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School District to Receive Payout for Pipeline Explosion, PG&E Says

After saying it had no record of the San Bruno Park School District's claim following the fire, PG&E promised this week it would follow through with the compensation.

PG&E said this week that it would follow through with its promise to compensate the San Bruno Park School District for the 2010 pipeline explosion.

The school district submitted a claim to PG&E shortly after the fire and followed up with another request in January 2011 after not hearing back from the company. PG&E still didn't respond until ABC 7 News contacted the company this week about a story about the .

"We never received the claim from the school district," said Brittany Chord, a PG&E spokeswoman. "But once we heard about it, we called them and took immediate action and made the payment."

The school district was seeking $34,495 to compensate staff for extra time spent responding to matters resulting from the fire, just like the city was doing, said Superintendent David Hutt. PG&E has since for the city with a cap of $50 million to help with the city's rebuilding efforts. The company and the city also recently to help with the city's recovery.

While the school district's request is finally being honored, Hutt said he was disappointed that it took so long and that PG&E allegedly lost the school district's claim.

"I'm disappointed in terms of the inaction on their part to 2,600 kids," Hutt said. "To me, that's something that needs to be addressed. PG&E has a level of responsibility to the families that send their kids to schools in the district."

ABC 7 also reported that the funds from the city's $70 million settlement couldn't be used to help the district, which is looking at possibly closing a school because of declining enrollment and inadequate state funding.

City Manager Connie Jackson said nothing has been decided yet about how the settlement money will be spent. In the meantime, the city is working on setting up a nonprofit agency to handle the distribution of the money.

The only limitation so far is that the funds can't be used to fix budget issues, whether with the city or the school district, Jackson said.

"We anticipate that it will be nine to 12 months before the not-for-profit entity is established and we're prepared to begin the decision-making process," she said.

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Jessica Evans April 05, 2012 at 08:24 PM
The $70 million - which was given to the entire community (as opposed to the City or School District) may be used in a whole bunch of different ways - including addressing budget issues, improving schools, etc. However, nothing is going to happen with the money until there's a non-profit to oversee it... which is going to take 9-12 months to set up. In the meantime, the school district needs the money now, so it's got to come from a different pot of money. It may sound bureaucratic, but it's the most responsible way of handling such a large sum.
Alan Lubke April 05, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Martin, please print a copy of the agreement between the City and PG&E on your site or tell me where on-line I can read it. Alan Lubke, April 5, 2012.
Martin Ricard April 06, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Alan, I haven't seen a copy of the agreement online. I'll try to track it down and post it on the site. Thanks.
Chuck Zelnik April 06, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Since the city is wanting to raise our sewer and water rates, why not use the money to fix the sewer and water system. By resident not having to go through a rate increase will save San Bruno family money. We will have a better system and will not see a rate increase in the near future.
watchfultaxpayer October 15, 2012 at 05:25 AM
In addition to easing the burden of the rate increases, I would like to see the giant potholes and general deterioration of our neighborhood streets addressed. It is appalling to view ones street from google earth and realize they look so...neglected...which they are. And Hutt's statement, "I'm disappointed in terms of the inaction on their part to 2600 kids,Hutt said. To me that's something that needs to be addressed. PG&E has a level of responsibility to the families that send their kids to school in the district." Can anyone explain to me if/how this is a reasonable statement??? PG&E did not get our school district in such a financial quagmire. Hasn't Hutt done that as Superintendent??? PG&E is responsible for the explosion, much damage, loss of lives and far more heartbreak that any town filled with families should have to endure. They did not wreck our school district.

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