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.
The City of Berkeley is recruiting for a new Camp Manager for Echo Lake Camp. This position was posted on Monday, October 29, and the recruitment closes on Monday, November 19 at 5:00pm. Please feel free to pass along the attached brochure and job announcement to anyone that may be interested in this position. In previous years, the Camp Manager classification has been a 75% position, and the manager worked full time for six months, and half-time for six months. Echo Lake Camp’s programs have grown, and this is a recruitment for a 100% Full Time, career, benefited position. If you have any questions or would like more information about this position, feel free to contact Craig Veramay at CVeramay@cityofberkeley.info
Additional Information about this position:
The incumbent will be responsible for the management of Berkeley’s Echo Lake Camp, located near South Lake Tahoe, CA. This position will entail working from the Berkeley Recreation Division offices in Berkeley during the months of approximately October through May, and living on site (where meals & lodging are provided in full) at Echo Lake Camp during the months of approximately June through September. The incumbent will be responsible for the year round management of Echo Lake Camp including facility operations; program management; staff recruitment, selection, training, and supervision; full-service commercial kitchen and dining hall operations; program administration, cash handling, and record keeping; and customer service.
Last April 2017, as the Berkeley City Council was getting ready to vote for or against the rebuilding of Camp, The Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp committed a $50,000 contribution from the camper community IF the Council voted YES for rebuilding Camp. City Council needs to see community fundraising when it commits to funding city projects with taxpayer money. For the past year, we have negotiated with the City staff to make sure any contributions went into a special account to be used ONLY for Tuolumne rebuilding costs and improvements, not for staff costs, general City fund costs, etc..
On July 24, 2018, FOBTC contributed a $50,000 check into a special line-item budget fund that can only be used for rebuilding costs for Camp Tuolumne, and the Council accepted this donation with a Special Resolution, making it law. We now have our path for making sure we can support the rebuilding process and accept donations from campers and make sure it will go towards Camp Tuolumne!
FOBTC is working with the project managers to be up to date with what insurance will pay to replace, what FEMA will then call FEMA approved projects they’ll cover (75%), what the City will cover, and what will potentially NOT be there. An example of this is shade – insurance and FEMA will not pay to replace the lost trees. We will need architectural shade as well as trees, and a natural replanting in main camp. FOBTC will stay on top of this developing situation and be a portal for campers who want to support having camp be comfortable and beautiful from day 1. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to meet and discuss your enthusiasm and excitement for giving, and get a detailed plan.
The current timeline is for camp to be built over 2 years (2021/2022), after design and environmental reviews (2019/2020), and be open summer 2022. Lets keep moving the ball forward to stay on this timeline and be back at the river as soon as possible!
Great news campers!
The Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp has been awarded a $20,000 grant from The University of California Chancellor’s Office for the summer of 2019!
The grant has 3 objectives:
1. Provide more Outdoor Engagement opportunities for Berkeley youth who don’t know about Camp or cannot afford to attend camp as campers.
2. Open up teen CIT opportunities to Berkeley teens who cannot afford the program to create more diversity in the staff of the future and have them come from different parts of Berkeley.
3. Fund UC Berkeley students to come to The Rim Fire Recovery Zone and area surrounding Camp Tuolumne to plant trees next March, paying for their weekend expenses and involving them in the replanting efforts with the Forest Service, and with the future of Camp Tuolumne.
How we will accomplish these objectives:
A. We will be working with Berkeley schools and City staff to promote their programs to a wider audience of Berkeley youth, and provide 100% scholarships for more youth and teens to experience a week at Camp next summer!
B. We have partnered with The California Coalition of Outdoor Engagement at UC Berkeley to bring Cal students to the Stanislaus National Forest next Spring!