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Local officials celebrate construction of $36.5 million water treatment plant

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Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:03 am, Fri Mar 11, 2011.

Local officials gathered near Lodi Lake to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new $36.5 million water treatment plant and sip bottled Mokelumne River water.

The start of the plant comes after eight years of intense arguments about how to use water purchased from Woodbridge Irrigation at the cost of $1.2 million a year.

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  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:47 pm on Tue, Mar 15, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    There are no benefits for this unneeded water treatment plant, only financial gain and favors for the three delirious old men on council that voted to approve this issue.

  • roy bitz posted at 7:58 pm on Mon, Mar 14, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    This plant is Lodi's two hundred million dollar bridge to nowhere---that is what irks me.
    Please---someone document the cost and benefit of this project----Mr. Hansen---anyone?

  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:33 am on Mon, Mar 14, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    My focus will be directed on the bond funding. Just how much was the total of the bond funding and if there was an excess, just what that excess is earmarked for. There is no documentation of the exact amount, only that $36.5 million was transferred from the water fund and the legal city documents only say not to exceed $45 million. Why $45 million for a $28 million project? Doesn't that go right to the root of the matter? These bonds were earmarked for the water treatment plant, weren't they? That's what I find that irks me.

  • roy bitz posted at 7:27 pm on Sun, Mar 13, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    The core issues are:

    1. What will the true ---total cost of this massive project be?
    2. What are the benefits for rate payers and consumers?
    3. What are the consequences for rate payers and consumers?

    It would be good to stay focused on these three points.
    This is not a witch hunt!

  • Doug Chaney posted at 12:22 pm on Sun, Mar 13, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Again, after totaling up the costs from the signed documents by Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian, the figures total out to $28.2 million, leaving $8.3 million excess if $40 million in bonds were purchased. The documents from Lodi's archives only state an amount not to exceed $45 million, do they not? If the entire $45 million were purchased, that would leave about $16.8 in excess funds. $36.5 million was transferred from the water funds to the water treatment plant project, which would still leave $8.3 million in the water fund? That would be more than enough to cover any cost overruns or "extras" to cover the water treatment plant. Throw in the maximum of $45 million bond funds and you have $13.3 million excess. Until I can find the exact amount of bond funded and where the excess is at and going to be used for, I'll just assume that the excess amount will go to the installation of water meters, thus lowering the cost from $1200 to $300.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:45 am on Sun, Mar 13, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Roy and Jackson, the point is that I'm not able to find the actual dollar amount of bonds that were purchased for this project for this unneeded water treatment plant. The only documentation merely says they are not to exceed $45 million? The bond funds were apparently put in the water fund account and then transferred to the water treatment plant from there and I believe it was $36.5 million. Someone please tell me how much the actual bond funds were that were borrowed? As for the sub-contractor changes, I did call Sierra Eqpt. and they were notified of their bid acceptance. With Overaa having one mistake in named contractors could be a mistake, but having 2 is a bit questionable. If Sierra qas notified oficially, then there should be no sub-contractor change allowed by law, unless there was some unknown factor. I was involved in an exact situation on a job bid for TI work at the MTA building in LA and my company was told we had the complete package and were guaranteed by the general contractor that we would be low bidder. When the bid opening was done and the announcement was made, the official named the wrong company as sub, and we lost the bid for the TI work on the 17-story high rise project. The general contractor was not able to change that decision and the named contractor got the bid. The sub-contractor documents in question for the water treatment plant have most of the information redacted in black ink, making me wonder why so much info was blacked out? This whole water treatment plant AND water meter issue is just a jumbled fiasco, so poorly planned and passed without any real consideration for the taxpayers of Lodi.

