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City of San Bruno moves to set up $70M nonprofit
January 30, 2013, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff
San Bruno is seeking input on the makeup of the nonprofit that will be created to manage the $70 million in restitution Pacific Gas and Electric agreed to pay the city for the fatal 2010 pipeline explosion.

In March, the two sides announced the $70 million payment — in response to the Sept. 9, 2010 explosion and fire that killed eight residents, injured many more, destroyed 38 homes and damaged an additional 70. San Bruno will use the funds to establish a separate nonprofit public purpose entity to manage the funds and determine how the funds can benefit the entire community. On Feb. 5, the council will hold a special study session to discuss establishing the nonprofit.

Mayor Jim Ruane said a number of meetings have already been held. This one will focus on the details like the number of members and if those members should represent certain sections of the community. What won't be discussed is how the nonprofit will spend the money, said Ruane. Instead, the conversation will allow for guidance to complete the paperwork to get the nonprofit started. The nonprofit will make decisions about the use of funds for the benefit of the entire San Bruno community. Once established, Ruane expects community meetings to be held to discuss how the money will be spent.

The settlement was made in addition to all other money committed by PG&E for replacement and repairs to the city's infrastructure and the damaged neighborhood.

In September 2011, the National Transportation and Safety Board posted its final 140-page report for the year-long investigation of the Sept. 9, 2010 explosion and fire in San Bruno. The gas-fed flames were roaring for more than 90 minutes before workers were able to manually close valves to cut off the ruptured line. While a number of families have rebuilt their homes, the work in the area is still ongoing.

On the civil side, there were 447 plaintiffs involved in lawsuits related to the 2010 explosion as of Dec. 31, according to PG&E. Three of those voluntarily dismissed their suits and 112 had settled. While opening statements had been scheduled for March, lawyers for both sides recently announced an effort to settle the suits outside of court. A main push to resolve things outside of court could be the October decision by Judge Steven Dylina that victims could seek punitive damages in the case against the utility company.

The council meets 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road.

heather@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105


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