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Council considers project to decrease groundwater contamination
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Groundwater in downtown Turlock is contaminated, and the city is working to clean it up.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will vote an agreement between the city and a groundwater monitoring agency in a continued attempt to treat tetrachloroethylene,  a volatile organic compound, that is present in the city's groundwater near the downtown area.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people who drink water containing tetrachloroethylene in excess of the maximum contaminant level for many years could have problems with their liver and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

The City of Turlock has been treating the issue of PCE in the downtown groundwater since 1994, and officials stated that due to the work done on removing PCE contamination, the level of PCE runoff has been “slowly migrating” out of the groundwater over time.

In February 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board gave $650,000 to the City of Turlock to help treat the water. A portion of the funds were used to install “pump and treat” groundwater remediation systems, which pump out groundwater 50 feet from wells, treat it, and then send it to the sewage systems. 

Although the city is currently treating the water, it's hoping to speed up the process with the possible new agreement. If approved, the city would appropriate $172,810 to Provost and Pritchard,  a construction firm that deals directly with water treatment systems and removal of PCE.


On Tuesday the council is also expected to:

- Approve the amended Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities part-time employee wage scale for Fiscal Year 2013-14. In an attempt to slow turnover rates of employees, officials at the Parks and Recreation department are suggesting that instead of offering raises to city employees annually, that raises be offered quarterly. The current wage scale offers a 50 cent raise every year, until an employee reaches $10 per hour. Officials have stated that at the current rate, it would take five years to reach the $10 rate. Instead, they are suggesting raises every quarter, in hopes that will increase employee retention.

-Award a bid in the amount of $368,324 to George Reed Inc., of Modesto, for intersection improvements at Golden State Boulevard and Del’s Lane.

-Authorize the release of property from Police Property and Evidence for City acquisition and auction through

- Approve the donation of three police canine vehicle backseat inserts to the Lindsay (California) Department of Public Safety.

-Affirm the City Manager’s action of having mailed a letter in opposition to SB 594, which would prohibit local government organizations to take positions on ballot measures that affect their members.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.