I am troubled by last week’s City Council decision to go ahead with approximately $300,000 in design fees for improvements to

the Sharp Park pump station. This was item No. 7 on the consent agenda; thank you, James Kremer, for speaking up and forcing a discussion.

The project consists of improvements to the sewage pump station at 2212 Beach Blvd., just south of the pier. It concerns the relocation of the sewer/force main at the pump station and improvements for odor, grease control and noise for about another $1.3 million. Part of the justification given for the project is to attract a hotel developer for the site. Apparently, the smells would be off-putting. Of course, the presence of a sewage pump station on the site that handles the wastewater from 16,000 residents on the north end of town might also be off-putting right next to their new hotel, don’t you think? And the dangers of sea level rise with no plan in place, no funding, and currently no clear path forward with the California Coastal Commission might also be a bit off-putting to a developer and its insurance provider.

As an additional service and with more fees the consultant can determine if the pump station is susceptible to sea level rise and/or tsunami risks. Don’t you want to know that first?

As part of the ongoing studies for the Sharp Park seawall replacement, another consultant, GHD, is already looking at the risks of sea level rise and tsunamis.

That report, the multi-hazard risk assessment, was supposed to be released in February. Lisa Peterson, director of Public Works, said that her office is working on it and it should be released this week.

Several speakers asked if the council was putting the cart before the horse. Don’t you want to know the condition of all the infrastructure in the area first? There may be other factors that would lead us to replacing and moving that infrastructure. Can’t we wait one week to get answers before committing to spending $300,000 on a design that may become obsolete before the contract is complete?

Apparently not, as the contract was approved unanimously by the City Council.

Margaret Goodale


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