Wednesday, August 29, 2012
 Several residents have written to say that their application was approved for the full amount (up to $2,000). So far, the projects have been structure hardening: windows, attic vents.We are anxious to learn if Fire Victims and others originally marked “ineligible” will get the same consideration.  They were told they could apply, but it’s uncertain if their applications were given the same top priority as their neighbors.

If you have received notice of your grant status, please let DVCA know (reply to this email).  The following information will be really helpful as we suggest improvements to next year’s program and beyond

1)   Were you originally listed as “eligible” on the Powerlink Grants website?

2)   If you lost your home in 2007, or were otherwise “ineligible,” were you able to get your status changed so you could apply?

3)   How much were you approved for?

4)   Did you apply for Defensible Space, Structure-Hardening, both? (Brief details of your project appreciated)?

5)   General location of your parcel (Deerhorn, Lyons, Bratton, Lawson, etc.)

6)   When during the process did you apply (early, middle, late?)

When we get this info together, we’ll get it back out to your and the community.  We will not include names, addresses, or other private info… just a summary of the kinds of projects approved, whether your parcel was originally listed as “eligible,” the amount of funding, etc.

Let’s stay connected. (-:
Posted by Kim Hamilton
For the more die-hard of you that are interested in the details (and we all should at least understand what the Fire Grant Fund is and how it is distributed):
These Grants are specifically to help private property owners with Defensible Space, and will be distributed yearly for the life of the Powerlink (58 years).  As a community, let’s try to make sure the process is transparent, fair, and follows the intention and agreements SDG&E agreed to as a condition of building the Powerlink:I have not found any information from our own Rural Fire District, who signed the Memo of Understanding with SDG&E on the Mitigation Grants.  However, the Lakeside Fire District Board said the following (my underline).

“Members of the [Lakeside] District Board may have differing points of view on the construction of the line. The Decision [to sign the MOU] is to put into place the terms and conditions of how the District and District Residents can take advantage of programs designed to assist the local residents with their defensible space issues on their own property using funds set aside for this purpose.

One of the agreements SD Rural Fire District (in charge of Deerhorn, etc.) made was to:
“Cooperate with SDG&E as the Administrator, which cooperation will include, from time to time, identifying those homeowners at highest risk of sustaining damage from an ignition related to the Sunrise Powerlink and preparation of fire hazard assessments and priorities consistent with the standards established by the CPUC, the Decision [Approval] and this MOU.”
And this is the language included is the actual Memo of Understanding signed by all parties:
“The Mitigation Trust will be established as an interest bearing fund for the benefit of those homeowners at highest risk of sustaining structural damage from an ignition related to the Sunrise Powerlink… All expenditures against the Mitigation Trust are intended to meet mitigation requirements approved by the CPUC… (Mitigation Measure F-1e)”
The Administrative Team*… will develop procedures to prequalify and maintain an active list of homeowners, groups, and organizations eligible to receive funding from the Defensible Space Grant Fund…[and], upon recommendation by the Grant Contractor, will review, verify, and approve all proposals for Defensible Space Grant Fund payments in advance of funding to ensure they meet the Defensible Space Grant Fund program objectives…

The primary responsibility of the Administrative Team will be to develop and oversee the process by which grants will be distributed to homeowners and other parties from the Defensible Space Grant Fund, provide guidance… direction, and help coordinate public outreach & education on defensible space and fire preparedness to property owners, communities, fire safe councils and other community organizations.
Signatories to Memorandum of Understanding
(Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group – SPFMG)
Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection
Bureau of Land Management- Palm Springs, South Coast, El Centro
County of San Diego
Lakeside Fire Protection Dist.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Dept.
Alpine Fire Protection Dist.
San Diego Rural Fire Protection Dist. (Covers Deerhorn Valley)
San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E)