Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Meeting
November 17, 2012
DRAFT - not approved for distribution
Glen Borland, George Evangelou, Brenda Fromlath, Bruce Graves, George Lucia, Mike Stevens **? Linda Thorne, Yvonne Vaucher **? Michael Walsh [chair].
Robert Carlyle, Donna Dose, Elizabeth Getzoff, Doug Lande, Mike Pique.
The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 9:58 AM at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, by Michael Walsh, chair. Despite absences, a quorum of the Board of Directors is reached; Michael thanks everyone for coming to meeting, and the Fire Department for hosting.
Michael Walsh announced that Earl Walls, one of Palomar Mountain's finest residents, a good friend and neighbor to many, and the ultimate community service champion, had passed away earlier this week. Of his numerous contributions, it was noted that one of the last things Earl did for the Community Center was to help build the handicap ramp with Bruce Graves. George Lucia agreed to provide information on Earl's Memorial service as it becomes available.
Michael Walsh (for Mike Pique) reviewed the minutes from the August 25, 2012 meeting, and the request was made for any questions, comments or changes. No comments on the minutes as presented. George Lucia moved to approve the minutes as is and Heather seconded the motion, motion passed.
Treasurer Linda Thorne thanked former treasurer Alan Serry for doing an excellent job taking care of the banking and reports. Linda reports that she has opened a new online banking portal with Chase for Chair and vice Chair to monitor accounts. Linda reported an ending balance as of 17 November, 2012 **?, of checking account $6,471.52, savings account $33,257.38, total $39,728.90. A donation of $15.00 was noted. The account accrued $6.56 in interest. Linda will write Thank You's to all who made donations. George Lucia moved to approve Linda's report, Brenda seconded the motion, motion passed.
George Lucia spoke for Robert Carlyle. Robert has applied for another grant for $400,000 for tree removal. He will know if it is approved by the next meeting, in February 2013.
Linda Thorne provided an update on the ground water monitoring project, and identified the need for additional resources. The Board discussed the ground water monitoring project in more general terms. Questions were asked regarding the original objectives of the project, the state of the data collected over time, and what changes or improvements, if any, might be made to this project for the benefit of the community.
It was noted that well water levels had been measured and recorded over the past 10+ years to evaluate any changes and to build a baseline. Concerns had been raised over many years, regarding potential commercial development that could potentially lower the water table and negatively impact the water resource for residents, commercial uses, the Christian Conference Center, and the Observatory, as well as fire safety preparedness. Linda provided information on data collected over the past several years. Questions were asked and issues discussed.
In addition to the concerns over water availability, the Board also discussed the opportunity to obtain a large water storage tank for fire safety, and whether or not the Board and the Fire Department should look at more comprehensive assessment and recommendations for water policy. George Lucia proposed that a new committee be formed to begin to address this issue, and agreed to lead the committee in its formative stages. Additional Board members volunteered to serve on the committee, including Libby Getzoff, Cliff Kellogg, Linda Thorne, and Brenda Fromlath. George agreed he will head the committee for now and get everything started, with the objective of focusing on key issues and objectives and providing an initial assessment at the February 2, 2013 Board Meeting. A motion was offered to form the new water resource committee, seconded, and passed unanimously.
Linda Thorne reported the water company has installed a new tank in Pedley Valley and has increased the water storage. Also, PMMWC installed a new generator and it works great. There was discussion about the potential need for water storage tanks in different parts of the community, and this topic was referred for future assessment by the newly formed water resource committee.
Chief George LucCa reported that the fire department is healthy, but CSA 110 has changed to CSA 135. The county wants 2 people per shift in every station at all times. They have 600 volunteers, 200 have never worked a shift, and 200 work part-time shifts. Due to recent legislation, we have lost the ability to train our own volunteers. The volunteers now have to be county of San Diego volunteers. George is in direct contact with the county and is actively working to resolve this situation to the benefit of the community. George will provide an update at the February meeting.
George then briefly reviewed the history of the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, which started in 1973 with all community volunteers. Tremendous progress has been made over the years in building an exceptional volunteer fire department to serve the needs of our Palomar community. The PMVFD is actively working with expert consultants and with other community volunteer fire departments to work with the county to ensure we have the facilities, equipment, and personnel resources to continue to ensure the safety of the community.
Bruce Graves reported on the Community Center project: the work continues while the firefighters continue to use the facility for temporary housing. The back deck and handicap ramp have been installed so we can get our permit. It is expected that $5,000 will be returned when we get our permit in hand. It was noted that we had received a $35,000 grant to help with the permit process, as the building never had its final inspection. The site plan approval for station and bunkhouse are anticipated to be completed in Spring 2013.
Glenn Borland reported the committee evaluated the DPLU planning maps with respect to areas zoned for telecommunications equipment. A concern had been raised that the current San Diego County map was not consistent with prior community recommendations and existing location/size of designated areas. The committee confirmed that the antenna corridor has not changed or grown in size.
Michael Walsh has been working with Rick Barclay to provide money to staff the park so it did not close. Palomar Mountain State Park had been running at an annual operating deficit of $38,000. Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park raised sufficient funds and signed an agreement with the CA Department of Parks & Recreation to keep Palomar open for at least three more years. Thus far, two quarterly payments have been made by Friends for $9,500.00 each, as part of the agreement.
The money subsequently found in the State Parks accounts led to AB1478, new legislation signed into law to direct those funds back to the parks. Generally, AB1478 provides that the State of CA will match private donations received, for the benefit of parks including Palomar. In addition AB1478 calls for a moratorium against closing any state park for two years. Therefore the combination of community support and AB 1478 will ensure that Palomar remains open for 3-5 years at a minimum, while every effort will be made to get the park to profitability and become self-sustaining. Michael thanked the PMPO once again for their critically important donation made last year.
Any questions? No. The meeting was adjourned. Next board meeting is February 2, 2013, at 10:30 AM.
Notes by Heather Beer.
Edited by Michael Pique, Secretary. Minutes approved by PMPO board not***yet