San Rafael News

The San Rafael Public Library will be introducing the first-ever library cards made from renewable bamboo.

The bamboo library cards were developed to promote San Rafael’s goals to create a greener environment through several initiatives including changes in lifestyle, city operations and construction.

The bamboo library cards will be available to the public during the month of July, which the library has designated as “Free Library Card Replacement Month.” Members of the San Rafael community are encouraged to replace their plastic library cards during that time.

All new cards from July 1 onward will be made from new, sustainable bamboo. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to a sustainable city and to reduce waste in our environment.

Fiscal Year 14-15 budget

San Rafael City Council will be examining a proposed city-wide budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. The budget provides for, essentially, the same service levels as the current fiscal year with additional resources dedicated to the homeless initiative, massage ordinance enforcement, facilities maintenance and technology.

The city is poised to end the current fiscal year with 70 percent of its emergency reserves replenished – a dramatic increase from the 24 percent level it had just two years ago. A full staff report is available online at cityofsanrafael.org.

Community Engagement Survey

Thank you to everyone who responded to the city’s recent Community Engagement and Communication Survey. We received 1,044 responses and are working hard to analyze the data.

Based on what you told us, we will determine the next steps for improving our communication with you. It’s important to us to include as many San Rafael residents in the local decisions that affect your lives.

We will be working in the coming months to meet with community members before formulating a plan to move forward on improved communication and decision-making. Thank you to all who took the time to respond and help.

Information Technology roadmap

The recession took quite a toll on the city’s information technology staffing during a time of rising technological needs.

In order to meet the new demand and improve service delivery to the community, IT has developed a “roadmap” for the next 12-18 months, which prioritizes the city’s needs.

The plan identifies IT’s Top 10 needs including technology infrastructure improvements, a document management system, staff training and improvements to community engagement. A full staff report is available online at the city’s website.

Street paving on Point San Pedro

The County of Marin is resurfacing a 3.3-mile stretch of Point San Pedro Road from Union Street (near San Rafael High School) to Riviera Drive (near Peacock Gap Lagoon).

In addition to road resurfacing, work will include drainage improvements, minor concrete, accessibility improvements, and road striping. Construction, which is anticipated to last through July, will take place during the daytime hours with traffic control measures. Additional information about the project is available online at marincounty.org/depts/pw/current-projects.

Upcoming FEMA meetings

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has finished developing new flood maps based on a recent San Francisco Bay Study.

These maps delineate Special Flood Hazard Areas within San Rafael, and property owners who reside within these areas may be required to have flood insurance. The new maps go into effect in 2015.

FEMA will hold three public meetings across the county to explain the map changes and how these changes may affect property owners within special flood hazard areas. The preliminary maps are ready for public review and comment, and will be on display at the three Marin meetings.

One meeting will take place June 18 at San Rafael City Hall at 6:30 p.m. The other two meetings are June 17 at Hill Education Center in Novato, and June 19 at the Mill Valley Community Center, both at 6:30 p.m.

The preliminary maps are now available online at marinmap.org. The comment and appeal period begins June 4 and ends September 2.

A short presentation made recently by the Department of Public Works regarding the implementation of new flood maps is available online at the city’s website.

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