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PG&E settlement

Santa Rosa to survey residents on spending $95 million PG&E settlement

in News
Kent Porter / Press Democrat
Kent Porter / Press Democrat

Santa Rosa city officials are working out a plan to ask fire victims and members of the public how to use the money the city received from PG&E to settle claims arising from 2017 wildfires.

The city received roughly $95 million from the utility in July and got the ball rolling earlier this month at its annual goal-setting meeting, long-delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Council assigned the initial work of preparing a plan for the funds to a council panel focused on long-term financial matters.

That panel met Thursday, assenting to a plan that will involve surveying Santa Rosa residents, specifically reaching out to residents and organizations in Coffey Park and Fountaingrove. City finance and communication staffers expect to develop those surveys and other ways of gathering input over the next few weeks before beginning to gauge community sentiment in September, said Adriane Mertens, the city’s top spokeswoman.

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Santa Rosa, Sonoma County collect more than $240 million in PG&E settlement for 2017 fires

in News/Wildfire Recovery
Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat
Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat

Santa Rosa and Sonoma County together have received about a quarter of the funds from a $1 billion deal that PG&E struck last year with local governments in Northern California to settle claims arising from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires.

Santa Rosa received just over $95 million of its $117.8 million PG&E settlement share, after more than $20 million went to attorneys fees and court costs — the cost of months of representation and negotiation from January 2019 until June, when the wildfire victims assented in a vote that paved the utility’s way out of bankruptcy.

Sonoma County officials this week confirmed receipt of about $149 million PG&E settlement funds out of its $184 million share, after legal fees and costs.

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