Friday, September 4, is the last day to tell The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors how to spend the $149 million in Pacific Gas & Electric settlement funds.
The money is the County’s share of damages related to the October 2017 fires. The settlement came after PG&E avoided hundreds of consolidated claims filed by public entities, fire victims, and insurance companies by filing bankruptcy.
Community members are encouraged to provide input by emailing suggestions to [email protected]
Staff will then compile, summarize and share the ideas prior to the Board’s Oct. 6 meeting where a possible decision will be made about how the funds will be allocated.
The County’s calculated losses from the 2017 fires include $111.5 million in damages to roads, culverts and trees and ecosystem service losses, including watershed restoration and water quality protection. The County also has listed other costs including $26.8 million in out-of-pocket expenses, which includes staff time and labor costs to perform work related to the fire response and recovery efforts.
The Board is expected to consider making further investments as per its Recovery and Resiliency Framework adopted in December 2018. The Board also is expected to be influenced by the County’s five-year Strategic Plan priorities, which supervisors are now in the process of updating. The Board also may decide to use a portion of the settlement funds to address the County’s current $45 million budget shortfall that’s a result of revenue declines and cost increases associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.