New public hearing set on fate of old wooden flumes
The last old flumes on the D-S Canal near Nevada City have one more month before Nevada Irrigation District directors decide whether to replace them with a more efficient waterway.
Despite the character they give to people’s backyards, the flumes have no historic value, a consultant said Wednesday. Some neighbors say it would be a “travesty” to remove them, however.
A new public hearing on the flumes’ fate was tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 28 after residents in the Banner Mountain area complained that they weren’t properly notified of a meeting held Wednesday.
“The board has encouraged all staff to notify people, and it didn’t happen,” said director John Drew.
The rescheduled hearing will give people more time to review mitigation reports addressing the removal of 77 trees and environmental impacts to plants and wildlife for the construction of new waterways.
“Our goal is to get as many people to this meeting as possible. I think a lot of people aren’t aware,” said Sue Robbins, a resident who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting.
Neighbors enjoy the aesthetics of the old wooden structures at the edge of their properties.
But architects with the consulting firm Jones and Stokes, of Sacramento, reviewed the flumes built in 1928 as part of the California Environmental Quality Act process, and concluded they are not historic because many of the timbers have been replaced and modified over the years.
“I can see the character of them, but in the eyes of the law, they are not historic,” said NID project engineer Tonia Tabucchi Herrera.
The flumes are considered inefficient by NID because they restrict water flow, pose safety concerns and are expensive to maintain.
“The flumes can only allow so much water to go through,” Herrera said.
The board’s members were expected to decide whether to remove the last of NID’s wooden flumes on Wednesday. Delaying the decision 30 days could prolong the completion of the project from fall of 2009 to spring of 2010.
To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4231.
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