Yucca Valley, Ca.,- In a whirlwind meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District, there were many steps taken by the Board of Directors to move the sewer project forward and address the maintenance needs of a high producing well. Thousands of dollars were awarded to several low-bid vendors ranging from appraisals on 245 parcels for sewer easements at a cost of $142,500 and $74,203 for repairs to well 17E. A no-bid contract was “bumped up” from $56,000 to add an additional $36,000 to C.V. Strategies, a public relations firm, to continue the sewer outreach, surveys and easement outreach.
In an earlier committee meeting, HDWD staff member, Jennifer Poland, stated CV Strategies requested an additional $13,000 but she wanted the Board to approve an additional $25,000 to complete the sewer outreach. Last evening during the meeting, “Alex,” the Vice President of CV Strategies, was sitting comfortably at the Staff desk seated between Poland and GM Ed Muzik, instead of in the audience with the other vendors, where he presented his pitch for the additional $36,000 to the Board. What happened to the $13,000 figure? Having mentioned a survey to the Directors previously without any mention of additional cost, there was some discussion on this matter…but in the end, the entire “bump-up” was unanimously approved to include a survey and easement outreach.
The HDWD Board also directed staff to continue forward with outsourcing the construction of the sewer system to the professionals and drop the idea of trying to do the project in-house. GM Muzik authorized $15,000 for an “estimator” to massage the assessment numbers over three months to explore possible savings to construct the project in-house. An evaluation by the Town of Yucca Valley engineers ripped the figures presented to the Board of Directors as unrealistic and challenged the mindset of any consideration to attempt to construct the sewer system in-house. In a terse email sent to the GM Muzik in the afternoon of the April 2nd meeting, the Town expressed they would not support any HDWD in-house sewer project.
This 3 month delay may have spoiled any chances of passing the sewer assessment this summer by pushing the vote to early autumn just before the November elections.
To sign up for upcoming sewer information meetings and learn more about the sewer project, visit this>LINK
Here is an informative Public Relations/Outreach video produced by an outside vendor for CV Strategies>LINK