The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is asking the public to voice their opinions on what to do with funds from a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) following the October 2017 fires.
While the supervisors will be discussing the allocation of the $149.3 million at their meeting this Tuesday, Aug. 11, they will also be directing county staff to accept email input from constituents until Sept. 4. According to a press release from the county, the input will then be compiled, summarized and shared.
“In determining allocations for the PG&E settlement funds, the Board of Supervisors is expected to consider making further investments in recovery and resiliency as guided by the Recovery and Resiliency Framework vision that the board adopted in December 2018,” said Paul Gullixson, county communications manager, in a press release. “The board also is expected to be influenced by the county’s five-year Strategic Plan priorities, which supervisors are now in the process of updating. As discussed during the July 27-28 Budget Workshops, the board also may decide to use a portion of the settlement funds to address the county’s current $45 million budget shortfall that’s a result of revenue declines and cost increases associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.”
The county of Sonoma’s awarded $149.3 million was part of a larger claim from eight public entities that were collectively awarded $415 from the lawsuit. According to the press release, the county lost approximately $111.5 million in damages to roads, culverts, trees and ecosystem services as a result of the 2017 fires. It also listed $26.8 million in out-of-pocket expenses relates to fire response and recovery.
People wanting to provide input on the use of the funds can do so by emailing PGECommunityInput@sonoma-county.org.