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Fire 2003

 

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Greetings
February 20, 2003

Thanks to a very busy season, we have had a difficult time getting this newsletter prepared and published. We certainly appreciate the patience of the Owners and hope we can get caught up soon.

Fortunately we have been able to pay attention to the physical needs of the road during a rougher than normal rainy season and the road is in very good shape considering the nature of the storms we have already seen.

This newsletter will focus on Road Committee Elections and a General Overview of our long-term maintenance strategy.

Road Maintenance Overview

As we have noted previously, Road Maintenance includes two general categories of tasks:

Regular Maintenance Tasks

Regular Maintenance Tasks include the annual cleaning, grading and incidental repairs that are required as a result of the annual weather cycles and regular use by Owners. Regular tasks are highly variable as they are directly related to the kinds of weather that we experience.

Long-Term Maintenance Tasks

Long-Term Maintenance Tasks include major capital improvements and replacement of road components that wear out over time. Examples include culvert replacement, long term grade repair and general drainage system upgrades in support of compliance with California law.

This scenario is typical of all facilities and represents the fundamental problem of facility management: balancing immediate needs with long-term needs.

 

2002 Road Maintenance Highlights

 

The following Projects were completed in 2002. These projects were made possible by a surplus in resources generated by the reduced needs of the previous mild winter.

Rock Installation on Snot Hill

This project included volunteer labor and equipment provided by Art Vermonters and Dave Schaeffer. It included application of rock to approximately mile of Snot Hill. It was timed to take advantage of latent moisture in the road surface for proper adhesion and , fortunately was followed by adequate rains to stabilize the new surface.

Rock on Snot Hill is a critical component in reducing the amount of silt load generated on this stretch of road. Constant grinding during the summer on steep grades generates high levels of dust. Rock armor is the best way to stabilize a surface on a steep grade to reduce siltation and failure during storms.

The excellent performance of Two-Mile Hill is the result of a good rock base.

2002 Spring Grading

Spring grading was performed to smooth out the rough edges of winter and generated a road that was notable smooth all summer long. Spring grading is performed generally as a convenience task but it also reduces silt generation by eliminating wash-board and other irregularities in the road surface.

2002 Culvert Replacement

Replacement / repair of 10 culverts near Mile 4. Include cutoff of long outfalls, re-bedding and associated armor.

Work also include berm removal and out sloping at key areas of the subject road section.

2002 Winter Preparation

Included cleanout of all culvert catch  basins and installation of water cuts at key locations.

2002 Emergency Road Stabilization

Included emergency cleanout of blocked culverts and removal of road surface debris.

2003 Emergency Road Stabilization , Part 2

Included incidental grading repair at Snot Hill and other selected locations to stabilize surface and fill gullies created by previous storms. Performed as a joint Road Committee / volunteer project with contributions from Dave Schaeffer and Gary Martinez.

 

Resource Depletion

 

Road Maintenance Resources are generated by membership dues collection and incidental supplemental assessments for specific uses. At this time we receive no outside resources other than the occasional donation by one or more owners to support specific tasks.

Additionally, actual labor is supplied by many Owners during storms and in conjunction with specific projects. This counts as an important resources, however it does not tend to show up on the books.

In a typical weather year, current Resources allow for basic Regular Maintenance Tasks.

A typical year can also allow for minor accumulation of Resources toward emergency years and long-Term Maintenance tasks, but on a very limited basis.

When we have hard winters, our Regular Maintenance Resources can be used up entirely just to keep up with the road.

In mild years, as we have seen recently, Regular Maintenance Tasks are reduced and we are able to accumulate surplus resources unavailable for Long term projects.

Over the last three years (prior to this winter) we have had very mild winters and have scaled back the regular maintenance to appropriate levels. This allowed us to accumulate a surplus of resources to be used on Long Term Maintenance last year. We were able to replace or repair 10 of our 83 culverts and perform grading adjustments to approximately mile of the road.

This, however, is not a circumstance we can count on. This winter, for instance, has generated some notable chores on the road that will likely utilize most of our annual resource. We will have very little Resource left over for long-term upgrades and may in fact use most of the 2003 resource for the beginning of 2003 and have little left over to deal with the end of 2003.

At the same time, the performance of the road this winter has indicated that the long-term upgrades we are pursuing are just the kind of work needed to prevent the kind of damage we saw this winter: specifically the upsizing and replacement of substandard culverts in conjunction with localized grading adjustments.

