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Calaveras Seeking Public Input To Prioritize Road Repair Projects

2019 May 9
by Jim

With the disbanding of the Diamond XX Road Committee, our direct involvement with the County is more important than ever. Please communicate with Public Works and our Supervisor, Dennis Mills, about any road issues in the Diamond XX.

Hopefully many of us can be at these meetings (we are CSA4, meeting date TBD). Each of us is paying hundreds of dollars a year on top of our property taxes to maintain our roads, and this fund is managed (?) by the county, so our voice is critical as they prioritize recovering from this wet winter.

Surprise Ribbon Cutting for Stagecoach Bridge

2019 February 12
by Jim

This was a message from Public Works:

“We have scheduled the Stagecoach Bridge Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Thursday, February 21st at 2:30pm. We will do the necessary messaging and outreach to the key stakeholders and the media.”

Aren’t Diamond XX property owners “stakeholders” since their funds have helped build this bridge? Diamond XX owners have put in a lot of time, attending meetings and voting on the Stagecoach bridge project for over 10 years. I wonder how we could have possibly been over-looked?

In any case, be at the bridge on Thursday at 2:30 if you want to get in on the celebration. It truly is awesome to have this bridge in place at last and watch the torrent flow beneath as you drive over. Here’s the news article from

News article from

Stagecoach Bridge is now OPEN!

2018 December 22
tags: ,
by Jim

Great news – no more wet crossing! Many thanks to the DiamondXX Road Committee & Calaveras Public Works for getting this funded and built. Here’s the press release from Public Works:

Construction Complete on Stagecoach Road Bridge Project, CopperopolisCalaveras County Public Works Department is proud…

Posted by Calaveras County Public Works Department on Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 December 5
by Road Committee

Road Committee Retirement
To our friends and neighbors in the Diamond XX, we have served on the Diamond XX Road Committee (also known as the County Service Area #4 Advisory Committee) for about twelve years now and we have decided to retire. Our appointment to the committee expires at the end of this month and we will not reapply.

We suggest that any road concerns you have be directed to the CSA liaison in Public Works, Jacob Lile – 209.754.6401 – . If you email Public Works, please copy our County Supervisor Dennis Mills – .

We thank Dennis for his commitment to improving our roads and always being available for advise and counsel.

Jeane Kennedy & Bob Toynbee

More Progress on the Stagecoach Bridge

2018 November 25
by Jim

Looks like we just need the guardrails poured!

Stagecoach Bridge

2018 October 28
by Road Committee

The Road Committee drove out to check on the progress of the Stagecoach Bridge. Looks like its keeping to schedule. We should be driving on it before too long – maybe a Christmas present! 

Rainwater Catchment Rebate – we qualify!

2018 September 21
by Jim
Our neighbor Carolyn sent me this:
The Copperopolis area has the opportunity to receive a rebate for installed rainwater catchment systems through the Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District.

One inch of rain on 1,000 square feet of roof can generate up to 600 gallons of water. Encouraging responsible rainwater collection is conducive to Tuolumne County RCD’s core goal of enabling water savings and promoting watershed health throughout the region.

Systems with a capacity greater than 165 gallons will be rebated $0.30 per gallon. Systems with a capacity of 165 gallons or less, using rain barrels, will be rebated $1.00 per gallon. Rebates will be calculated based on system storage capacity according to submitted receipts.

Homeowners within the T-Stan IRWMA boundary (all of Tuolumne County, and up to  Hwy 4 in Calaveras County), who install working rainwater catchment systems may be reimbursed for a portion of their costs at a rate of 30 cents per gallon of their tank capacity. Engineering of the system is free. They will come out, look at your site and figure out all materials needed.
If you are interested in hearing a short presentation at my house, Saturday, September 29 at 11:00am, please IM me or send an email to

Stagecoach Bridge Project

2018 July 7
by Road Committee



In case of emergency, this leg of Stagecoach should only be used as an alternate way out by pickups, SUVs or 4 wheel drive vehicles. The bottom of the creek is now too steep to accommodate most cars and would be a real issue for vehicles with trailers. Because we are in the midst of fire season, your evacuation plan should use an alternate route.

You Road Committee has contacted Copper Fire Dept. to make sure they are aware of this road closure.

Site update – email notification changes

2018 April 5
by Jim

Hi neighbors,

I’m changing the way the site announces new articles. You may receive a validation email that asks if you want to be on the announcement list. If you are already on it, you will NOT receive anything, so don’t worry. I will be discontinuing the old way of notifying, so if you are reading this on the site and never seem to receive any emails, you can manually sign up to the Announcements List right on the sidebar over here ——————–>



Unpatched Roads and the Leaky Bucket

2018 March 26
by Jim

At the last Road Committee meeting, Bob Toynbee and Jeane Kennedy took us through some depressing facts. The good news is we have $364,684 in our CSA4 “bucket” – the money we have all paid in through our annual property tax CSA4 fees. The bad news is that the County is pulling money out for a variety of fees that are not providing evident value to us, and that look a lot like things that should be paid out of the general tax revenue. The leaks in the bucket include:

  • $1,050 for “A87 Fees”
  • $312 for “Assessment Handling”
  • $1,713 for Public Works activities including “complaint handling”

So our bucket of funds is leaking. The other depressing fact is that the amount of our funds used to patch, repair, and improve our roads in 2017 – $0. The only reason our bucket is so full is that it’s been near $0 for several years running. So our money is being whittled away on administrating a lot of… nothing.

Supervisor Dennis Mills was present, and put some of this in context:

  • The county has been dealing with the aftermath of the Butte Fire, which has diverted a lot of Public Works’ attention. This may be mitigated somewhat going forward, as the county has established that the Office of Emergency Services (“OE” or somesuch) should be attending to the Butte Fire, and Public Works should be freed up to focus on the normal needs of the county.
  • Right now DiamondXX is prohibited from using 3rd party contractors to work on our roads. This is to protect the union workers from losing out on work (that isn’t getting done?). The supervisors could change this if they had the political will/backing to do so.
  • Even though the OE should be taking some of the burden off of Public Works, the backlog of deferred maintenance and projects will take a long time to work through.

Supervisor Mills said that emails from us are effective in helping Public Works to prioritize our needs. In short, what we need to push for is:

  • Establishing a near-term plan to bring our roads back into good repair, so that we don’t have even more and more costly damage.
  • Developing a strategic plan for our roads to improve them over time.
  • Establishing a way so that we can employ contractors when it makes sense to keep our roads in good repair and get ahead of critical issues.

What you can do:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, you should get a little bit ticked off, in my opinion. Our community has done everything asked of us – we have each been paying hundreds of dollars annually into the fund, our Road Committee has been working tirelessly to help the county to get work done (even driving all 18 miles of road with a GPS clicker to map each and every pothole), and many of us have been attending meetings to voice our concerns.
  2. Now that you are worked up, fire up your email program and write a NICE letter to Dennis Mills, our County Supervisor, and Tim Lutz, our new County Administrative Officer. Let them know how you are personally impacted – you may be vulnerable to being stranded in a storm or fire, or your vehicles may be banged up, or your home values diminished. And let them know what is most important to you in terms of what needs to change.
  3. Be sure you and your neighbors in the DiamondXX are in the loop on Road Committee meetings. Look for the signs by the entrances leading up to meetings, and put your email in the Announcement List box to the right (over here ——————->)

Drive safe – these are the only roads and bodies we get!