After studying the possibility, Richmond City Council learned it’s currently not feasible to shutdown the city’s sewage treatment plant.
Over a year ago, the Richmond City Council instructed city staff to study the feasibility of sending wastewater flows to East Bay Municipal Utility District’s plant and shutting down Richmond’s facility at 601 Canal Blvd. But the analysis proved differently.
“We need to rehabilitate that plant so it can operate safely and without odors and in a way that’s compliant,” said Chad Davisson, wastewater division manager for the City of Richmond.
The staff presented a list of options to the City Council Tuesday night. The possibilities include: handing over management to East Bay MUD, treating liquid at the Canal plant and sending bio solids to another district, and splitting flows between West County Wastewater District and Richmond.
“There is about a $150 million of capital work that needs to be done at that treatment plant, so staff was looking at the best way to get the most value of that expenditure,” Davisson said. “There was significant odor issues in 2010 that put some more focus on this issue.”
While the City Council gave no specific deadline for an update, the council members seemed eager to address the issue. They advised staffers to explore all possibilities least costly and most environmentally responsible.
“It’s important that we find some solutions here because we continue to have residents concerned very recently about odors and health impact,” said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.
In other business, the council received results from the city manager’s office on Richmond’s 2013 Community Survey. The National Research Center conducted the analysis and mailed out 3,000 surveys to randomly selected Richmond households. The city received 408 completed surveys, a roughly 14 percent response rate – the lowest in the history of the community surveys. This is the fourth time the city has sent out the questionnaires.
Compared to the 2011 survey, many ratings increased, including: overall quality of life, ease of car travel, satisfaction with recreation centers or facilities and the value of services for taxes paid. Ratings also increased for city services like street cleaning, sidewalk maintenance, storm drainage, street lighting and services for youth and low-income people.
Less than half rated the city’s overall direction as good or excellent, lower than the benchmark, the survey analysis shows.
With so few residents responding, Vice Mayor Corky Booze expressed “no confidence in the survey” and asked Bill Lindsay, Richmond’s city manager, to address the less favorable responses.
Those households not selected but would like to still provide feedback can visit http://www.n-r-c.com/survey/richmond2013survey.htm for the English version or http://www.n-r-c.com/survey/richmond2013survey.htm for Spanish.