On April 19, 2016, the Honorable Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued a proclamation declaring storm-related damage to roads and highways as a State of Emergency. The proclamation names Contra Costa County and several other counties which will cover Moraga's sinkhole and assist the Town of Moraga with qualifying for financial assistance to help fund necessary repairs. (click title for full story) On behalf of my fellow Councilmembers, Town staff, and our entire community, I want to thank Governor Brown for the quick response to our emergency situation and for his willingness to assist us in our time of need. The emergence of the sinkhole on March 13, 2016, and resulting gas line rupture, forced an emergency evacuation of all area businesses, caused the loss of gas service to 2,600 PG&E customers, and continues to harm our local business community. The initial response and ongoing costs associated with the sinkhole have taxed our resources and the current repair estimate of $3.5 million would be devastating to the Town's financial stability. The Governor's Declaration has provided hope and renewed optimism for making it through this emergency.
I also extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to both Senator Steve Glazer and Assemblywoman Catharine Baker for reaching out to our staff with offers of assistance soon after the sinkhole occurred. It is most gratifying to see elected officials, and their incredibly competent staffs, respond quickly and collaboratively to assist and guide in emergency situations. The Town of Moraga and the State of California are fortunate to have both in our service.
Mayor, Town of Moraga
This update and all past updates can be found on the Town website’s dedicated Sinkhole webpage. Thank you for your continued patience.
Many in Moraga have been inconvenienced by the sinkhole, but none as much as the businesses in the Rheem shopping areas. Detours through the two commercial centers have raised questions about business availability. All Rheem area businesses are open, accessible, and need everyone's support. All Moraga businesses generate critical sales tax revenues that support the community. Please remember to Shop Moraga First! (click title for full story)
The Town posts important alerts and information on both Nixle.com and Nextdoor.com, both of which are free. For Nixle, go to (click title for full story) Nixle.com and click on “Learn More” for residents. Click on the box (“SIGN UP”) at the bottom of the next screen and complete the information. Follow the directions to subscribe to agencies to receive alerts and information. For Nextdoor, go to NextDoor.com, enter your address and e-mail. You will be directed to your neighborhood group and the sign up screen.
The Town Council is scheduled to review and comment on a final conceptual plan for the Hacienda de las Flores, as presented by Gould Evans, a San Francisco architectural firm, at the April 27 meeting. After months of community discussion, conceptualizing, and designing, the Town Council and community will have another opportunity to provide input on this project. One of the 2016 Town Council goals is to develop (click title for full story) a concept and plans for a financially sustainable Hacienda de las Flores. The public is invited to attend or to send written comments to the Town Council by emailing email@example.com.
The Town Council accepted the public restroom remodel project as complete. The facilities now meet current building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Enjoy the new drinking fountain, complete with the first bottle filling station in a Moraga public facility. (click title for full story)
Moraga citizens are once again being victimized by two scams: fraudulent tax returns being filed and scam telephone calls from fake IRS agents demanding money. If a fraudulent tax return has been filed using your name and information, report it immediately to the IRS. The IRS does not call about past-due taxes – they DO send letters via (click title for full story) US Mail and will never ask for payment by wire transfer or pre-paid credit card. For more information, go to IRS.gov and search for “Scams.”
The Moraga Community Garage Sale provides an opportunity to clean out garages, attics, storage sheds and closets, while meeting neighbors and recycling unwanted items. Town of Moraga residents are invited to hold garage sales at their homes, join with (click title for full story) neighbors to hold block sales, or organize a community group to hold a combined sale on Saturday, May 21, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. A $15.00 registration fee will provide a listing in the Community Garage Sale Guide. The Town will provide marketing for the event and the sellers keep the cash - it’s that easy!
The Town has received a number of queries about the recent tree removal along the Campolindo High School frontage. The work is part of a larger project by the School District to re-landscape the school frontage and campus, removing trees that were in poor health, hazardous, or poorly suited for their locations. The District is re-planting with a (click title for full story) variety of new plants and trees. Additional information on the project, including the complete plans for the new landscaping, is available on the School District website.
The Town Council received and discussed the results of the recent Town-wide mail survey on options for the reconfiguration of Moraga Road between Donald and Corliss Drives, as part of the Livable Moraga Road project. After lengthy discussion about the safety needs of pedestrians and cyclists in this segment, and (click title for full story) consideration of the Survey Results, on a split vote, the Town Council approved Survey Option 1. This option was preferred by focus groups, the Town Advisory Committee, the Design Review Board and the Planning Commission. Option 1 includes one southbound lane, two northbound lanes, and a center turn lane, as well as bike lanes, parking, and a separated eight-foot wide path for pedestrians and cyclists. The majority of the Town Council felt this option best met the current needs of vehicular traffic while improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists within the existing width of the roadway. The recommended option will be incorporated into the complete “Corridor Concept” for Moraga Road, to be reviewed by the Town Council at a future meeting. For more information contact Ellen Clark, Planning Director.
The Town Council authorized an agreement with the District Attorney’s office to establish a Lamorinda Community Court. Community Court provides a voluntary non-criminal alternative for first offenders of minor crimes. Hearings are conducted by a trained, licensed attorney, who may issue a directive including a fine, community service and/or counseling. When the participant completes the directive, the case is discharged. The program is voluntary and the offender can opt out at any time during the process. Call Moraga Police for more information at 925-888-7049. (click title for full story)
Judy Dinkle, a 35 year Moraga resident, is a Moraga volunteer extraordinaire with service starting in 2001 as a Board Member of the Moraga Park Foundation. She was instrumental in the creation of the Hacienda Foundation of Moraga, which was founded to preserve, protect and improve the Hacienda de las Flores, one of Judy’s greatest loves. Judy will be honored at an awards banquet on Friday, April 29, at the Saint Mary's College Soda Center. Tickets are available for (click title for full story) $55 per person through the Moraga Chamber of Commerce. For questions contact Kathe Nelson at 925-323-6524.
Due to a creek bank failure, the Lafayette-Moraga Trail is closed along a stretch of Laguna Creek that parallels Country Club Drive. The majority of the erosion is occurring just upstream from the Canyon Bridge where the foot path meets Canyon Road. The trail has been barricaded to protect pedestrians. East Bay Municipal Utilities District owns the affected land and the Moraga-Orinda Fire District uses the trail for emergency access. Both agencies are aware of the current situation. (click title for full story)