2016-17 Annual Report

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Overview:  For over 18 years the Central Valley Rails to Trails Foundation has remained true to their conviction for converting unused rail corridors into community trails for non-motorized recreation and alternative commuting.

The Foundations primary focus has been to work with Union Pacific for release of the Central California Traction Company corridor (CCT) to the Foundation for conversion of the unused 27 ½ mile corridor into a community trail for non-motorized recreation and alternative commuting, including safe routes for cyclists. Pedestrians and equestrians.  This corridor begins at Elder Creek Rd. in Sacramento County ending at Woodbridge Rd. in San Joaquin County.  The corridor meanders through the small communities of Vintage Park, Sheldon, Wilton, Herald and Acampo.

Financial Report:                          

Income……………$     1,000.00   

Expenses…………$        754.67

Net Income……… $     1,000.00

Available Balance..$   14,852.55

Board of Directors:  On August 26, 2016, the Board of Directors amended the CVRTF By-Laws to accommodate the reduction in size of the Board.  The annual Board of Directors and Community meeting was changed from July each year to January.  On January 19, 2016, the Board of Directors remained and voted to keep the members of the Board as it was in 2015.  Patricia Baker (President), Nancy Myers (Vice President), Ellen Carlson (Secretary), Charlotte Fernandez (Treasurer), Robert Hunter, DVM (Board Member), and Kathleen (Kathy) Sepp Jacobson (Board Member).

Communications:  Throughout the year, the Foundation maintains a web site (www.cvrtf.org).  This site is used to publish current information or any updates that CVRTF has received from the California High Speed Rail Authority and other updates such as the reduction of community activities in which CVRTF was visibly a successful participant and because of the reduced number of Board Members there was also a reduction of activities in which CVRTF would suspend their participation in future fundraising events.

Community Participation:  In 1998, it was noted by a local community member that the Central California Traction Corridor had not been in use.  In 2000, the Foundation was organized and approved as a Non-Profit Foundation.  CVRTF invited the local communities of Vintage Park, Sheldon, Wilton, Herald and Acampo to participate in public meetings and discussions with officials and other agencies to come up with a plan to approach Union Pacific with a proposal to purchase the CCTC rails to trails property.

A survey was sent to the land owners owning property along a ¼ mile distance on either side of the corridor. The results showed widespread support for the trail project.

Earlier in 2008, Union Pacific gave CVRTF the green light to submit an appraisal for sale of the corridor to CVRTF.  The Trust for Public Land offered to help raise the $30,000 the Foundation needed to conduct an appraisal of the 27 ½ mile corridor.

On August 8, 2008, the Foundation was advised that UP had pulled the property off the table and there was no longer a possibility of acquiring the corridor. The appraisal project was cancelled. At the same time, the High Speed Rail Authority announced the CCT Corridor would be their backup line for the Sacramento to Stockton segment.

Annual Meeting:  Community Briefing on High Speed Rail.  CVRTF now holds their Annual Board of Directors and Community meetings each January.  This year 2017, the Annual Meeting was held in Sheldon, CA.  The community was invited to attend and hear a briefing on Hight Speed Rail.  There was a small turnout where the local residents expressed their views and inquired as to the local impact of the potential highspeed rail along the CCT rail corridor.

Ms. Annie Parker, Information Director from the Northern California Regional High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA), was the guest speaker.  Ms. Parker briefed those in attendance on the statewide project, as well as the plans that could impact the CCT corridor.

Ms. Parker indicated that the upcoming release of the State Rail Plan, Cal Trans is looking at all railroad service in California.  The plan will contain information about this corridor.  The plan will be released in 2018, but has been under development for about three years.  She reiterated points made by Lisa Marie Alley, Chief Director of the HSRA at the annual meeting held in Lodi, January 2016, regarding High Speed Rail’s desire to stay on existing rail routes, which would exclude the Central California Traction Company Rail Corridor (CCTC).  Certain requirements of the project, such as trip time, speed and straightness of the line seem to preclude the CCTC requirements of the project, such as trip time, speed and straightness of the line seem to preclude the CCTC from being an alternative option.  Because environmental analyses were performed several years ago, they will need to be performed again before route decisions can be made.  This decision will include recommendations for a preliminary preferred alternative route, which will most likely not be the CCTC.

At the January 2017, annual meeting Ms. Parker reported that there is no new news for this section of the project since they are legislatively mandated to complete Phase 1, which is the San Francisco to Los Angeles corridor.  The Sacramento area is part of Phase 2 which includes the sections (Merced to Sacramento).  She recently relayed a reminder to CVRTF that HSR has still not made any decisions on alignments for Phase 2 sections since their environmental documentation was released in 2009 and 2010.

Sponsored Events:  There were no sponsored events this year or last year.

What the Future Holds for Central Valley Rails to Trails:  Again, to all our supporters and community members because of the uncertainty with regard to CCTC’s availability for development of a trail has caused the Foundation to downsize, while remaining firmly committed to the trail’s future development the Board will continue to meet annually until an affirmative response from Union Pacific is received.