Consero Solutions specializes in helping local governments and non-profit organizations pursue public policy priorities through completion of projects that range from organizational improvement strategies to proposal preparation.
Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan
The Yolo Habitat Conservancy hired Consero Solutions in 2012 to improve financial management and complete the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan (Yolo HCP/NCCP). Consero Solutions helped secure $4 million in state and federal planning grants between 2012 and 2017 and led the Conservancy’s efforts to release drafts of the HCP/NCCP in 2013, 2015, and 2017. The Conservancy completed the HCP/NCCP and receive permits under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts in 2018. The final permits will result in a new program in Yolo County that streamlines permitting under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts for all four cities and the County, as well as permanently protects 32,000 acres of habitat for 12 endangered or threatened species.
Yolo County Water Resources Association Proposition 1 Storm Water Planning Grant
On behalf of the City of Davis and the County of Yolo, Consero Solutions worked with the Yolo County Water Resources Association (WRA) to recommend development of a Proposition 1 Storm Water Grant Program application that was ultimately awarded $300,000 from the State Water Resources Control Board. The purpose of this project is to facilitate the development of a Storm Water Resource Plan with the goal of alleviating countywide localized flooding, groundwater, and water quality issues through multi benefit storm water management. Completion of the plan will allow the County and its partners to access grant funds earmarked for storm water management projects.
Grasslands Regional Park Burrowing Owl Reserve Management
Consero Solutions worked with the Yolo County General Services Department to resolve issues with local stakeholders regarding the management of a 60-acre reserve for burrowing owls on Grasslands Regional Park. Consero brought together representatives from the Burrowing Owl Preservation Society, the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, the University of California at Davis, the City of Davis, and Yolo County staff to develop management recommendations acceptable to all parties. The recommendations improved existing management.
City of Davis City Hall Campus Improvement Projects
Consero Solutions worked with City of Davis staff to develop the Russell Boulevard Green Street Demonstration Project, providing assistance with preparation of a $300,283 request to the California Natural Resource Agency’s Urban Rivers Program. The Project incorporates numerous sustainable, low-impact development improvements intended to preserve watershed processes and provide multiple urban watershed benefits on the City Hall campus.
Consero Solutions also completed extensive research, drafted memos, organized meetings with local stakeholders and staff, and identified a funding opportunity through the California Energy Commissions’ Local Government Challenge Program for the ZeroNet City Hall Project. City staff used this foundation of information to submit a proposal for $1,738,273. The Project includes several sustainability improvements to each building on the City Hall campus, including envelope sealing of windows and doors, lighting improvements, HVAC system replacement, installation of a solar PV system, and commissioning of all project components to the campus' Energy Management System.
Sacramento Ride the Route
At the request of a West Sacramento City Council member, Consero Solutions helped with project management for the Ride the Route event, which was hosted in Sacramento and consisted of local citizens riding their bicycles along the proposed route of the new Downtown Sacramento street car. Our work included coordinating meetings with project sponsors and the core team, creating a route map for the event, editing marketing materials, assisting with event staffing, and providing leadership and management of event day activities.
Visit Yolo Organizational Evaluations
Consero helped Visit Yolo evaluate existing operations and identify opportunities to improve governance and management as part of its transition to a Tourism Business Improvement District. Consero’s work included a review of bylaws, internal controls, budget processes, and other important elements of day-to-day operations. Consero also provided Executive Director support services, assisted with the development of annual budgets, financial reports, and Board meeting materials as well as financial and human resources policies and procedures, and helped implement priority recommendations.
City of Davis Comprehensive Funding Plan
Consero Solutions completed two Comprehensive Funding Plans for the City of Davis, first in January 2016, then in 2018, which have resulted in the City receiving total grants of approximately $16 million between 2016-2018, including approximately $923,982 in completed grant-funded projects. The Plan includes identification of opportunities for projects proposed by the Community Development & Sustainability, Open Space, Parks & Community Services, Public Works, City Manager, and Fire departments. The 2018-2020 Plan identifies over 30 funding opportunities. Consero is now in the process of working with City staff to update the Plan to reflect new City priority projects and new funding opportunities.
Yolo Bypass Westside Tributaries Flow Monitoring Project
On behalf of Yolo County and the University of California, Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Consero Solutions completed a full proposal to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for Proposition 1 funding, resulting in an award to Yolo County of $331,148. Consero also will assist Yolo County with management of the project over the three-year grant period. The grant will result in the collection and analysis of previously uncollected data on four westside tributaries to the Yolo Bypass: Putah Creek, Cache Creek, Knights Landing Ridge Cut Canal, and Willow Slough Bypass. Ultimately, this data and the modeling it supports will be used to inform management decisions in the Yolo Bypass.
