Council to consider $2m in upgrades to water system

Hollister council members will consider Tuesday appropriating $2 million for design work and upgrades related to the city’s water system.

Other items on the agenda include an item relating to the city’s joint management agreement with San Juan Bautista and San Benito County, renewal of a 10-year landfill permit and two items regarding Hollister Animal Control.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 375 Fifth Street.

Well upgrades
Council members could approve an appropriation of up to $2 million for design work and upgrades related to the city’s water system.

If approved, the appropriation would go towards upgrading Wells #4 and #5 to connect to the West Hills Treatment Facility. The staff report says improvements are necessary to take advantage of the water produced at the treatment facility, as well as resolve an issue in the city’s system regarding hexavalent chromium 6.

According to the staff report, a new state requirement requires chromium 6 levels less than 10 parts per billion. Current well levels swing between 10 parts per billion and 17 parts per billion, according to comments made at the Dec. 19, 2016 meeting during a report on the West Hills Treatment Facility.

Chromium 6 is a naturally-occurring element in water and the city has until 2020 to come into compliance. The West Hills Treatment Facility is expected to start producing water for distribution later this year.

While it’s anticipated the design work for Well #5 improvements could also be used at Well #4, the city would need to construct a new pipeline from Nash Road to the well site on South Street.

Staff recommends council members approve an appropriation in amount not to exceed two million.

Construction is estimated to be completed prior to June 30 2017, the staff report reads.

Joint waste agreement
Council members will consider continuing the city’s participation in the a joint franchise agreement relating to waste management.

The San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Regional Agency is made up of Hollister, San Juan Bautista and San Benito County. The joint powers authority was established in 1995 to “cost effectively coordinate all integrated waste management programs within the guidelines imposed by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CalRecycle),” the staff report reads.

The agency approved the current joint franchise agreement with Recology for an eight-year term that lasted from Nov. 20, 2007 to June 30, 2015. A three-year extension from June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2018 was approved in Sept. 2014.

Council members could choose one of two options at Tuesday’s meeting:

Continue the City of Hollister’s participation in the joint powers authority and the subsequent participation in the Request for Proposal process. Directly negotiate with Recology for an extension of the current agreement exclusive of San Juan Bautista and San Benito County. According to the staff report, financial impact is unknown at this time.

Landfill permit
Council members could consider approving an agreement that would assist in renewing a 10-year landfill permit.

If approved, the city would enter into a professional services agreement with Crawford Consultants to assist staff with renewing the permit from the State Department of Toxics Control. Crawford Consultants would conduct required geotechnical and hydrological studies.

According to the staff report, the city owns and is responsible for a closed Class 1 Hazardous Materials Landfill. All past permitting and management of the landfill was handled by both the City of Hollister and San Benito County. The county recently canceled their agreement.

City staff have a deadline to renew the permit by Jan. 19.

Financial impact is noted in the staff report as a decrease in Fund 101 of up to $13,000.

Animal care fund
An item on the consent agenda could set up a living trust for the care and feeding of animals housed at the local shelter.

If adopted, council members would accept a $375,000 donation from the Helen M. Ross Living Trust. Adoption of the item would also authorize the creation of a Helen M. Ross Fund.

According to the staff report, Helen M. Ross volunteered at the animal shelter for over 13 years.

“She was constantly at the shelter, tirelessly helping the shelter run as efficiently as possible,” the staff report reads. “Helping animals was an essential part of Helen… Sadly, Helen M. Ross died in 2015 but she wanted to continue giving to the animals of our community and wanted to continue to advocate for the shelter staff and animals.”
Ross created a living trust exclusively for the animal shelter or its successors-in-interest.

A check has been delivered to the city in the amount of $375,000, the report says.
Staff is recommending three things:

Council members accept the donation.

Create the Helen M. Ross Fund #506 in the city’s finance department to account for the fund.

Accept Ross’ wishes for the money to avoid being lumped into the general fund or used to replace future expenditures by the city in the animal control budget.

Animal control truck
Council members could consider a consent agenda item that would appropriate $35,000 for the purchase of a replacement truck for Hollister Animal Control.

The current 1998 Dodge truck has ongoing transmission issues, among other things, according to the staff report. Staff intends to continue to use the existing animal control box from the aging truck.

“Staff has priced the cost of a new state bid 4X4 truck that will fit the existing box, the cost of removing the existing box from the old truck, installing the box on the new truck, installing graphics and emergency equipment and radios on the new truck at approximately $35,000,” the staff report reads.

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