County Counsel Stacey Simon, who has until recently been looking after the Walker River Basin lease and acquisition program in lieu of no District 4 supervisor, informed the Mono County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 13 that she’s updated interim District 4 supervisor Bob Peters on the issue. She said Peters is already planning to “hit the road” on an outreach campaign to various county chambers of commerce, the general public, and the ranching and farming communities, drumming up participation in a local “ad hoc” committee to discuss the program sooner rather than later.
Peters said one of his goals is to have plans in place well in advance of the program’s anticipated start in March 2011, and thinks there’s no time like the present to get the discussions started. “The committee is really necessary now,” Peters said. “It’s important for us to be ahead of the curve, or potentially face a forced solution next year.”
Simon reported that the Walker River Irrigation District hopes to have a preliminary operational plan ready to roll out in about another 30 days. Early indications are the plan will call for a voluntary program involving a limited portion of water, up to a maximum of roughly 15 percent.
It’s anticipated both the Bridgeport and Antelope Valley RPACs will have the item on their May agendas to get conversation started. It was also scheduled as an item on the Board’s adjourned meeting in Walker tonight at 6 p.m.
Swall Meadows Road goes to rehab
In other Board news, Garrett Higerd from Mono County Public Works informed supervisors that, out of five bidders, San Diego-based Qualcomm Construction was the contractor selected as low bidder for the Swall Meadows road rehabilitation project. Higerd said the firm has a significant history of work with the County particularly as concerns Swall Meadows. The contract should be final in about a week and start of the project is estimated for about 30 days. There is approximately $340,000 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money for funding this project.
An additional $12,000 will be necessary for a quality control firm, a figure not included as part of the original ARRA funding amount. Higerd, however, said Public Works will monitor spending and if it appears necessary, the County can opt to backfill any overage with Prop 1B money. Finance Director Brian Muir, however, advised that the $340,000 contract would not allow for any change orders as written without any impact to the General Fund.
The Board advised Higerd to return with any potential change orders, especially if costs may exceed allocations.