Water board approves $6.3 million in projects | TheUnion.com

Water board approves $6.3 million in projects

Two construction projects worth $6.3 million were approved by the Nevada Irrigation District directors Wednesday for improved district water flow and new customers in southern Nevada County.

The $1.3 million Rodeo Flat Pipeline and Pump Station Project was awarded unanimously to Hansen Brothers Enterprises of Grass Valley, which was about $200,000 less than NID’s engineering estimate of the cost.

“The pump station is of regional benefit,” said chief engineer Gary King. The $500,000 station will help add to NID’s infrastructure in the Combie Road area and will handle much more than the Rodeo Flat homes, he added.

The project will bring water service to 36 landowners who created the new Rodeo Flat Assessment District. It is also a part of NID’s community investment program to provide water to all district residents who want it.

The almost $5 million revised DS Canal Flume Replacement Project was awarded to T&S Construction of Sacramento. The project will replace eight historic wooden flumes with a six-foot wide pipe, and a culvert on Gracie Road.

King said the job would be complex because the pipe will span wetlands and ravines. The job will span over 21⁄2 years, he said.

T&S Construction originally quoted $4.1 million for the no-bid, design-and-build project in 2006, without the culvert. They were selected because of past flume work and special tools they had for the job, according to NID associate engineer Tonia Tabucchi Herrera.

A lawsuit filed in November by homeowners Trevor and Sue Robbins over the project is pending in Nevada County Superior Court, but negotiations are ongoing according to NID attorney Jeff Meith.

The Robbins’ home on Pinewoods Road on the edge of Nevada City has land underneath the existing flume, which they consider to be “elegant and culturally significant structures,” according to the lawsuit. The suit seeks to overturn the decision to replace the flumes citing “growth-inducing impacts … likely to stimulate urban development in this rural county.”

NID directors met in closed session about the suit Wednesday, but took no action. According to the latest entry in the suit file, the “parties are engaged in good faith settlement discussions.”

The Robbins were unavailable for comment.

Judge Thomas Anderson has also extended time in the case for lawyers to produce trial briefs for a hearing set for July 16, unless a settlement occurs.

The project was revised during the past few years, adding the Gracie Road culvert replacement. That culvert caused T&S Construction to issue a new quote of almost $5 million for the entire project, which the board approved unanimously.

With $6 million budgeted, the district still saved $1 million with the revised project, according to board President Scott Miller.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4237.

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