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MERA Next Generation Project Update

9/16/2019

The Marin Emergency Radio Authority (MERA) has completed a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the proposed Next Generation Radio Communications System Project.

Background: The MERA radio system is vital for emergency countywide communications between police, firefighters and public works crews. The emergency communications system is a network of radio antennas and equipment linked with microwave connections. However, the combination of older equipment and recent changes to frequency requirements now requires an upgrade of the radio communications system. Funding for the system is generated by a parcel tax that was authorized by Marin County voters in 2014.

Project Update: The current system includes 15 active communications sites. The MERA Next Generation System would retain and upgrade 10 of the functioning sites, decommission five existing sites and add equipment to eight new sites, which include previously developed infrastructure not part of the MERA system.

Two proposed changes in Mill Valley include a new proposed site at the MMWD Water Tank located at Sequoia Valley Road and Edgewood Avenue, and decommissioning the site located at Mill Valley City Hall.

Additional information about the project at Sequoia Valley Road and Edgewood Avenue is available here:

Chapter 3: Project Description - Please go to page 49 for a summary of the existing conditions, and the system proposal, which includes the installation of a new, 55-foot tall monopole, new 10-foot retaining wall, and other site modifications.

Chapter 5: Site Conditions - Please go to page 299 for a summary of the site and anticipated impacts to aesthetics, cultural resources, biological resources, land use consistency, and radio frequency exposure.

Request for Comments
To ensure that the Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Next Generation project is thorough, adequate and meets the needs of all reviewing public agencies and the public at large, MERA requests comments on the adequacy of the Draft SEIR during a 45-day comment period, which closes on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 4:00 PM. Written comments may be forwarded electronically via email or mailed with a postmark on or before the closing date to:

Ernest Klock, MERA Operations Officer
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 304, San Rafael, CA 94903
email: MERA-EIR@marincounty.org

For questions about this project, please call 415-473-4368.

Additional information can be found here.

The MERA will also hold a public hearing on the Draft SEIR during the 45-day comment period. Oral and written comments on the Draft SEIR may be presented to the MERA at the hearing, which is scheduled for:

Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Marin County Board of Supervisors Chambers
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 330, San Rafael, CA

Next Generation Project Documents
A copy of the Draft SIER is on file with the Marin County Department of Public Works, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 304, San Rafael, California, and available for public review between the hours of 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of the Draft SEIR may be obtained from the Department of Public Works. In addition, a copy is available for review at the Marin County Civic Center Library, the Central Santa Rosa Library, and all branches of the Marin County library. All appendices incorporated into the Draft SEIR are also available for public review at the Marin County Department of Public Works office. A copy of the Draft SEIR and all appendices can be accessed from a link on the Marin County website

Mill Valley Water Tank MERA site aerial view.

​View of the proposed Mill Valley Water Tank MERA site from the Dipsea Trail.