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NEW UPDATE: The County of San Mateo is now offering MATCHING INCENTIVES to PG&Es upgrade packages.  This means that you can receive from $2,000 up to $8,000 in incentives for your Energy Upgrade project! This matching rebates amount will last until the end of 2011 or until funds run out.  Visit http://www.energyupgradeca.org and call a participating contractor to get started on your upgrade and ensure you receive the additional funds!

San Mateo County is part of new statewide program that offers rebate money to county residents that retrofit their homes with energy efficient functions.  The program, Energy Upgrade California, is a one-stop-shop for home improvement projects that lower energy use, conserve water and natural resources, and make the home healthier and more comfortable.

The program  guides you through the energy-efficiency upgrade process by:

  • Selecting an incentive package that suits your home’s needs
  • Finding a participating contractor to do the work
  • Applying for financing to help pay for your upgrade
Rebate amounts vary depending on each home efficiency improvement project, but ranges between $1000-$4000.  The rebates come in two package types: Basic and Advanced.
  • Basic Upgrade ($1,000): The Basic Upgrade Package is designed to help save energy and keep your home comfortable.  Most of your home’s energy loss happens due to leaks and insufficient insulation.  In the winter, warm air escapes through your attic and old ducts.  In the summer, hot sun bakes the shell of your house and creates an oven inside, making your air conditioning work harder than it should.  The Basic Upgrade Package is an easy way to take care of those problems and improve your home’s comfort and efficiency by at least 10%.  This will involve:
    • Air sealing
    • Attic insulation
    • Duct sealing
    • Hot water pipe insulation, where accessible
    • Thermostatic shut-off valve
    • Combustion appliance safety testing including installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor
    • Recommended: Low flow shower-head
  • Advanced Upgrade ($1,500-$4,000): The Advanced Upgrade Package is an energy efficiency solution customized for your home and and your needs that may include such items as energy-efficient windows, wall insulation, duct replacement, heating and cooling systems, and high efficiency water heating systems.  The Advanced Upgrade Package begins with an Energy Assessment to help optimizes the energy savings you can achieve and rewards you accordingly—the more energy you save, the higher your incentive.  Potential energy savings are between 15% and 40%.
Energy Upgrade California connects you with local contractors to help plan and complete your upgrade.  On the Energy Upgrade website is a comprehensive list of all the participating contractors who serve residents in San Mateo County.
This program currently is only offered to single-family homeowners (subject to change) and residents within the PG&E territory.  For additional information, be sure to check out the Energy Upgrade website.
Check out  these helpful videos to learn more:
Also, be sure to like Energy Upgrade California in San Mateo County Facebook page for updates about the program.
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The Recommended Budget reduces spending by $129 million from the current year and eliminates 208 positions. Although painful, the reductions are necessary due to declining revenues from local taxes, the State and other sources.

 

“This budget strives to balance the needs of the community with the reality that sacrifices must be made to align our spending with our resources,” Boesch said. “What is significant is that we have asked our employees to work with us to achieve our goal and they have done so.”

The Recommended Budget would authorize 5,271 positions, down 9.8 percent or 573 from the 2008-09 fiscal year. Approximately 65 of the 208 positions recommended for elimination are filled. To minimize layoffs, the County is using early retirement and voluntary separation incentives to reduce staff and is working to move employees into vacant positions.

To balance the budget, Boesch recommends reducing programs and services by $29 million and using $47.5 million in General Fund reserves and $5.5 million in Proposition 172 (public safety sales tax) funds.

The Recommended Budget is the fourth installment in the five-year plan designed to restore a structural balance by FY 2012-13. That means the County will then spend within its means without drawing down reserves. Boesch cautioned that if the County does not stay on track to reduce spending, the County would continue to use reserves and virtually run out of all reserves in 2015.

The Board of Supervisors began four days of public hearings on the Recommended Budget starting Monday, June 20. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2011.

To help close the gap between expenditures and revenues, the County has over the past year made significant progress. The County has:

– In partnership with labor organizations reduced labor costs by $13 million annually by freezing salaries, instituting new retirement tiers and increasing the amount of contributions to benefits, among other steps.

– Developed new service models that have consolidated departments, as in Public Works absorbing Parks, and partnered with cities to share public safety and other services to operate more efficiently.

– Eliminated vacant positions to minimize layoffs and reduce the budget by millions.

-Instituted numerous cost-savings programs to reduce operating expenses while protecting services, improved management of facilities and fleet vehicles and cut down on energy and paper.

