City Council discussed the following agenda during their February 2nd meeting:
Consider approval to negotiate a contract with Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. and Enprotec / Hibbs & Todd, Inc. for the Direct Potable Reuse Project ‐ (Presentation by Water Utilities Director Bill Riley)Less than two months ago Council approved a water rate increase that would produce capital needed to develop future water projects. It seems Water Utilities Director Bill Riley, Executive Director Public Works Ricky Dickson and City Manager Daniel Valenzuela forgot Council's direction during the water rate discussion to not target $136 million in capital funding to any specific project. Council voted in the rate increase on 12-15-15
Thus the three showed up determined to push reclaiming the city's sewer water and treating it to a condition that would allow it to be consumed. The video is a fascinating watch and somewhat reminiscent of former Water Chief Will Wilde's "management of the former Water Advisory Board. What choice does a board have when staff present only one option.
Twists and turns in the discussion include Riley's speaking to the inoperable Lake Spence pipeline publicly for the first time, Ricky Dickson's forceful statement's that sewer reclamation is the only viable project, Water Advisory Board member Chuck Brown's testimony as to a number of other options, Former City Councilman and WAB member Kendall Hirschfeld's stating staff provided the board one option and former City Manager Stephen Brown advising staff to be thorough, honest and transparent. The meeting even had family intrigue as Stephen Brown is Chuck's father.
Council directed staff to work with the Water Advisory Board to bring back prioritized options with both capital and operating costs. The Board last met on 10-27-15. We'll see if staff listened to Council this time.