  • roy bitz posted at 11:06 pm on Sat, Mar 12, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    I agree---- a project like this could easily wind up costing 10% or even 30% more than estimated. I am not concerned about a few million dollars one way or the other. I am concerned about the total cost of this massive project and the need for it.
    It is my understanding---and I sincerely hope I am wrong but::
    1. The city has already spent twelve million on plans and the raw hook up.
    2. The Mills avenue pipe will be expensive but who knows how much it will cost.
    3. I believe debt service on the bond is 2.5 mil a year for forty years
    4. The annual cost of operation will be about 2 mil a year for forty years
    5. The water will cost 1.2 mil a year for forty years
    6. Admin and management time of highly compensated city employees?
    7. Now add the 36.5 mil for construction and associated items you mention.
    This is not a 36.5 million dollar project--it is a two hundred million dollar project.

    Will it accomplish the stated objective----will it impact the 200,000 afa ground water over draft problem? No!

    I hope someone will show where I am off base, and sell me on the cost/benefit of this massive and costly project. Until then, I will view this project as Lodi's bridge to nowhere.
    By the way--if you live in town, get used to drinking heavily chlorinated expensive water while country folks continue to serve their animals, and irrigate their pastures, orchards, vineyards and wash their cars with great tasting, inexpensive, chlorine free water.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:20 pm on Sat, Mar 12, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    The amount of the bonds for this unneeded water treatment plant has been specified to be not to exceed $45 million. After researching the archives from the Oct. 6, 2010 council meeting and then the approved minutes for that meeting, I find that the documents that are supposed to show the dollar figures for the bond amount are all blank, although Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian approved those documents. After further study and finding the approved documentation, both document # 2010-173 and resolution order #LFPA 2010-01, the documentation are the same and only specify an amount not to exceed $45 million? I'm not able to find the actual amount of the bonds that were financed, but I'll be contacting council and Mr. Sandelin to get that exact figure on Monday. If my information from my last blog was pretty close, then that means Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian would have taken an excess of $13 million in extra bonds to finance the water meter program or their own pockets? I have been curious as to why there has never been an exact figure quoted on the amount of the bonds. Why even $36.5 million in the first place when the total cost of the project is just over $28 million? If $45 million in bonds were purchased, why such a gigantic amount over the project cost? It could be as much as $17 million, couldn't it? I suggest anyone that is concerned the taxpayers are getting screwed on this unneeded water treatment plant, as well as the ground contamination lawsuit that involves these same individuals forgiveness and votes to basically excuse those fully responsible for that fiasco, send an e-mail to each city councl member, city attorney, city manager and public works director, Mr. Sandelin. I will be the first to do so. It's their duty to provide the documentation and numbers to the taxpayers on the issue of this unneeded water treatment plant.

  • Jackson Scott posted at 7:21 pm on Sat, Mar 12, 2011.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 392

    Doug, here is the info you're looking for... it is clearly taken from the document link you provide at the end of your own post:

    WHEREAS, the total project estimate is $36,500,000, which includes the construction
    contract, membrane filtration system, shop tools and equipment, furniture, property acquisition,
    permit fees, construction administration services, testing and inspection contract, construction
    contingencies, and other project-associated expenses; .and
    WHEREAS, staff recommends a total project appropriation of $36,500,000 from the sale
    of the bonds approved at the October 6, 2010, Council meeting.

    I'm no expert on major commercial construction projects, but I do know that the $3.5M you're looking for is roughly 10% of the entire project, AND, when I did my simple remodel on my home I even budgeted about 10% extra. "Construction Contingencies" would be the reasonable term dont you think?

