Wastewater plant given award at Fortuna City Council meeting; City approves contract with Ariza for new tank construction

At the Monday, Nov. 7, Fortuna City Council meeting, the Fortuna Wastewater Treatment Plant was awarded and acknowledged as "Plant of the Year" by the North Coast Section of the California Water Environment Association. The presentation was given by Hank Brenard, chief plant operator.

New employees with the City of Fortuna were introduced to the public. New hires included Dennis Betts, kennel attendant and Lenika Young, CSO dispatch.

Discussed was an identity theft prevention program, a quarterly sales and property tax update, consideration of a claim filed by Zachary Zwerdling on behalf of Karen Amsley, and approval of the Mayor's appointment of Mayor Pro Tem Ken Zanzi to serve on the League of California Cities Redwood Empire Division Legislative Committee.

The council also met to consider an Amendment of Title 17 Zoning Regulations of the Fortuna Municipal Code Regulating Emergency Homeless Shelters, and Adding Definitions for Supportive and Transitional Housing Pursuant to Fortuna Housing Element Programs and State Law Requirements; Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance 2011-694. Not fully satisfied with the report, the council referred it back to the Planning Commission with suggestions for improvement.

The council also met to authorize the city manager to enter into a construction contract with Ariza Construction, Inc., who was the lowest bidder for the construction of the Stewart Tank Relocation Project. The price tag for the new structure will amount to $3,414,000, which includes the total project bid only. The deal between the city and Ariza will seek to establish a maximum authorized contract amount (including around 12 percent contingency) of $3,825,000.

Public comments came from Anne Nicksic, who made suggestions on landscaping around the water tank, and Janelle Egger, who urged the council to consider not awarding the project because of high cost and perceived misuse of bond funding. Paul Glennie requested the council review all facts before proceeding. Lyn Marshand thanked the council and staff for attention given to the Stewart Street neighborhood during the planning of the project.

Council member Glaser moved, seconded by council member Losey, to award the contract to Ariza Construction, Inc., in the amount of $14,000 and establish a maximum contract appropriation amount (including approximately 12 percent contingency) of $3,825,000 and authorize the city manager to execute the contract and other related documents. The council approved awarding the contract to Ariza for construction of the new water tank.