Policy Update | Updates on Streetcar, Convention Center Expansion, and More

April was a busy month for policy and we’ve got a few updates to share on SMUD’s proposed rate adjustments, the Sacramento Convention Center expansion and the Downtown / Riverfront Streetcar in this month’s Policy Corner!

Downtown / Riverfront Streetcar Update

May marks a significant point in the progress on the Downtown / Riverfront Streetcar project.  Ballots are expected to go out in late May / early June for the vote on the Community Facilities District for the streetcar project. The CFD is composed of approximately 360 large non-residential commercial parcels located within three blocks of the streetcar line. Property owners will return their ballots by June 20th, 2017 and this critical vote will determine whether the project is able to move forward. This CFD will contribute $2 million to the operations and maintenance costs of the streetcar, with a total streetcar O&M budget of $5.1 million annually.

The Downtown / Riverfront Streetcar circulator will provide a crucial element to create a livable, active urban core by connecting major destinations between West Sacramento and Sacramento’s downtown and midtown districts. Reducing traffic congestion and the need for additional parking facilities, the streetcar project is also anticipated to spur further economic development and remove barriers to recreational opportunities.

For more information visit http://www.riverfrontstreetcar.com or call 916.808.2996.


SMUD Proposed Rate Adjustments

Sacramento Municipal Utility District recently released their 2017 Chief Executive Officer & General Manager’s Report, which outlined several proposed rate changes for 2018 and 2019. Residential customer would see a 1.5% rate increase in 2018 – this includes the System Infrastructure Fixed Charge. Non-residential customers would see a 1% rate increase in both 2018 and 2019. The reasoning behind these rate increases involves putting additional funding towards upgrades to SMUD’s system to provide customers with a modern energy grid that can successfully integrate more distributed and renewable energy sources and meet evolving customer needs. The increase will also be used to improve the technology and tools that SMUD customers use to monitor and manage their energy use.

While dependent on the amount of electricity used per month, the average customer using 750 kWh per month would see an impact of an additional $1.62 on their monthly bill. Additional changes in the 2017 rate proposal include a new time-based rate called the residential Time-of-Day (5 – 8 p.m. Peak) rate. For more details and answers to your questions, attend SMUD’s public workshop, held on May 11th at 6 p.m. at the SMUD Customer Service Center (Rubicon Room, 6301 S Street, Sacramento) or visit smud.org/RateInfo.


Sacramento Convention Center Expansion Update

Following a series of five stakeholder meetings coordinated by Mayor Steinberg over the past two months, the Convention Center Expansion item is ready to return to council on the evening of May 23rd. While the conversation and recommendation for the council meeting is still being crafted by a team of architectural consultants and city staff, there are three clear expectations and outcomes that have been set for the item by Mayor Steinberg:

  1. A clear decision on a first class, quality expansion and improvement of the convention center.
  2. A plan that builds at least one new hotel as a direct result of the SCC expansion with a plan for additional hotels in the future.
  3. Enough money left over from the initial $170 million dollar budget to create a ‘Destination Sacramento’ Fund, with a focus on investing in new TOT revenue generators like the Riverfront in Old Sacramento.

We will continue to monitor this item as it moves towards council and will keep readers up to date on outcomes following the meeting in late May.