D3 Newsletter - 1/20/22

January 20, 2022                                                                                       


I would like to express my deep appreciation for our County staff who are working overtime to deal with significant staffing shortages due to Covid outbreaks. 

To our community, thank you for your patience.  This too shall pass, but in the meantime, our staff is doing an amazing job to overcome this present challenge.


There has been a lot of speculation and confusion about Pioneer Community Energy.  Here are my notes from the virtual meeting on January 12.  Full information can be found on their website, but I offer these insights with the hope that they may be helpful to you in making the choice that is right for you.

Pioneer Community Energy Website

  • Enrollment into Pioneer Community Energy began January 1, 2022.  Customers are automatically enrolled per the Legislature who determined that all customers would be enrolled in a CCA (Community Choice Aggegrate) upon launch.  You can "opt out" and go back to PGE at any time.
  • Pioneer is community owned, not-for-profit with no shareholders or investors. Their service area includes Placer County, Colfax, Loomis, Placerville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Roseville, Auburn and El Dorado County.
  • Enrollment began in January with 160,000 customers.  
  • Pioneer purchases power and will provide customer service regarding utility rates.  PG&E will still maintain the transmission lines as well as provide customer service during power outages. Even if you are in Pioneer, PG&E will be responsible for customer billing.
  • Most customers will experience a discount of at least 6%  from PG&E's generation rate.
  • PG&E is scheduled for a 7% increase in generation and a 12.6% increase in transmission and delivery.  (PG&E will charge a surcharge of 2.9 cents for those who leave PG&E ). 
  • Customers can choose a Pioneer Green option that adds a .01 to support the development of green energy if that is important to you.  This is totally optional.
  • If you have a medical baseline, reach out to Pioneer…your savings will be more.  You will be allowed double the hours to help support your medical equipment.
  • SOLAR CUSTOMERS:  Is it still a good deal?  It depends on your system.  Right now, there are over 30,000 solar customers.
  • Solar Customers need to look for your tru-up date.  Your particular auto-enrollment date into Pioneer is 60 days out from your tru-up date.  
  • Pioneer's true-up is monthly.  PG&E's is annual. With Pioneer, there will not be one large bill.  Pioneer rolls credit forward, bills overages monthly. Choose what works best for you.
  • If you generate more than you use…Pioneer will give you ½ cent more than PGE pays. 
  • Bottom line:  There are lots of factors with how this works with solar.  Give Pioneer a call to see if it is a good choice for you...916.758-8969. 
  • If turning off the power would save us from the Camp Fire, we all would agree…turn it off!  That said, Pioneer has been strong in advocating for better metrics for determining PSPS events.
  • Pioneer has contracts with EID, Placer Water Agency, and supports local water generation.
  • The Pioneer Board is comprised of our local electeds which are not compensated, and there is value in having a local board that knows the community.

Pioneer Community Energy made it clear that the good folks repairing our transmission lines with PG&E are critically important.  Value them!!!  That said, PG&E rates are determined in San Franscisco and are beholden to shareholders. Pioneer is answerable to Placer and El Dorado County residents, and Pioneer's board has made it a priority to have stable and competitive rates.

All PG&E discount programs apply to a Pioneer customer per state regulation, and any rate plan you have now, Pioneer will mirror so it stays intact.

Pioneer is happy to do an individual analysis for customers to see if Pioneer is the right choice for you.  There have been a few instances where they recommended customers stay with PG&E (not many though), but Pioneer’s goal is to help you make the best decision for you.  Call 916.758-8969. 

Email:  customerservice@pioneercommunityenergy.ca.gov



Work continues on the south side of the Pondorado undercrossing.

I would like to thank Caltrans for their quick response.  Following our harsh snow event, I drove the project and noticed the lines going onto the bridge deck were unclear.  Within a few days of notifying the project manager of my concerns, Caltrans repainted the striping and added reflectors to more clearly delineate the traveling lanes...thank you!

As far as a project update, here is where they are per Caltrans Public Information Officer, Steve Nelson.  Please note that while their timeline still states that the undercrossing is planned to be open to traffic in August, I continue to stay engaged in this project, along with DOT and EDC Transportation Commission staff, pressing upon Caltrans how CRITICAL it is to have this access open before Harvest Season 2022!...

