Toot, Toot, Chuga-Chuga. Elvis has left the building.
At the April 6th Los Osos CSD meeting, the Board voted to give a contract to Ripley Pacific Company to prepare the Wastewater Project Update report. The contract amount is a not-to-exceed $513,400 and will take approximately 17 weeks to complete. According to the Agenda, “The fee is allocated by task, which allows the Board to assess the relative cost of key activities and prioritizes funding accordingly. . . . site selection activities will be completed within 5 weeks of the Notice to proceed . . . environmental review [will begin] early in the process. . . . [review of on-site technologies] will be performed by Ensitu Engineering as part of a District-wide Septic System management Program.”
In addition, the report will focus on “an integrated approach to effluent disposal and treatment with the goal of maximizing the sustainability of the community’s water supply. The goal of achieving 100 percent reuse of the effluent will be pursued to the maximum extent practicable and economically feasible." . . .”an analysis and comparison of the configuration, feasibility, and cost of various types, systems and methods of wastewater collection including . . . Gravity collection and pumping . . . utilizing the 100% design drawings and cost estimates prepared by MWH [the Tri W project] . . . Septic Tank Effluent Pump (STEP) and Septic Tank Effluent Gravity (STEG) collections systems . . . “
Further, “The life cycle cost analysis will include capital, operation, maintenance and replacement costs through the life expectancy of the system . . . Project costs shall address items that were previously deferred [in the Tri W plan] including sludge management processes. “
In addition, “The Ripley team will work closely with the district’s claims experts and financial consultants to prepare a comprehensive project cost analysis that includes the budget for the selected project, sunk project costs, budgets for claim resolution, land purchases or sales, and a budget for potential litigation.” And, interestingly, “The cost estimates prepared in Task 9 will be subjected to independent review by a construction firm with the relevant background and experience, under a contract direct with the CSD or alternatively by subcontract to Ripley Pacific.”
And, in Task 11, an interesting addition: the Phased approach, to see if there would be a benefit in constructing any wastewater project in stages, i.e. identifying the most seriously impacted areas and getting them on line first, followed by less critical areas.
Furthermore, there were some Board comments that I found most interesting: If the Tri W project were brought before the State Water Board and the Regional Water Quality control Board today, it wouldn’t meet the new requirements regarding sustainability and water reuse. Irony? Indeed. Since the new rules are now in place, whatever results from the project update and new project will meet those new standards. More irony.
The whole agenda item will hopefully be posted on the CSD’s website so anyone can read it in full. There was discussion about funding, and it sounded like the CSD will be rattling the various CSD’s coin jars (various applicable accounts) to get some from this fund, some from that and look into borrowing the rest, part of which would be put into an escrow account, so should something ”untoward happen,” Ripley Pacific would be paid for work done to that point.
So, there it is. Toot, toot, chugga-chugga, the Project Update train has left the station. What the “boxcars” will look like when it pulls into view again remains to be seen. Glimpses of the shape of things will be presented to the public as the various “tasks” are completed. Whatever is finalized will meet all the new state requirements and standards, including, if a SRF loan is in the mix, the requirement for a Prop 218-type assessment vote. Plus, happily, the project’s price tag won’t play hide-the-salami with “deferred” costs, as the Tri W project did, so the $64,000 Question I’m sure the whole community is just waiting to get a gander at will be the long-term, no-deferred costs, all-inclusive, O,M & R, final, bottom-line, out of pocket price tag.
So, stay tuned.