session on this item 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 11 at San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road in San Bruno.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105