ITEM:  CONSENT CALENDAR 3. CONSIDER EXPENDITURE OF BUDGETED FUNDS TO CONTRACT WITH THE CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION CORPS FOR FALL 2008 VEGETATION MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES Meeting Date: August 18, 2008 Budgeted:  Yes From: Darby Fuerst Program/ General Manager Line Item No.:  2.1.4 Prepared By: Thomas Christensen Cost Estimate:  $8,510 General Counsel Approval: N/A Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee considered this item on August 12, 2008 and recommended approval. CEQA Compliance: N/A SUMMARY: The Board will consider authorizing staff to contract with the California Conservation Corps (CCC), which will provide a crew of twelve workers to help District staff carry out vegetation management activities on the Carmel River during the fall of 2008. Vegetation management this year will involve cutting, removing, and dragging large tree limbs out of the river bed and removing debris from the channel in preparation for potential high winter and spring river flows. The level of work required this year warrants the use of CCC workers. This program is conducted in accordance with the District’s “Guidelines for Vegetation Management and Removal of Deleterious Materials for the Carmel River Riparian Corridor,” which is incorporated as part of the District’s Regional General Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Carmel River activities. RECOMMENDATION: District staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to enter into a contract with the California Conservation Corps for help with vegetation management in the Carmel River at a cost not to exceed$8,510.

BACKGROUND:      The District plans to perform in-channel vegetation management this fall at four sites along the Carmel River.  Since 1998 the Carmel River has had relatively quiet hydrologic years, which has allowed vegetation to encroach into the channel.  As a result, there is an increased risk of streambank erosion along riverfront properties in several locations should winter flows rise above five-year return intervals (approximately 5,000 cfs).  Erosion can occur as high flows are directed away from the center of the channel by vegetation and debris dams into streambanks.

Four areas impacted by vegetation encroachment in the channel bottom are proposed for selected vegetation removal:

1.         Robles Del Rio Bridge Area: beginning at Robles Del Rio Bridge at River Mile (RM) 14.5 and extending approximately 200 feet upstream and downstream;

2.         Upstream of Boronda Road Bridge Area: two reaches beginning approximately 300 feet and 800 feet upstream of the Boronda Road Bridge, which is located at RM 12.7;

3.         West Garzas Area: beginning at approximately RM 12.3, upstream of California American Water’s West Garzas Well a large downed white alder tree is lying across the active channel;

4.         Randazzo’s Bridge Area: beginning at a private bridge known as Randazzo’s Bridge at RM 10.1 and extending approximately 200 feet upstream and downstream. A width of up to 40 feet of open channel is desired.  A total of approximately 1,050 lineal feet of stream encompassing approximately 0.36 acres in the channel bottom may be affected by the vegetation removal.

Woody species in the center of the channel, including sycamore, alder, cottonwood, and willow, will be cut by hand using chainsaws, loppers, and other hand tools.  As described in MPWMD’s “Guidelines for Vegetation Management and Removal of Deleterious Materials for the Carmel River Riparian Corridor,” a minimum of vegetation will be removed in order to maintain an open passage for flow and debris.

The District has used CCC workers on several occasions in the past when vegetation management activities scheduled for fall have been on a scale large enough that regular staff cannot reasonably remove all the debris and slash created from opening up the main channel.

IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES:          It is anticipated that a twelve-person CCC crew at a cost of $2,040 per day will be required for four days, for a total labor cost of$8,160.  District staff recommends that a contingency amount of $350 be added to allow for purchase of any needed equipment and supplies. The total not-to exceed amount for the contract would then be$8510.  Funds for this work are included in the Fiscal Year 2008-09 Budged under Project Expenditures, Item 2-1-4: “Address vegetation hazards; remove trash from channel” - \$12,000 total, Account No. 4-03-7870.40.  The staff person responsible for administration of the contract and supervision of the work is Thomas Christensen, the District’s Riparian Project Coordinator.  The District has been advised that there is a small chance that the CCC will not be available if there is a fire emergency on a large scale similar to the lighting fires that started in California in June.

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