City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program Strategic Plan
Consero Solutions assisted the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program with an application to the California Arts Council for a $2,500 planning grant to fund a citywide strategic plan for Arts Alliance Davis. The grant funds capacity-building within this grass roots arts initiative, the first step toward implementation of creative collaborative programs within the Davis community. Consero Solutions also assisted with a Creative California Communities application to the California Arts Council for $136,112 to put the strategic plan into action.
I-80 Richards Boulevard Multi-Modal Interchange Improvement Project
Consero Solutions assisted the City of Davis with preparing an application to the 2018 Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) Regional Grant Program for the I-80 Richards Boulevard Multi-Modal Interchange Improvement Project. Work included convening key stakeholders, preparing and disseminating all meeting materials, securing letters of support from community partners, and reviewing and editing the application. The City received a $5 million grant from SACOG in support of this project.
City of Davis Urban Forest Management Plan and Tree Planting Project
Consero Solutions assisted the City of Davis Parks & Community Services department with preparing a concept proposal, then a full proposal, to the Cal Fire Urban Forestry program, funded by Proposition 68. Consero oversaw the entire application process by developing a timeline, convening regular meetings of the project team, preparing and disseminating all meeting materials, writing proposal narrative, assisting with the development of a project budget, and compiling and editing all application components. The City received a $514,116 grant to support the development of a new, 40-year City urban forest management plan and to plant 1000 trees with the assistance of key project partner Tree Davis.
Yolo County Rural Initiatives Program
Consero Solutions worked with Yolo County staff to develop the Yolo County Rural Initiatives Program, including evaluation of applications for funding from rural communities, collaboration with local applicants, and identification of state and federal funding opportunities to leverage General Fund resources. Consero Solutions helped Yolo County staff prioritize projects and develop recommendations for Board of Supervisors approval in 2016. As a result of this work, the Board of Supervisors approved $171,290 for eight important projects in the rural communities of Esparto, Dunnigan, Clarksburg, Knights Landing, and Madison.
Yolo County Revenue Development Strategy
In the 2016-17 Strategic Plan, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors identified as a top priority an effort to raise funds from community organizations, businesses, and individuals to help implement important County services and provide matching funds for state and federal grants. Consero Solutions researched similar programs in other cities and counties and drafted a report outlining options for developing such a program.
Solano County Affordable Housing
Consero Solutions assisted Solano County with identifying options to construct affordable housing for communities the County serves, including veterans, aging out foster youth, low-income working families, and people who are unhoused and suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, or physical disability. As part of this effort, Consero identified and evaluated funding opportunities, analyzed the 2019-20 state budget and housing trailer bills, interviewed County staff to assess the current status of affordable housing in Solano, researched best practices and consulted experts in the fields of affordable housing and homelessness, interviewed four other counties about their affordable housing efforts, and incorporated findings into a memorandum to the County Board of Supervisors outlining options for next steps.
Grasslands Regional Park Trail System
In coordination with Yolo County staff, Consero Solutions prepared and submitted a $107,083 request to the California State Parks and Recreation’s Habitat Conservation Fund for the development of a new trail system in Grasslands Regional Park. As part of this effort, Consero Solutions drafted a full proposal, collaborated with local stakeholders to obtain input on the proposed trail, and consulted with State Parks to ensure project consistency with program priorities. In June 2017, California State Parks awarded the full requested amount to Yolo County. This trail system will be the first trail at the 600-acre park and will provide an opportunity for local residents to walk in one of the last remaining undisturbed remnants of California prairie in the region. Additionally, a trail system at Grasslands Regional Park will provide the public unique access to view and experience the vernal pool and grassland prairie landscape that historically characterized much of the region.
Photo by Daniel Nylen. Property of American Rivers, Inc.®
Paradise Cut Easement Acquisition
Consero Solutions is working with American Rivers (a national nonprofit organization focused on protecting and restoring our nation’s rivers) and the San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District to manage over $2 million in for the initial phase of a multi-benefit floodplain restoration project adjacent to the San Joaquin River. In partnership with American Rivers, the Resource Conservation District secured state funding for the Paradise Cut Conservation and Flood Management Plan and the Paradise Cut Flood and Easement Acquisition project. Project management includes collaborating with American Rivers, Resource Conservation District, and Delta Conservancy staff members, assisting with contracts and budget, maintaining task completion timelines, and coordinating with subcontractors and project stakeholders.
Yolo Habitat Conservancy State Advocacy Program
On behalf of the Yolo Habitat Conservancy, Consero Solutions is working with the California Habitat Conservation Planning Coalition to pursue up to $200 million for implementation of Habitat Conservation Plans and Natural Community Conservation Plans. The Conservancy and the Coalition are also working to secure state funding through the annual budget process. The funding would assist with the implementation of HCPs and NCCPs across California.