"Although weather has delayed progress on the $53.6 million U.S. Highway 50 Camino Safety Project, a milestone was reached this week.  

The contractor, Security Paving, completed stage 2 of the concrete deck pour on the south side of the Pondorado Undercrossing on Wednesday, Jan. 12. The deck will settle for about two weeks before a final pour to connect the two stages. The north side of the bridge deck was completed last fall.

 The abutments on the south side of the bridge still need to be backfilled and retaining walls on the east and west ends need to be constructed.  Temporary striping and markers were put down to delineate the lanes better.

 The final pipe section for the new El Dorado Irrigation District water line, referred to as EDM1, arrived on site Wednesday. Pressure testing and decontamination testing will be conducting, and if the pipe passes testing the final tie-in will be scheduled for the week of Jan. 24.

 Work on the second line, EDM2, is ongoing.

 This safety project consists of installing a continuous 56-inch high concrete median barrier on a three-mile stretch of Highway 50 from Still Meadows Road to upper Carson Road that will restrict left-turn movements at all at-grade intersections. The undercrossing is being built to provide access north and south of the highway.

A wildlife undercrossing was constructed in September of last year as another safety improvement to reduce animal collisions through the corridor.

Construction started in July 2020. The undercrossing is expected to be open to traffic in August, and full project completion is expected by the end of 2022. Caltrans is partnering with the El Dorado County Department of Transportation on the project, with the county providing $7.3 million in funding for local road improvements."

Project Website




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It is my pleasure to introduce PATRICK KLEIN as my latest appointment to the Diamond Springs/El Dorado Advisory Committee.  

While currently serving as the Development Director of the El Dorado Community Health Center, Patrick brings a wealth of knowledge with over 25 years of project management, his latest project being their new facility on Missouri Flat Road. Patrick is also certified in a number of emergency response planning skills.

As to why he sought the appointment, Patrick writes...

"I enjoy the lifestyle available in El Dorado County and I am committed to helping those in need. I would like to be part of the process that ensures the best possible growth in our community is sought to balance both the needs of the population, and to safeguard the lifestyle of our community. I have lived in small/rural California communities most of my life and feel they offer the best opportunity to balance a great quality of life and provide positive support of the community through contemporary growth."

I am excited to have Patrick on the District 3 team, and I appreciate Committee Chair, Randy Pesses, recently giving Patrick a solid introduction to the committee as well as the issues currently in the DS/ED community.




On January 4, 2022, with a 3/2 vote, the BOS directed staff to discontinue the pursuit of the Homekey Round 2 NOFA application for the purchase of the Best Western Inn in Pollock Pines; and focus efforts on the Strategic Plan.

I was one of the dissenting votes along with Supervisor Hidahl.  Speaking for myself, it is not often that you get to "test drive" a project before you implement it.  Project Roomkey has been in operation at this site since April 2020.  Project Roomkey was established as part of California's response to the pandemic, using state and federal funding for non-congregate shelter for unhoused residents who are 60 years or older, with preexisting health conditions that put them at risk of serious illness.

What is remarkable to me is the success that this program has seen at this site.  Since opening, 183 seniors have been served, including 22 veterans.  Most remarkable, 70% of those served have now exited homelessness.  What more could we ask for in terms of success?! Additionally, before Redistricting, this property was in my district and during Project Roomkey's tenure, my office received NO complaints regarding this program at this site.

The BOS had previously directed staff to go after a Homekey grant that would purchase this site and continue the operation of transitional housing for vulnerable seniors and veterans.   I supported this direction as we had a successful program and the property owners also supported continuing this venture. On January 4th, however, an agenda item was brought forward to discontinue this pursuit and three of my colleagues agreed.

Personally I feel this is a missed opportunity.  We need to start building a network of different solutions across our county to address homelessness as there will never be a one-size-fits-all answer, nor should any one district bear the brunt for the entire county.  This was a step in the right direction with a model that had proven success...that's my two cents worth.





is not inevitable. 


It is up to us

to create it."