GDPUD inching closer to ALT water plant

By From page A11 | July 02, 2014

The Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant was back as the main topic last month as the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District inched closer to retrofitting the plant.

Interim General Manager George Sanders reported the plans for the plant are 100 percent complete and are being reviewed by the California Department of Public Health.

By the end of the month, the state hopes to complete the loan agreement to help finance the plant. The state has offered a loan of $8 million at zero percent interest if GDPUD puts down 20 percent of the loan in advance. Last month, the board voted to take that offer.

Sanders reported that Psomas, the engineering firm that has done all the design plans for the plant, submitted a contract revision for $80,265 to provide assistance with pre-bid and bid services related to construction of the plant. Rather than make a decision, the board decided to continue the item to the June 17 meeting.

Psomas had submitted a bid for construction management services related to the retrofit of the water treatment plant with an estimated cost of $981,000. Sanders suggested either using a combination of staff and Psomas to carry out the work or soliciting other firms for a bid, saying he thought Psomas’ bid was too high.

Director Norm Krizl suggested that Psomas didn’t make enough on the design work and was now trying to make it up on the construction management services. Members of the audience urged the board to solicit bids from firms besides Psomas to get the best price.

The board was also told that a new Proposition 218 hearing would have to be held once the plans for the plant are approved and all the financing is finalized.

On a different matter, Sanders said he was notified by counsel on June 2 to stop all water diversions along certain creeks and drainages related to post-1914 water rights per the State Water Board. Subsequently the district took action to stop those diversions.

The new irrigation season was reported as having started on May 14. However, since it took nine days to charge the system, water didn’t become available until May 23.

The issue of what happened to the general manager’s truck raised the ire of many at the board meeting. Retired GDPUD Operations Manager Steve Gau asked what happened to the truck and why it wasn’t available for Sanders’ use. The district spent a lot on gasoline and maintenance when Gary Hoffmann was using it, he claimed.

As it turned out, the truck had been in Carmel for the past month as Hoffmann couldn’t drive it back after his accident. Krizl complained that former General Manager Hank White was frequently criticized when he would drive the truck home and stop on the way to buy a carton of milk. “This needs to be resolved immediately,” he said.

Director Kathy Otermat said she intended to meet Hoffmann’s wife halfway and would drive the truck back to Georgetown.

Sanders also reported on the need to hold a hearing in regards to Proposition 4, more commonly known as the Gann Initiative. The proposition places limits on the amount of tax revenue that can be spent by all entities of government. The district is in compliance as the limit for 2014-15 is calculated to be $2.1 million. The estimated general tax revenue for 2014-15 is expected to be approximately $1.3 million, which is considerably less than the limit on government expenditures. In compliance with the law, a hearing will be held at GDPUD’s next regular board meeting on July 8.

The board discussed that five sets of minutes have not yet been approved because of mistakes.

Efforts continue to recruit a permanent general manager.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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