    ALSO, AM Stephen was not awarded the entire project, but it seems they will be a sub contractor. It looks like Overaa inserted the wrong company name in the space- easily to do in today's computerized world with spreadsheets, copy & paste, etc etc. You need to slow down and READ the document more carefully.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:40 pm on Fri, Mar 11, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Roy, there's also another interesting twist to this water treatment plant issue. When SJ county finished the supposedly final project on Lower Sacramento Road in Woodbridge last year from the motor home park south up to the canal bridge to the north, AM Stephens was brought in to run the partial water supply and casement piping that will supply the water treatment plant and cap it off and backfill and meet compaction requirements back to street level. and I don't recall who they actually contracted to, SJ county or the city of Lodi public works, or if it was even put out for bid at all. Now I see that AM Stephens is awarded the contract for this project? Read this document, Roy, and tell me what you think? I'll post the official city document at the end of this blog. You'll note that AM Stephens was substituted as the contractor for Sierra Equipment after Sierra was apparently notified that they had been awarded the contract by the city of Lodi. Why? I called Sierra and was told that they did have the contract and that one of the representatives from Sierra would call me back on Monday, which they never did.
    You'll note that AM Stephens was substituted as the contractor for Sierra Equipment after Sierra was apparently notified that they had been awarded the contract by the city of Lodi. Why? I called Sierra and was told that they did have the contract and that one of the representatives from Sierra would call me back on Monday, which they never did. And yet another contractor was reneged on and the reason for the change is listed in theses documents. The documents the contractor showed that he merely made a mistake listing these "errors". The contractor documents shown don't indicate that situation to me. Most of the names and bids were blacklined and I couldn't make heads nor tails of it. That's why I assume that Sierra may file a suit or a settlement could have been made with public works or council. Notice the totals listed at the end of this document. The engineers estimate was $32 million and Overaa came in a whopping nearly $10 million low? WOW! The total project costs total $28,283, 712 and $36,500,000 was transferred from the water fund from the sale of bonds. Weren't $40 million in bonds purchased for this water treatment plant? Where is the other $3.5 million? Is that extra hidden funds to pay other "indiscreet" incidentals for this plant? And how about the nearly $8.5 million left from the original $36.5 million? Wasn't that used to lower the cost of the water meters? Just what is going on hwere, Mr. Sandelin? Do you have an explanation? or does Hansen, Johnson or Katzakian? I've got more research to do in the morning. Hope this informs Lodians of what's going on with your money.

  • roy bitz posted at 2:02 pm on Fri, Mar 11, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    It would be good if the city would document the cost/benefit of this project for the citizens of Lodi. Many of the costs have been revealed on a piece meal basis but I don't think they are all available in one place. It would be interesting to see all costs added up---planning, raw hook up, other infrastructure costs, construction, the water, debt service, replacement costs, ongoing cost of operations, chemicals, replacement filters, salaries and benefits over the next forty years.
    Also please tell us how much chlorine will be added to our water supply vs how much chlorine is normally added to ground water.
    100% of the river water requires "heavy chlorination". This water will be mixed with our great tasting ground water which is treated only when bacteria levels exceed standards---rarely and minimally for short periods of time.
    Impact on ground water over charge--the over draft is 200,000 afa. This project will provide 6,000 afa if we get "every drop".
    This project was "rammed through" by three councilmen in spite of all the data showing the minimal impact it might have on ground water over draft and the massive cost to rate payers.
    Mr. Mayor---please show us the money---all the costs--- and how rate payers benefit from this massive costly project. that I call Lodi's bridge to nowhere.
    And thanks for the extra dose of chlorine.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:15 am on Fri, Mar 11, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    What an abomination for the taxpayers of Lodi! Did Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian's realtor, developer, water district and contractors provide the gold plated shovels? And which good old boy winery provided those fancy bottles of water, glass, labels and all? But for Johnson, Hansen and Katzakian and their three yes votes always repreenting their best interests only and not the citizenry, the redevelopment fees from the local greedy developers were to have paid for this project. With their three yes votes pushing this plant through years early, the Lodi taxpayers now will foot the bill for developers like Gillespie, Geweke, Katzakian, Munson, Doucette and the like. Thanks 3 amigos for lining both yours and theirs pockets courtesy of Lodi taxpayers. This water treatment plant won't be needed for years to come with this terrible economy, only benefitting pockets of those passing this unneeded project and their cohorts they are rumored to pander to. Looks like mayor Johnson forgot to invite one of the lone no voters, councilwoman and ex-Mayor Mounce? If council really wanted to address Lodi's water needs, it should require the greedy, water wasting winegrape growing associates of theirs to conserve and there would be plenty of water for all for years to come. Between depleting the water supply and letting their contaminated and polluted runoff, filled with fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, that is Lodi's biggest threat to our water supply. Out and out corruption by those same three yes voters, in my book!



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