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Sewer Issues, Renewable Energy On Angels’ Agenda

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Angels Camp, CA – Solutions for aging sewer system-related issues and renewable energy alternatives are among the city council’s agenda topics this week.

At its Tuesday meeting, staff will recommend that the city continue following guidelines set under a 1987 ordinance that calls for the city to maintain its sewer collection main lines but leave the liability for the system’s estimated 1,600 lateral lines that provide individual private connections to the residents.

According to the staff report, while more than two-thirds of the agencies researched follow this stance, almost a quarter maintain some portion of the lateral connections and some do both. With estimated replacement costs of these essential pipes running between $3,000 and $9,000 — and two-thirds of the existing connections already beyond their expected 50-year life — discussion will address possible service and replacement options. One such alternative suggests that the city take over maintenance; passing these costs along to the customers, which would additionally increase the city’s workload. Another possibility, according to the meeting documents, might be to facilitate a replacement loan program for residents.

Literally, keeping “pace” with the times, the council expects to give its consent for the city to become an associate member of the California Home Finance Authority, soon to be renamed the Golden State Finance Authority. Under the Authority’s JPA (Joint Power Agreement), property owners within the city’s jurisdiction would then be able to tap financing available through its property-assessed clean-energy (PACE) program, which champions renewable energy generation projects; energy and water efficiency improvements; and the provisioning of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Additionally, council members will likely vote to approve a contract with Joseph Colgan Corp. to provide an updated impact fee study for parks, police and fire protection as well as a new traffic study. While the city’s last fee studies report is 12 years old, best practices recommend an update every five years; the city’s most recent traffic study, completed five years ago, does not adequately address Highway 4/49 corridor development plans.

Staff Report Notes

In its report, the administrator’s office acknowledged the recent inking of an at will agreement with Altaville-Melones Fire Protection District Fire Chief John Rohrabaugh to assume a dual role as fire chief for the City of Angels Camp. Staff has also submitted the city’s 2015 Homeland Security Grant (HSG) project that includes plans to purchase mobile computer-aided dispatch software that enables a cellphone interface.

City planning also noted the receipt of a building permit application and plans for the Utica Hotel remodel along with a scheduled plan check meeting between staff and the hotel owners set for Tuesday.

Conservation efforts of those on city water seem to be keeping pace with the rest of the state. Overall, the city achieved a 25 percent standard, compared against its July 2013 benchmark.

In preparation of the city’s upcoming audit during the third week of September, auditors, in a preliminary meeting with city administrators identified corrections needed to the city’s financial statements. Among these are the need to include a value for city infrastructure, such as for constructed roads, bridges and sidewalks, which might require a consultant actuary to calculate. Staff also needs to account how it pays stipends to LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) commission members and set up  debt and repair and maintenance fund reserves for the city’s wastewater system, as required under the conditions of its USDA loan.

The meeting, which will be held at the Angels Camp Fire House (1404 Vallecito Road), opens to the public at 6 p.m., following a closed session at 5 p.m. that will include a property negotiation and performance evaluation of City Administrator Michael McHatten.