City contracts with former Congressman Doolittle

By: Cheri March
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Colfax City Council members approved a consulting agreement with former U.S. Representative John Doolittle on Wednesday evening. Council members hope Doolittle can use his experience to obtain federal grants to help Colfax fulfill wastewater treatment plant improvements, including a $2.5 million project to line the plant’s Pond 3. The improvement was originally mandated by the Regional Water Quality Board in 2001. It became the focus of a settlement agreement with Allen and Nancy Edwards, who sued Colfax over the release of polluted sewage into the creek that flows through their property. “It is critically important that we have somebody (familiar with) Washington pushing for grants,” said City Manager Bruce Kranz. “I think there’s an opportunity to get a significant amount of funding.” For his services, the council agreed to pay Doolittle an amount not to exceed $30,000. Also on Wednesday, the council authorized city engineer Ponticello Enterprises to perform inflow and infiltration flow monitoring between October and next June at a cost of up to $25,000, which will come from the city’s sewer fund. The goal is to test the effectiveness of a sewer system management plan approved July 28 as a requirement of both the State Water Resources Control Board and the Edwards settlement agreement. The plan aims to reduce I&I from approximately 1,400 gallons per capital per day (gpcd) to 275 gpcd during a 10-year, 36-hour storm. “This is a measurement to check and see how successful we’ve been,” said Mayor Josh Alpine. “We are in the midst of a $3 million job to replace pipes in the city, and this is a way to test whether we’ve made a dent.” Money will be used to install flow meters in manholes, monitor and retrieve data from the meters and submit a report to the SWRCB.