In the News

More Money For Desal?
Gary Patton, KUSP

Monday, February 21, 2011 – The City of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District are planning to develop a desalination plant. The environmental impacts, and the costs, are both likely to be great. If you would like to express your own opinion, you will have an opportunity to do that tomorrow, at a meeting of the Santa Cruz City Council. Item #10 on the Council’s “Consent Agenda” is a proposal to amend the current contract that the City has with its desalination consultants, increasing the contract amount by $580,000, bringing the grand total of expenses under the contract to almost $1.5 million dollars. This does not include the cost of environmental review, which is additional. I’ve placed links to both the staff report and the actual contract amendment in the transcript of today’s Report. Critics believe that there are less costly and less environmentally damaging ways to address water supply issues. Since the City will soon be doing a complete new Urban Water Management Plan, critics say that the City should suspend further spending on desal, until after that longer range plan has been prepared, and has been subjected to public review, and then has been adopted by the Council. To speak to this item, you’ll have to be there at 3:00 o’clock tomorrow afternoon, and ask that the item be taken off the Consent Agenda. Otherwise, this expenditure will be approved without any discussion by the Council.

For KUSP, this is Gary Patton.
More Information:
Gary Patton writes a daily blog, “Two Worlds / 365” – www.gapatton.net
City Council Agenda - http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=18589  
Staff Report, Agenda Item #10 - http://64.175.136.240/sirepub/cache/2/0oyttuuu1thrrln1y14nwuqz/264455702192011082213909.PDF 
Actual Contract Amendment - http://64.175.136.240/sirepub/cache/2/0oyttuuu1thrrln1y14nwuqz/264455802192011082854612.PDF

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