Fortuna council rejects claim filed by PG&E; city, company working to resolve issue

The Fortuna City Council recently rejected a claim filed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company seeking reimbursement for damage to a gas line.

City Manager Regan Candelario said the claim was sent to the Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund for review.

"We're going through the normal process of determining whether it was the city's fault or not," Candelario said. "If it's unclear it was the city's fault, the claim goes to the insurance company for review. If it's clearly our fault, we take care of it."

According to the claim, PG&E is requesting just under $3,000 for repair costs after a backhoe hit the line at South Third and Spring streets.

"According to our records and information to date, we have determined that these damages were the result of the City of Fortuna's negligence, and as such, we are seeking to recover the damages caused to PG&E," the claim states.

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said the company will work with Fortuna to resolve the issue. Moreno added that it is important to use the "Call Before You Dig" program before doing construction work.

"This program encourages contractors and residents to call at least two working days before digging to mark lines," he said. "It's also recommended that you hand dig within 12 inches of those marked lines and don't use machinery."