This suggests a connection between the types of Long-Term Improvements we would like to pursue and a resulting reduction in Regular Maintenance costs. Of course this is also true with most facilities.

Therefore we will be recommending that the Owners consider an increase in Resources to address Long Term Maintenance via one of several means:

General Increase in Road Dues

Series of One-Time Assessments specifically focused on Maintenance Reducing Capital Improvements

Consideration of Voluntary participation by willing Owners to increase Resources for specific Long Term projects.

 

Any input on these ideas would be appreciated and will be shared with the Owners.

 

Long Term Maintenance Priorities

 

Over the last two years we have been developing a Long term Maintenance Strategy for the road that is based on the following goals:

Improved Environmental Performance of the Road based on Water Quality Issues including reduction in Load Contribution and Reduction in Drainage Failures

Improved Durability resulting in decreased Regular Maintenance Requirements

Current Long Term Maintenance plans include the following areas of focus. These areas have been identified and discussed over the last two years.

Sub-Standard Culvert Replacement

Incidental Grade Alterations

Incidental Repairs at Key Locations

Continued Rock Installation

Snot Hill Drainage and Surface Corrections

Parcel 37 Drainage Corrections (above bridge)

We have made some progress toward these goals with our own resources due to the fortunate weather patterns and responsible management of the committee over the last two years. 

Review of 2001 Culvert Replacement and Implications for Remaining Culverts

Of particular interest is the culvert replacement near Mile 4. Replacement consisted of the following components:

Increased pipe size to 18
New bed and slope to place outfalls closer to natural grade.
Armor at outfalls and catch basins
Armor at approach

The new culverts performed very well in the recent storms, indicating that the armor components and the increased size were adequate for the extreme loads. One catch basin did fill as a result of heavy flow from above.

Recommendations for Future Culvert replacement

We are recommending the following strategy for Long Term Maintenance. This strategy is little changed form our previous strategy:

Continue replacing the least serviceable culverts with a focus on all culverts 16 and smaller. There are a number of 12 culverts that did fail in this storm.
Adopt a minimum pipe size of 24 to ensure best flow on small drainage when there may not be resources available for emergency clearing.

Additionally, due to the damage from the first storm of the season, we are recommending increased emphasis on permanent upgrades to the road surface on Snot Hill. Upgrades should include the following:

Out sloping at areas of shallow grade
Inclusion of additional rolling dips at shallow grades to divert water off road
Inclusion of deeper seasonal water bars at steep areas (with resulting inconvenience for road users)
Increased thickness of surface rock at all locations
Increased ditch size and heavy armor at steeper grades

Our recommendation will include achieving an increase in total Resources so that we can replace as many as 10 culverts per year for the next 4 years. This will replace the least serviceable of all the 83 culverts serving the road and greatly reduce the risk of road loss the next time we see heavy storms following several calm years.

Road Committee Elections

2003 / 2004 Committee Elections

As all are aware, Road Committee Membership occurs in two-year terms. The term of the current Committee has lapsed and we are behind in holding elections. The current Committee has continued to serve until elections are complete. 

The following Owners have expressed interest in serving on the Committee:

Martin Dreiling, Parcel 8, 9 (current member)

Dave Schaefer, Parcel 5 (current member)

Gary Martinez, Parcel 6

Ron Stornetta, Parcel 12

Enclosed is a 2003 2004 Road Committee Ballot for use in voting for Road Committee Members. Each parcel is allowed three votes. Each parcel may vote for any combination of three candidates. A parcel may cast three separate votes for three individuals or may cast all votes for one individual, or a parcel may cast all votes for one candidate.

We have also enclosed a stamped return envelope for your convenience. You may also use this envelope for submittal of Annual Road Dues.

Note that ballots are only sent to the primary name for each parcel. If you do not find a ballot in your newsletter, contact your partners to verify that they received one.

Annual Dues

Finally, Dues. Yes it is time to pay our dues. Thanks to all Owners who have already submitted annual dues.

Enclosed is your annual dues invoice. Please remit dues as soon as possible in the enclosed envelope.

Resources

Ranch Mailbox
wranch@cssanf.com

Ranch Website
http://www.wickershamranch.com

Thanks to Tami Bobb for her efforts in sharing space on her personal ranch site for our benefit.