Newsletter
February 2020
Kirkwood, CA

 

Featured Articles

Public Awareness Message: Electric and Propane Meters
Safety Around Buried Transformers
Community Playground Survey Results
Community Outreach Continues on the Playground
Kirkwood Community Association Donation to KVFD

Winter Update

Public Awareness Message: Electric and Propane Meters

Recent snow and rain have created snowpack on roofs and decks that can be dangerous for your electric and propane meters. On January 28th, KMPUD responded to a complaint of a power outage at a residence. A large piece of snow and ice had fallen from the roof, damaged the meter enclosure and opened the main electrical breaker. Please ensure that snow and ice is removed from decks or roofs above electric and propane meters. Heavy snow shedding from roofs can damage electric meters, propane meters and propane piping causing dangerous shorts or leaks. Excessive snow accumulation can also lead to the collapse of decks or roofs damaging utility equipment. As snow is removed, snow should be shoveled away from utility meters to avoid damage. Warm and sunny weather is expected and will cause the snowpack to shift. Please check your meters immediately and remove snow if needed.

 

Safety Around Buried Electric Transformers

Electric transformers are located throughout the valley and are used to deliver electricity to customers.  These transformers have green enclosures that sit on top of a pad mounted in the ground.  They are really visible in the summer, as shown below.


In the winter transformers get buried in snow, and because they are warm, snow caves form around the transformer that are often not visible from above.  Be on the lookout for warning signs or rope lines that indicate a transformer is buried below.  Please be aware of your surroundings and do not approach buried transformers or allow children or pets to play in the area of a buried transformer.

Community Playground Survey Results

The Playground Committee reached out to the community to understand the importance of the playground to families in Kirkwood, how the playground is used during the summer months, how often and how satisfied the community is with the playground. The committee also wanted to learn about the ages of the youth who visited the playground during the summer of 2019.  Additonally, the committee wanted to hear what playground features were most important.
On December 18 the survey was sent to over 1,000 email addresses in Kirkwood and by the time the survey closed on January 3, 2020, close to 200 responses had been received. Here is what was learned. 44% or 83 reported that they visit the playground during the summer months with close to 50% visiting five or more times over the summer. They spend thirty minutes or more at each visit. 66% of the parents watch or play with their children while at the playground. As for satisfaction with the playground, 91% are satisfied or better with the play area and 94% report that the playground is safe for their children.
The ages of the children visiting the playground during the summer are represented in the following table:

The reason that 71% or 82 of the responses do not use the playground is because they no longer have young children.  However, these individuals did complete the survey and provide their perspective on what features are of interest and made suggestions as to what could be added in a new design to make the playground more interesting.  The suggestions included a distinct focus on features for older kids such as a climbing web and some balance features.  Others suggested that a playground is not necessary in Kirkwood because the natural surroundings provide many opportunities.
The play space features that were ranked as being most important include a play structure, a swing set, a slide, a jungle gym, a seesaw and a rope climbing spider web.  There was also interest in a merry-go-round, chin up bars and spring riders.  There were several questions which were open ended and the comments and suggestions are useful for the committee as we move forward with this initiative.  Many of these comments have been published as Frequently Asked Questions which have been posted on kmpud.com.
The survey met the objectives that the committee wanted to achieve.  We learned that the playground is important to the community  and that it is used during the summer months.  Knowing the ages that visit the playground is useful in selecting the right features.  We also learned that 24% would consider a donation to the reimagined playground and another 36% responded that perhaps they might contribute.  Ten homeowners also volunteered to work with the committee and their support and help is very much appreciated!  Many thanks to those who found the time to complete the survey.  The future of the playground space is really in the hands of the entire community.
Please follow this link to view the survey results: Playground Survey Results

Community Outreach on the Playground Continues

On Saturday, January 18 several members of the Playground Committee met with a group of close to 30 homeowners and their children to review the survey results and to discuss a redesign of the playground area.  The two-hour conversation was very constructive.  We learned that smaller features constructed from natural materials were preferred.  In addition, there was strong support for the community to help with the project.  An architect was present, and she contributed substantively to the discussion.  Another volunteer offered her experience with grant writing to help fund the new features.  There was a healthy exchange of ideas.  Please look for notices about future community meetings on this initiative and joins us for the next conversation.

KCA Donation to KVFD

Each year the Kirkwood Community Association (KCA) sponsors the Annual ‘Thin Air’ Chili Cook Off, one of the longest running fundraising events in Kirkwood. Net proceeds from the 19th Annual ‘Thin Air’ Chili Cook Off, that took place over Labor Day Weekend, benefitted both the Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) and the Kirkwood Rescue Avalanche Dog Foundation. On January 17, 2020, KCA President, Bruce Gianola delivered a $4,000 donation to KVFD Chief, Rick Ansel. Thank you to everyone that attended the 19th Annual 'Thin Air' Chili Cook Off and to the KCA for this generous donation!

Winter Update

The first significant storm arrived just before Thanksgiving on November 26 and it continued snowing heavily through December 3, leaving behind 102 inches of snow. Since then the District has measured 181 inches of snowfall to date. There have been several small storms throughout the season, but we haven’t seen significant snow fall since the beginning of December. The pictures below, taken on January 27 each year, provide a visual comparison of the snow depth for the last three years