San Bernardino County Public Works director, Brendon Biggs has been a familiar face to millions of Southern California and national TV news viewers before and during storms, warning residents to prepare for floods, mudslides and debris flows and reporting on the county’s state of readiness.

The Board of Supervisors honored Biggs on Tuesday upon his retirement after 33 years with the county.

Biggs began his career with the county in 1991 as a Public Works Engineer I and consistently earned promotions until being named Public Works director in October 2020. Under his leadership, the department earned numerous national awards and completed infrastructure projects valued at more than $220 million, including Cactus Basins 4 & 5 and various road paving projects.

“Brendon Biggs provided outstanding leadership, unwavering dedication and integrity to the residents of San Bernardino County and to the County Board of Supervisors throughout his career,” a resolution unanimously approved by the board states.


Southern California Gas should not be allowed to increase the typical residential monthly natural gas bill by approximately 13.2% per month, the Board of Supervisors unanimously stated in a resolution they adopted on Tuesday at the urging of Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe.

On May 16, 2022, SoCalGas filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission requesting authority to increase its revenues by more than $4.7 billion over the next three years, which would result in the double-digit rate increase to residential consumers.

“Last year my constituents saw the cost of natural gas rise substantially, and many of them suffered through significant increases in their utility bills,” Rowe stated. “With record inflation affecting the cost of commodities, too many are being forced to choose between basic necessities or heat during the winter months. From seniors trying to live on a fixed income to younger families just trying to survive, this increase is regressive and hits the lower and middle classes the hardest. This is not the time to saddle ratepayers with even higher bills.”

The resolution also urges SoCalGas to report to the County the status of their application, why they are requesting more than $4.7 billion in revenue from customers, and when the proposed increases would go into effect.

“The board strives to create a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being, and the proposed increases go against the values and principles of the county,” Rowe stated.

Residents wishing to express their opinion on the proposal can do so online.


The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed up to $691,092 in state grant funding to the City of Victorville to assist homeless individuals residing in encampments in the Mojave Riverbed through June 30.

The source of the funding is the Encampment Resolution Funding (ERF) Program grant administered through the State of California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

A total of $624,000 will be used to provide services and supports to homeless individuals currently residing in encampments situated along the Mojave Riverbed. An amount of $67,092 will be used for cleanup and rehabilitation expenses related to former encampment sites in the Mojave Riverbed.

Approval of the recommended contract will provide services and supports to homeless individuals currently residing in encampments situated along the Mojave Riverbed, as well as the dedication of at least 26 beds at the City of Victorville’s Wellness Center Campus each night for encampment individuals through the contract term.

Individuals will be provided with a variety of services and resources to assist with obtaining stability and permanent housing, including case management, medical, mental health, and dental care coordination, and access to job training and placement, legal services, and housing navigation.

Individuals who are eligible for Medi-Cal and/or Medicare benefits will also have access to a recuperative care facility and an onsite medical clinic. Former riverbed encampment sites in which individuals were residing will be cleaned and restored to their natural state.

Victorville has contracted with two professional service organizations to operate the Wellness Center. Hope the Mission, a shelter provider that currently manages over 1,000 shelter beds throughout Southern California, is serving as the shelter operator and provides services that include client intake coordination, hygiene services, laundry, meals, security, janitorial services, and transportation. Symba Center, a Victorville-based medical service provider, is providing wraparound services including recuperative care, medical and behavioral health services, job readiness and placement, financial literacy, case management, housing navigation and substance use disorder counseling.

In conjunction with the ERF Program funding, city resources will also be used to clean up former encampment sites and restore the habitat to its natural state.

Victorville will provide monthly reports to the state detailing the number of people in Mojave Riverbed encampment sites who have been provided with services, supports, and shelter at the Wellness Center, and have exited from the shelter into safe and stable housing or other housing destinations. Approximately 100 individuals are targeted to receive services over the term of the contract.

The ERF Program was launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October 2021 to assist local jurisdictions in ensuring the wellness and safety of individuals experiencing homelessness in encampments by providing services and supports that address immediate physical and mental wellness and result in meaningful paths to obtaining safe and stable housing. The program also assists with the restoration of vacated encampment sites to their original state and intended purpose.

On December 29, 2021, the county submitted an application for the ERF Program to the state. The application identified two prioritized encampment sites, the Santa Ana Riverbed within the cities of Redlands and San Bernardino and the Mojave Riverbed in Hesperia and Victorville. These encampment areas have been identified as having posed safety, health and environmental concerns and are subject to flash flooding, extreme weather, fires, agricultural runoff, and human waste.

On February 24, 2022, Newsom announced the award of ERF to 19 communities, including San Bernardino County in the amount of $1,787,998 to expand activities that address the needs of homeless individuals, such as outreach and engagement, mainstream supportive services, and case management, with a focus on permanent housing.

On Dec. 19, the board approved a contract with SB Express One (Super 8 Motel, San Bernardino) for the provision of non-congregate shelter for homeless individuals residing in encampments in the Santa Ana Riverbed utilizing ERF Program funding.

The remaining ERF Program funds will be used to partner with the Sheriff’s Department, County Behavioral Health and County Public Works to provide the support necessary to serve homeless individuals residing in encampments within the Santa Ana Riverbed, as well as for encampment site cleanup and rehabilitation.

Existing partnerships with external outreach and shelter providers will also be utilized to ensure encampment individuals are seamlessly transitioned to interim housing, while being provided with the necessary services for stabilization.

Additional County Update News – January 25, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *