Resilient Infrastructure

Enhance services to the community by investing in County facilities and infrastructure; including roads, buildings, communications, and flood protection.

Why is Resilient Infrastructure a Strategic Plan Pillar?

Some of Sonoma County’s existing roads, bridges, communications networks, and public buildings were not designed to modern standards capable of withstanding the impacts of fires, floods, seismic and Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events. Our aging infrastructure requires rehabilitation, replacement, and ongoing investments to enhance services to the community.

Creating resilient infrastructure is an investment in the future of Sonoma County and critical to ensuring a healthy economic foundation for the community. Through this Strategic Plan pillar,the Board of Supervisors can mobilize countywide efforts towards preparation, mitigation and prevention of community impacts caused by emergencies and natural disasters.

 

Current Resilient Infrastructure Work at the County

The Board of Supervisors has prioritized investment in roads and bridge infrastructure with ongoing funding of over $120million across the County’s 1,380 mile road network,through activities such as pavement preservation and rehabilitation (large-scale paving projects), corrective road maintenance (pot hole repair, brush cutting, etc.), bridge retrofits/replacements, and various other road safety and improvement projects.

In addition, the Board invests $5 million in annual Capital Improvement Budget funding to support over 2 million square feet of County office, detention, health, Courts-shared use, and specialty purpose facilities. Funding in recent years have focused on adding generators to Veterans buildings frequently used as shelters during disasters, and improving the resiliency of the County’s data center, communications network, and mobile systems to withstand power outages and expand remote work capabilities.

 

  • Goal 1
  • Goal 2
  • Goal 3
  • Goal 4
  • Goal 5

Resilient Infrastructure: Goal 1 

Invest in County buildings and technology solutions to enhance service delivery and improve employee mobility.

Objective 1:

Design new County Center to be carbon neutral and zero waste; and pursue carbon reduction and zero waste plans for remaining County facilities.

The New County Government Center project is integrating “triple net-zero” strategies for waste, water and energy. These design goals will be clearly specified for interested Public Private Partnership (P3) respondents. For existing buildings, the Board has approved the County’s participation in PG&E’s Sustainable Solutions Turnkey program, which will result in energy and water audits in our existing buildings. Using data from the audits, staff will bring a list of recommended improvements to the Board for consideration in 2022.

Objective 2:

Adopt design standards for County office improvement projects to maximize opportunities for telework and incorporate revised workstation space standards

New space utilization standards will be developed as a component of the new County Government Center project. Developing design standards will require the study of varied department processes and workflows to helps departments better utilize their spaces. This process will identify opportunities for efficiencies such as remote work and collaboration. General Services will develop space utilization standards in the preparatory phase of the new County Government Center, in coordination with the County Administrator and Human Resources.

Objective 3:

Develop and implement technology tools that enhance employees’ ability to work remotely and promote virtual service delivery models in order to reduce County facility space needs.

ISD is currently in the process of deploying Microsoft Office 365 for all County of Sonoma employees. Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud hosted environment that will allow employees to work collaboratively anytime, anywhere. Through the remainder of the Five-Year Strategic Plan, ISD will continue to evaluate new technologies and opportunities that enhance employees’ ability to work remotely and promote virtual service delivery models in order to reduce County facility space needs.

Objective 4:

Establish resilient neighborhood/regional and satellite service centers with access to transportation systems in West County, Cloverdale, and Sonoma Valley, as expressed in the Real Estate Master Plan, by 2023 in order to improve equitable public access to services.

This implementation plan outlines three options of satellite service centers that would provide local services to North, West, and East Sonoma County. The three options for consideration are purchasing property, leasing property, and mobile vans. General Services identifies estimated costs and timelines for each approach.

Resilient Infrastructure: Goal 2 

Invest in capital systems to ensure continuity of operations and disaster response.

Objective 1:

Strengthen critical communications infrastructure, interoperability, and information technology tools relied upon during disasters.

The implementation of this objective is divided into two areas of focus: 1) telecommunications capital assets, and 2) telecommunications and information technology tools. The implementation plan identifies numerous capital improvement projects that would improve communications towers, improve energy resiliency, replace communications equipment and upgrade the network management system. For technology tools, ISD will continue to implement projects that provide network resiliency and high availability during disasters.

Objective 2:

Invest in electric power resiliency projects at County facilities, including Veteran’s Buildings, used for evacuation sites, warming/cooling centers, or as alternate work facilities for delivery of critical services.

General Services is currently pursuing multiple electric power resiliency projects. The Energy Master Plan is a partnership with PG&E that will identify opportunities to increase clean energy use at existing facilities. The County Campus and Los Guilicos Campus Microgrid will reduce/minimize grid dependence with significantly reduced carbon impacts. The new generator installation program will ensure continued operation of critical facilities with carbon reductions. The Airport Photovoltaic Canopy project will reduce/minimize grid dependence with significantly reduced carbon impacts.

