The City of Turlock's long-awaited Harding Drain Bypass, a $14 million pipeline project which will allow Turlock to discharge treated wastewater directly to the San Joaquin River, is set to move forward on Tuesday's City Council agenda.
Currently, Turlock's wastewater first passes through the Harding Drain, a Turlock Irrigation District-owned agricultural drain which was primarily intended for managing drainage from irrigated lands and flood control. By sending wastewater directly to the San Joaquin River, Turlock will face fewer regulatory requirements, and TID will be able to more easily manage their own regulatory requirements.
The project will construct a new junction to pump treated wastewater on the corner of Prairie Flower Road and Harding Road. Flow will be pumped approximately 5.5 miles through a new, dedicated pipeline to a standpipe near South Carpenter Road, then through a levee into the San Joaquin River.
The Harding Drain Bypass will be constructed by low bidder Sierra Mountain Construction, Inc., of San Francisco. The firm's bid was nearly $1 million less than the nearest competitor, and $9 million less than the most expensive bidder.
The project will be funded with low-interest state loans dedicated to clean water development. Further environmental impact studies will be required before construction begins.
Also on Tuesday, the council is expected to:
• Authorize Turlock's participation in a regional effort to advance solar adoption by homeowners and businesses. The effort, the Southwest Solar Transformation Initiative, has received federal funding to streamline and standardize permitting, zoning, metering, and connection processes, while improving financing options for residential and commercial rooftop solar systems.
• Issue a proclamation in honor of Love Turlock, a community-wide cleanup effort scheduled for April 28.
• Issue a proclamation in honor of American Red Cross Month, March 2012.
• Appoint members to the Community Development Block Grant selection committee.
• Hear a presentation on the Choose Civility program from Tom Changnon, Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools.
• Submit an application for two CalTrans Planning Grants, for a bicycle master plan and for planning an eastside expressway.
• Approve a $10,755 bid to replace Turlock City Hall's second-floor carpeting with tile.
• Finalize an adjustment to the procedure for new city projects. Now, minor contracts below $45,000 may be signed without a formal bid process; formerly, the cutoff was $30,000.
• Accept an annual report on the implementation of the City of Turlock's General Plan.
• Receive an update on the Turlock City Arts Commission, which has struggled to make quorum to hold meetings in recent months.
• Support state assembly bill 1585, which would allow cities to retain funding for low-income housing which was previously held by their redevelopment agencies. Those agencies were shutdown statewide following 2011 budget negotiations and a December 2011 State Supreme Court ruling. Council will also receive a legislative update.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.