Union City signs onto developing local hazard mitigation plan with Newark, Fremont

UNION CITY, Calif. — Union City is signing onto work with the other cities and agencies in the Tri-City area to plan for future floods, earthquakes and other hazards.

On Tuesday night, the Union City City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with the Union Sanitary District, Alameda County Water District, and cities of Newark and Fremont to develop a local hazard mitigation plan to serve the Tri-City area.

“The recent events that occurred, especially with the winter storms, really highlighted the need for us to revisit our local hazard mitigation plan,” Deputy City Manager Jennifer Phan said. “Items such as making sure we have generators, etc., those things — having that in place — are at the top of their mind going into this process.”

Federal law requires state and local governments to have local hazard mitigation plans in place to receive funding to respond to disasters. Those plans need to be updated every five years. Union City worked with Newark, the Union Sanitary District and the Alameda County Water District to develop its most recent plan in 2017.

The city of Union City began working on the update process again in May 2021 but decided to include Fremont because of the overlap in services — the water and sanitary districts both serve all three cities.

“I’m just happy to see we included Fremont this time,” Councilmember Jaime Patino said, “considering we’re the Tri-Cities and we have the Union Sanitary District and Alameda County Water District — should be all integrated.”

The city of Fremont is taking the lead and is currently negotiating with emergency and disaster planning consultant Foster Morrison on behalf of all the agencies.

Each agency is expected to pay a share of the costs of developing the plan based on their size. Union City is expected to contribute $32,401.72 in staff time, while Newark is expected to contribute $16,644.72, Fremont is expected to contribute $95,183.88, the water district is expected to contribute $50,600.96 and the sanitary district is expected to contribute $55,168.72.

The cities and agencies expect to adopt the plan, which must be approved by the state Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in December.

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