The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] – Volume 22, Number 48
Solvang adds multi-year renovation projects to sewer master plan
By Caleb Wiseblood
Over the next two decades, the town of Solvang predicts that it will spend more than $10 million to upgrade its sewer system.
The estimate was included in the city’s sewer master plan update, which until recently had not been changed since the late 1980s. Solvang Utilities director Jose Acosta said requested approval of the proposed update at the City Council meeting. January 24 meeting.
“Most of the city’s sewer collection and infrastructure was built between the 1950s and 1970s by the Solvang Municipal Improvement District,” Acosta said at the meeting. “The town of Solvang was incorporated in 1985, and the first and only SMP [Sewer Master Plan] was prepared soon after in 1988.
Water systems consultancy, a San Luis Obispo-based company, was selected by the Solvang City Council to conduct an assessment of the city’s wastewater collection system, including lift stations, pipelines and forcemains. Acosta summarized the company’s findings and recommendations during its report.
The company determined that about 20 pipe segments in the city “exceed capacity criteria,” Acosta said. The updated master plan includes two pipeline replacement options for city council to consider, as well as some recommended upgrades to the city’s pump stations.
Overall, the new plan includes 14 proposed projects, some of which are expected to last one to five years, while others could take 11 to 20 years. The total estimated cost of all projects is $10.4 million.
After Acosta’s report, Pro Tem Mayor Mark Infanti called the update well done and extremely comprehensive, but raised a concern.
“Should we do a new study every five years? asked Infanti, who said he wanted to make sure a reassessment policy was included in the update, to avoid waiting another three decades to revise the plan. “We’re not just going to let it sit on the shelf again?”
Acosta called the new plan a living document and said it was meant to be continually revised every few years.
Infanti also expressed concern about future developments in the city and how those developments would impact the projected goals included in the sewer master plan.
“It’s always a concern when new construction comes to town, when contractors don’t consider water and sewer,” Acosta said. “But I think this plan takes into consideration and shows that we are sufficiently able to cope with future growth.
“We’ll just have to continue to monitor the speed of growth and readjust the plan and modify it accordingly,” Acosta continued. “We’ll keep an eye on that.”
In a 5-0 vote, city council unanimously approved the updated plan and directed staff to incorporate the projects recommended in the plan into the city’s 10-year capital improvement program.