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Sonora Council Sends Letter To PG&E, Approves Chamber Contract

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Sonora, CA — The Sonora City Council sent a letter to PG&E in support of the company potentially putting 2,100 miles of powerlines underground, by the year 2026, in the state.

PG&E has been seeking the state’s permission to move the project forward.

City Administrator Melissa Eads commented at last night’s meeting, “As I’ve heard from many in the community, we have been impacted by either the PSPS, the Public Safety Power Shutoffs, or the Enhanced Powerline Safety Setting shutoffs. Those impacts are taking a toll, with concerns for public safety, our 911 dispatch and communication, as well as the impacts on residences and business owners.

The city leaders argued that they want to help work with PG&E to bring more projects to the local community, and reduce fire risks, and in turn, potentially reduce fire insurance costs.

In an unrelated item, the council hired the Sonora Chamber of Commerce to put on at least five community events throughout the year, including the downtown Christmas Parade (held the Friday after Thanksgiving). The contract will pay the chamber $50,000. In addition, the chamber will take over the operations of the Sonora Opera Hall and split the revenue it receives for renting it out with the city. Council member Andy Merrill called it an “ideal contract” as it reduces the burden on in-house city staff and added, “you don’t get more local than the Sonora Chamber of Commerce.”

Both items were approved 4-0 (Mayor Mark Plummer was absent).

Also, the council approved the closure of Bradford Street, between Washington to Green Streets, during the Second Saturday Art Nights over the next year, and to allow consumption of beer and wine. The closure hours will be 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm on the second Saturdays of the upcoming months. It was at the request of the Sonora Brewing Company which is hoping to attract more people to the downtown district during those events.