A San Bruno foundation established as a result of the Sept. 9, 2010, PG&E explosion and fire that killed eight and injuring 66 is taking its initial steps toward becoming a full-fledged nonprofit.
The group’s board of directors — selected in the fall of 2013 — say they are about a year out from creating goals for what to do with the $68.75 million in settlement funds from Pacific Gas and Electric. The agreement specifies the San Bruno Community Foundation allocates the funds for the benefit of the entire city and can’t be used for general city operations. The funds from this agreement are separate from the $50 million trust agreement to specifically benefit the Crestmoor neighborhood damaged in the blast.
The board is currently focusing on filing the critical Form 1023 to apply for federal approval as a nonprofit entity, said board President Nancy Kraus. Its first official meeting was March 20.
“The journey the foundation is on to become legally and fully operational as a not-for-profit organization requires that the board adopt a myriad of policies and procedures for governance,” she said. “That is the board’s focus at the moment — filing the Form 1023 as expeditiously as possible. The next steps will be to consider policies [on the] budget, staffing, investments, grant making and formulating the many related procedures that each of these pathways will require. The board must also consider the development of branding, website, logo and so forth.”
When the board has advanced to the point of being able to announce the grant-making process that announcement will be made at a public meeting, Kraus said. The board hasn’t even gotten to the point where it has explored some of the options for what it could do with the money, she added.
The San Bruno City Council received and reviewed more than 80 applications for the positions. After interviewing 11 finalists, the City Council selected Patricia Bohm, Ben Cohn, Frank Hedley, John P. McGlothlin, Emily Roberts and Regina Stanback-Stroud, in addition to Kraus.
Crestmoor residents have some preliminary ideas of how they’d like to see the money spent. Debra Marks’ home was damaged in the explosion. She would like to see the library updated or upgraded, along with a community meeting room, she said.
“There’s no place that we can have meetings without intruding on other entities,” she said. “It’d be nice if the community had place to go where people could have meetings when needed.”
Neighbor Bill Magoolaghan’s home had to be rebuilt as a result of the explosion and he understands the foundation has a large challenge in finding meaningful ways to spend the money. He’d like to see an investment rather than just spending it that finds a way to continue to have revenue coming into the neighborhood that could be used for other projects.
“I, like everybody else, am very curious about what they’re going to come up with,” he said. “Maybe some major projects like a community center or indoor pool. I’m interested in things that benefit the entire community such as ongoing support or therapy. There’s still a lot of people struggling with having lives uprooted and living in a war zone.”
For more information on the foundation, visit sanbruno.ca.gov/Glenview_notforprofit.html.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105