Objective 3:

Design and build a new, resilient Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The General Services Department in partnership with the Department of Emergency Management will lead design and construction of the new Emergency Coordination Center (ECC). The new name reflects an evolution in the functions that the facility will support including a greater emphasis on community and organizational coordination in response. The ECC is currently proposed as part of the new County Government Center (CGC) Public-Private-Partnership (P3) procurement project embodying a design/build/finance/operate and maintain approach.

Resilient Infrastructure: Goal 3 

Continue to invest in critical road, bridge, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure.

Objective 1:

Continue to maintain road segments, including designated turnouts where feasible, increase efforts on vegetation removal and drainage features, and improve pavement conditions in neighborhoods.

TPW will undertake a variety of projects to maintain road segments. The department will add turnouts to roads where feasible and repair pavement damage from fire debris hauling.

Objective 2:

Increase investment by 5% annually on preventive maintenance on all road infrastructure/facilities.

TPW will increase drainage improvements and vegetation removal preventative maintenance services by 5% annually by developing new partnerships, implementing new programs and undertaking additional projects. TPW will focus on improving drainage facilities and removing vegetation in road right of way. These partnerships, programs and projects include: Community partnerships and providing Job skills training for increased vegetation maintenance; Fire fuel reduction in geographically isolated areas; Fuel reduction in the right of way; Hazardous Tree Removal Program; TPW’s Vegetation removal policy; Increase culvert replacements.

Objective 3:

Invest $5 million by 2024 on new pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and adopt maintenance guidelines on roads to consider bicyclists and pedestrians.

TPW has three projects in the design process to meet the objective of investing $5 million by 2024 for new pedestrian and bicycle facilities: Arnold Drive bike lanes, Mark West Springs sidewalk, and the Crocker Road Bridge sidewalk addition. Additional projects, such as new pedestrian beacons, will be included and tracked towards this objective.

Objective 4:

Identify and retrofit bridges in County that are at high risk for damage during earthquakes.

TPW has developed a rigorous bridge program to maintain, retrofit and replace bridges. TPW has 16 active bridge replacement or retrofit projects, nine of which will include seismic improvements. TPW is committed to delivering the nine projects with seismic components in the next 5-10 years, as these are existing projects already started. The projects are in various phases such as design, right-of-way and construction.

Resilient Infrastructure: Goal 4 

Implement countywide technological solutions to promote resiliency and expand community access.

Objective 1:

Leverage funding and seek grants to expand communications infrastructure within the community to improve equitable access to broadband, wireless, and cell phone services.

The implementation of Resilient Infrastructure objectives 4.1 and 4.2 are closely related and share an implementation plan. The plan outlines methodology for staff to work with contract grant researchers and writers to track and apply for competitive broadband. Concurrently, staff is evaluating the optimal organizational structure that will facilitate receiving grant funds and maximizing opportunities for additional revenue, such as a sales tax or zone of benefit. This organization must also be able to deploy, maintain and lease last-mile broadband infrastructure to providers.

Objective 2:

Leverage existing fiber optic infrastructure and grant opportunities to expand wireless and broadband access across County.

The implementation of Resilient Infrastructure objectives 4.1 and 4.2 are closely related and share an implementation plan. The plan outlines methodology for staff to work with contract grant researchers and writers to track and apply for competitive broadband. Concurrently, staff is evaluating the optimal organizational structure that will facilitate receiving grant funds and maximizing opportunities for additional revenue, such as a sales tax or zone of benefit. This organization must also be able to deploy, maintain and lease last-mile broadband infrastructure to providers.

Resilient Infrastructure: Goal 5 

Support, fund, and expand flood protection.

Objective 1:

Develop partnerships with cities, tribal governments, and private organizations regarding flood protection and sustainability to identify gaps and address climate change impacts.

Permit Sonoma will bring together public and private organizations to discuss and explore the community’s needs for adequate flood protection measures. This type of collaboration would allow the county to receive input from multiple stakeholders, which would then be incorporated into recommendations for decision makers to select action items and prioritize further efforts to support, fund, and expand flood protection measures and policies.

Objective 2:

Implement land use planning and assessments to address flood protection, including river setbacks and riparian corridors, and make resources available for residents.

Permit Sonoma will continue to implement the existing Riparian Corridor Ordinance which requires zoning or use permits for most human activity in the currently mapped and regulated riparian corridors in the County. Currently, only larger streams are regulated – representing a fraction of the County’s total stream mileage. As part of the General Plan Update, Permit Sonoma will evaluate whether to continue or expand the existing Riparian Corridor Ordinance.

Objective 3:

Evaluate the feasibility, creation, and/or update of Flood Protection Plans and seek out financing mechanisms to establish protection zones countywide by 2026.

Sonoma County’s nine Flood Protection Zones are a means of financing the construction and maintenance of flood protection infrastructure. The residents in the Upper Russian River watershed/Alexander Valley are the only property owners who have indicated interest in pursuing self-taxation to fund flood protection projects. The County of Sonoma and local landowners are funding a study to assess governance options. This vision will help inform decisions that reduce channel instability in the Russian River.