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Water agency pump station slated for May 1 dedication

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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May 1 is the target date for dedication of the new Placer County Water Agency pump station. The pump station, part of a $75 million project that includes restoration of the American River channel through the Auburn dam site, has passed through a rigorous testing period, said water agency Director of Strategic Affairs Einar Maisch. The May 1 dedication, which would also have a component marking the completion of public access facilities near the river, would provide an opportunity for the public to commemorate completion of the work, Maisch said. With minor work at the pumping plant still ongoing, attention has turned to efforts in Washington, D.C. to obtain congressional approval for turning the station's equipment over to the agency. The equipment currently belongs to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which contracted for the work and owns the Auburn dam site. Maisch said the bill passed the House and a Senate committee. The pump station itself is doing just fine, Maisch said. Jeff McCracken, spokesman for the bureau, said details for the dedication ceremony are still in the planning stages. One of the possible dignitaries at the event could be bureau Commissioner Robert Johnson. An actual opening date for allowing the public access to the river through a new Maidu Drive entrance is targeted for the spring but with the question of funding state Parks Department employees to work at the site, discussions are ongoing. We're still working in cooperation with state parks and hopeful we can come to a fair resolution, McCracken said. Water started flowing in the American River channel last Sept. 4 following closure of a half-mile-long diversion tunnel. The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.