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PSPS events

Backup generators slated for Rancho de Calistoga mobile home park

Rancho De Calistoga mobile home park

An aerial shot of Calistoga's Rancho De Calistoga mobile home park looking west toward the Mayacamas Mountains, in 2019. The park will be getting a backup generator for PG&E's PSPS events. 

Thanks to a grant to assist cities dealing with fallout from PG&E’s PSPS events, the residents of Rancho De Calistoga will no longer be left in the dark when the rest of the city has power.

The City of Calistoga will use grant funds to purchase emergency backup generators for the roughly 120-unit mobile home park for seniors, which residents will then maintain.

Last fall, the city received a $300,000 Public Safety Power Shutoff Resiliency grant through the California Office of Emergency Services. So far $52,000 has been spent to purchase and install a back-up generator at the High Street water lift pump, and the remainder will be used to purchase the generators, the city council agreed on Tuesday.

After 15-16 weeks of order and delivery time, they should be installed by fall.

The generators will be owned by the city and leased to the park. If at any time the park no longer needs them, if for example PG&E supplies backup power to the park, the city may relocate the generators, said City Manager Mike Kirn.

Park owners have agreed to provide $68,700 in capital funding and to operate and maintain the generators through a nominal increase in the park’s private utility rates.

During previous PSPS events, PG&E has provided backup generators that power the city east of the Napa River. That scenario has left residents and businesses on the west side — including Rancho — without power during the outages.

The generators will not power the nearby Riverlea Shopping Center or neighborhood.

The council has previously discussed the challenges of the mobile home park, which has been identified by the state as a vulnerable community, said Mayor Chris Canning.

“We are excited about the all park generator coming in but hope it doesn’t deter people from evacuating when necessary. We all still have to be on our toes during fire season,” said park manager Lauren Haugen.

Previously, there were at least 40 residents in the park using home generators, a cause for concern about possible fires, exhaust and noise pollution, said City Councilmember Gary Kraus.

The two 400KW diesel generators will stand at about 16x20 feet wide, and about 12 feet tall, and will be located across the street from the park in the open grassy area. The sound level is expected to be at about 73 decibels, from 23 feet away. Sound dampening equipment will also be installed, Kirn said.

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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or csweeney@weeklycalistogan.com.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.

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