(UPDATED 1/2/19) 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.
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
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, the McKinley Vault Resource Page can be accessed here.
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!
(UPDATED 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.
(UPDATED 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.
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