(Last Updated 8/15/23) Description of the McKinley Water Vault Project, an underground storage tank that will hold combined stormwater-wastewater when the City sewer system is at capacity. NEW: See Update below.
The City of Sacramento (City) held a public meeting on September 20 at the Clunie Community Center to update interested neighbors and to answer questions on the McKinley Water Vault Project (Project).
There was a good-sized crowd in attendance – more than attended the June 19 McKinley Water Vault Scoping Meeting a few months back.
See related post: McKinley Water Vault Scoping Meeting
No doubt some attendees were prompted to attend the meeting after receiving flyers on their porch beforehand, as I did, that sought to create concern and opposition to the Project through the use of alarming verbiage and misinformation. Example: “Parks are for fun, not for toxic waste storage”.
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The Director of the Department of Utilities, the Supervising Engineer, and the Project Manager were in attendance, as was Council Member Jeff Harris. The meeting was facilitated by a consultant.
It was clear from the staff presentations that they had taken note of concerns previously raised, as they included in their presentations more detailed explanations touching upon on those issues (why the McKinley Park location, addressing odor concerns, why not a separate sewer system, etc.)
A good portion of time had been set aside for questions and answers (Q&A). The facilitator did her job – i.e. to give everyone a chance to ask their questions. Individuals with multiple questions (or statements of opinion) were assured that they would have another turn to speak after everyone else had an opportunity to be heard – time permitting. As it turns out there was sufficient time and the facilitator circled back to those individuals who then had an opportunity to speak again.
While I believe that the majority of those in attendance (to a large extent the silent majority) were there to learn the facts upon which to base an educated decision, there were a handful of vocal opponents who dominated the meeting – at times quite rudely, in my opinion.
Based on some of the questions posed, it was obvious that not everyone at the meeting had the opportunity to become familiar with the available background and related Project documents in advance of the meeting. If you were unable to attend the public meetings to date, and want to learn more, check out the City of Sacramento website.
Note: The project is in the pre-design phase and will soon commence the final design phase. Final decisions as to capacity, etc. have not yet been definitively made.
Council Member Harris and the city staff/consultant did an admirable job keeping their cool – they responded to questions in a thoughtful manner and they remained polite throughout – despite the behavior of some of the individuals present.
Council Member Harris added a new (to me) bit of information when he discussed potential park improvements. I have been aware that funding for park improvements would be available as a result of the Project, but I had not previously heard a dollar figure. According to Council Member Harris the available funding will be somewhere in the vicinity of $1 million.
The City is actively seeking park enhancement suggestions. Some of the items mentioned were: a better baseball field (sod), new sprinkler system, and additional bathroom facilities.
The City has been making substantial and costly improvements to the combined system in other problem areas – and it is finally our turn. The City has 28 other projects on their list – let’s not miss this opportunity!
(8/15/2023) With the completion of the McKinley Water Vault Project, the City has discontinued the project website, etc.
(10/26/2021) Fast forward – the McKinley Water Vault was recently completed – just in time for its first major test. The “bomb cyclone” that drenched Sacramento on Sunday October 24, dropped 5.44 inches of rain within 24 hours! This was the most rainfall ever in Sacramento’s recorded history, beating a record set in 1880. The 200-year storm (0.5% chance of occurring in any given year) filled the Water Vault and prevented major flooding of nearby streets.
See related blog post: McKinley Park Renovations Complete
(5/21/21) Phase 3, the Fill Phase is now complete. Currently underway is Phase 4, the Enhance Phase. The project is on schedule with projected completion in Summer 2021.
(7/18/2020) The City of Sacramento has announced that the McKinley Water Vault construction BUILD Phase is now 85% complete. The BUILD Phase will be completed in early Fall, followed by the FILL Phase. Expected impacts this summer will include temporary sidewalk closures, temporary street closures, pedestrian and jogging path detours and increased truck traffic.
(9/23/19) The City of Sacramento sent an advisory today that the first phase of the McKinley Water Vault – DIG – is complete! Phase 2 – BUILD – is now underway. During the BUILD phase the contractor will build the concrete vault. Phase 2 is scheduled to take place from fall 2019 to fall 2020 (weather permitting).
(9/16/19) Broken link deleted.
(6/21/19) In late May the City of Sacramento hosted a presentation about the anticipated construction impacts of the McKinley Water Vault Project. I was among the neighbors and interested parties who attended the early evening event. Those in attendance were able to meet the project contractor and ask questions. The presentation was followed by a site walk and review of the park enhancement locations.
The projects construction includes $1 million of enhancements to McKinley Park including adding shade structures to the picnic area along with new picnic benches and BBQ pits, new trees, new bathrooms and improving some of the running track.
City staff stressed their intent to keep the McKinley Vault construction communication channels open. There are a variety of ways impacted parties can obtain project information or provide feedback:
Project website: CityofSacramento.org/McKinleyWaterVault Phone/email: (916) 808-5545 or McKinleyWaterVault@CityofSacramento.org Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor E-Blasts: Sign up on the McKinley Water Vault website
- City of Sacramento Traffic Alerts: Online updates on the City website
(2/26/19) The Sacramento Bee reported today that Sacramento Superior Court Judge Richard Sueyoshi has denied the request of Citizens for a Safe and Sewage-Free McKinley Park for an injunction order to halt work on the McKinley Park Water Vault Project.
(1/2/19) As anticipated, a lawsuit was filed to stop the McKinley Water Vault Project,. The lawsuit was filed in November 2018 by a Southern California attorney on behalf of a group calling themselves Citizens for a Safe and Sewage-Free McKinley Park.
Anyone walking or driving around the East Sacramento McKinley Park Neighborhood is likely to have observed lawn signs (see below) scattered here and there expressing opposition to the McKinley Water Vault Project.
(10/17/2018) The Sacramento City Council approved the Final McKinley Water Vault Environmental Impact Report on Tuesday, October 9. Once a construction firm is selected, construction is anticipated to begin spring 2019. It is estimated that project construction will take 18-24 months.
The City will be updating its website with ongoing project updates, and plans to keep the community apprised via email, social media or direct mail.
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