The Rebuilding Update from City Staff – Nov 2018
Hi dear Friends – This Thursday Nov 15th, the City staff will be giving this report to the City Council and Mayor as an update on the rebuilding of camp. We are posting it so you can get it fresh off the press, and stay on top of the process!
This is from Scott Ferris, Director of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront:
In August of 2013, the California Rim Fire destroyed Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp (BTC). The fire was declared a federal disaster, which means the Camp rebuilding qualifies for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) and the California Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES). While FEMA and CAL OES will contribute a portion of the funding, it is anticipated that the City’s insurance policy will cover a more significant portion of the rebuild costs. The estimate for the total project is approximately $60M, which includes the necessary staff, design, permitting, and construction costs. On April 4, 2017, the City Council funded the estimated City cost share of $3.3 M (which includes the City’s required FEMA grant matching funds).
In early 2017, the City completed the conceptual plan of the BTC Rebuild. This three-year process included approvals from state and federal agencies as well as input from the Berkeley community. On October 17, 2017, the City Council approved a $4.3 M design contract with the architecture firm of Siegel & Strain. Siegel & Strain’s first task was the development of an ‘As- Was plus Code’ design and cost estimate for the Camp (which shows the Camp as it existed before the Fire, plus current building code required upgrades). The subsequent ‘Basis of Design’ report establishes the City’s proposed reconstruction project, which applies both value engineering and programmatic updates to the As-Was plus Code scope of work. These two documents serve as significant milestones for ongoing insurance negotiations, as well as for the FEMA / CAL OES funding process. Monthly meetings with Insurance, FEMA, and CAL OES representatives to determine coverage and funding are ongoing. It is anticipated that construction will begin in 2020 and be completed in 2022.
In compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the City published a Notice of Intent to Adopt an Initial Study / Mitigate Negative Declaration for the BTC Project in October, 2018. Simultaneously, the City coordinated the publication of the Environmental Assessment (EA) in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) on behalf of the United States Forest Service (USFS). The public review periods for both CEQA and NEPA documents has now closed, and the City is in the process of responding to comments and finalizing these documents. It is anticipated that Council will consider adoption of the Final Initial Study / Mitigated Negative Declaration at the January 22, 2019 Council meeting.