The Recommended Budget can be found online at http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/budget

Hikers are invited to this month’s Take A Hike event at Edgewood Park

Pro football great Roger Craig will lead a 2.5-mile run this Saturday, June 18, at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve as part of the monthly Take A Hike series of free, guided tours of county parks.

For those who enjoy a more leisurely pace, hikers can chose from a 1.6-mile or 2.6-mile guided hikes.

What:
Take A Hike San Mateo County

Three options:
2.5 mile run with former San Francisco 49er Roger Craig
1.6 mile hike with rangers and docents
2.6 mile hike with rangers and docents

When:
Saturday, June 18 at 9 a.m.

Where:
Main entrance of Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve, located on Edgewood Road approximately a half-mile east of Interstate 280.

Parking is limited, so please consider carpooling. For driving directions and a park map, visit http://www.SMCoParks.org

Take A Hike is sponsored by San Mateo County Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson and County Parks. The goal is to bring together people to enjoy the outdoors, learn about a park’s history and have some fun exercise.

Rangers and docents will accompany hikers and will provide information about the 10 rare or endangered plant species and the efforts to reintroduce the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly to the park. Craig, a Super Bowl champion with the 49ers and a former National Football League Most Valuable Player, will lead the run.

Long pants, closed-toe shoes and a hat are advised for hikers. Sunscreen and a water bottle are always recommended. Hikers should meet at the newly opened Bill and Jean Lane Education Center at the Park’s main entrance.

The first 100 hikers who log at least three Take A Hike hikes and attend the September 24 hike at San Pedro Valley Park will receive a pedometer. Hike logs will be available June 18.

Are you prepared for a natural disaster?

The 7th annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day is set for 10am-2pm, Saturday, June 11, at the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 S. Delaware Street, San Mateo. The date coincides with the first day of the 2011 San Mateo County Fair, and anyone arriving before 11am, will receive free parking AND free admission that day to the county fair.

Bring your family and learn about how to prepare and plan for a large-scale regional emergency, then enjoy the food, fun, games and rides at the 2011 San Mateo County Fair.

When: Tonight, May 24, 2011, 6:00pm-8:00pm

Where: Burlingame High School, Gymnasium, 1 Mangini Way, Burlingame, 94010

Reception immediately to follow, light refreshments will be served.

Take A Hike encourages you to discover a County Park one Saturday each month. Participants learn about local parks and are encouraged to use the trails to stay active and healthy. This year’s schedule features one park that was not included in prior seasons.

Hikes begin at 9 a.m. and are between one to three miles long. Plan to spend at least 45 minutes for this activity. Rangers and volunteers lead the hikes and provide information about park history and the local habitat. Bring water, dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes. We supply the beauty and fresh air courtesy our San Mateo County parks.

Most hikes begin at the park’s main parking lot. Check back here for detailed information about the hike approximately three weeks prior.

Schedule

June 18 Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve – directions
July 9 Huddart Park – directions
August 13 Pillar Point Bluff – directions
September 24 San Pedro Valley Park – directions
October 29 Coyote Point Recreation Area – directions
November 25 Pick A Park, Take A Hike

Rewards for Hikers

New This Year: We want to reward participants who join us for at least three hikes this season. The first 100 hikers who attend the September 24 hike at San Pedro Valley Park and submit a log showing at least three hikes will receive a Take A Hike pedometer. Download the 2011 Take A Hike Participant Log.

More Info

For additional information about Take A Hike, please call (650) 599-1009.

Check out this video from the May 14 Hike at Junipero Serra Park to see what Take a Hike is all about!

The second hike on the 2011 Take A Hike schedule brings visitors to Junipero Serra Park in San Bruno.  There is a lot to enjoy in this 106-acre park which features meadows and hills and extraordinary vistas of the San Francisco Bay. Families will appreciate the trails, views of the activity at San Francisco International Airport and the two playgrounds.  One features a double 54-foot-long slide.

San Mateo County Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson, Take A Hike champion, and San Mateo County Park rangers will lead this month’s hike which begins at 9 a.m. The route is a moderate 2-mile distance that will expose hikers to the park’s diverse habitats, from stands of coast live oak and buckeye toMontereypine and California laurel.

Long pants, closed-toe shoes and a hat are advised.  Sunscreen and a water bottle are always recommended.  Hikers should proceed through the park entrance and follow signs to the parking area near the Iris Point Youth Camp site. For driving directions and a park map, visit http://www.SMCoParks.org

This season, the first 100 hikers who log at least three hikes and attend the September 24 hike at San Pedro Valley Park will receive a pedometer. Hike logs will be available May 14.