South San Francisco, Ca January 30, 2020 by Jason Isberg
PREFACE: South City resident Jason Isberg has taken on the lead identifying the proposed SFO noise abatement program and offers this information as his follow-up. Please CLICK HERE to read Mr Isberg's Letter to Editor dated October 24, 2019)
Today I had the chance to meet with the SSF assistant city manager to get an update on the SFO window replacement program. A summary is below but in short, we will all be waiting quite a bit longer for any action on our windows.
SFO recently made an additional $10 million available for the noise abatement program. However, these funds are for the entire region not just for SSF. So not much money to go around. For example, in SSF there are 1,176 applications to date (720 for replacement windows and 187 for “second chance” new applicants). If you do the math that’s about $8,000 per home (if that $10 million was allocated only to SSF applicants. It is not. So, we must assume the per-home budget for SSF is much lower than $8,000). Frankly, that’s not likely going to cut it given the scope of work we are dealing with here. Also, new applications and inspections/acoustic testing are still being accepted/in-progress. Meaning the pool of applicants will only grow. The budget is not likely to grow. Not good news.
The program timing is also not encouraging. I was told that the $10 million grant is for 2019-2023. The first round of actual window replacement work is not scheduled to commence until December 2020 and only includes 40 homes. The second scheduled group of 40 homes is set to start in December 2021. So, Phase 1 is 80 homes (yes, just 80 homes) and will take 2+ years. Those of us not in this initial phase will continue to wait for several more years for any work to commence. I have expressed my frustration at this and communicated to the City Manager’s office that this is not acceptable. Many of us are experiencing real problems (leaks, dry rot, drafts, etc.) right now and can’t wait several more years to get things fixed.
So, the program timeline and budget are not really feasible. I am going to assume that this “program” is not really aimed at addressing the problem at scale, but more of a public relations budget to keep things at bay for a few more years. Only time will tell.
Christina Fernandez from the City Manager’s office has noted my concerns and will communicate them to the appropriate SFO boards and regular meetings. I also encouraged her to reach out to SFO’s noise abatement contractor Jones Payne Group to develop a working relationship with them as well. Anything to help the program along and establish a communication channel to get all of us better informed on any progress.
Ms. Fernandez will also keep in touch with me on a regular basis with updates, which I can also communicate back to the community as well.
This is the latest update. Sorry it’s not more encouraging.