Acting public works director Daniel Gibbs updated the city on the department’s overall projects and operations throughout the past several months.
Gibbs told the council, “The public works department is comprised of four separate divisions, with administration and engineering, natural gas, streets and our water/geothermal divisions.”
Gibbs went through each of the divisions, sharing their accomplishments, projects in progress or anticipated to begin soon and then each division’s future projects.
Gibbs said, “We’ve done a lot of work with construction this year with completing one of the STIP projects. In doing that we’ve also received approval from the state architect’s office for the next series of STIP projects for next year.”
Gibbs elaborated on the future projects saying one was located near Skyline Park and the Diamond Mountain Casino, along Skyline Drive, Paiute Lane and Cameron Way. The other project will be located near the Mill District, near Riverside Park along Riverside Drive and Alexander Avenue.
The Main Street water main was completed this year and added another connection through Spring Street. He also shared that at the city council’s last meeting, the department was given the go-ahead to begin the design phase of the Susanville Southeast Gateway project.
He emphasized that the administration and engineering division’s role in air pollution control throughout the district was “getting more and more important.”
The department is also almost complete with the Johnstonville Road water main extension from “Baxter’s Auto Parts there on Johnstonville Road and toward Commercial Road,” he said.
The design for the Cady Springs pump station is nearing completion with bid documents coming forward to the department “later this month or next month at the latest,” Gibbs told the council.
More of the department’s future projects include FEMA storm damage. Gibbs said, “We, unfortunately haven’t had the resources to really pursue those; there isn’t money out there for us to grab.”
The department is developing projects through the SB1 program with the state with many being STIP projects or for the purposes of rehabilitation.
They’re also readying themselves for the pavement management inspections and engineering and traffic studies. The Town Hill project is also a project the department anticipates beginning in the near future.
“Some of the things we’re pursuing right now is … getting ready for the fall leaf program,” said Gibbs, who continued explaining the need for, “weed control with some of the tumbleweeds that are collecting out there and even the goat heads.” The department is also gearing up for their alley maintenance programs.
“Some tree trimming … and making sure some of the stop signs are visible,” were also concerns of the department.
The department is working to replace the street striping on some of the larger streets, with particular focus on Riverside Drive. Some sections of Richmond Road were identified as needing new striping by the department. Gibbs said, “Along with the streets division striping, I’m hoping to bring in some change orders with our project that’s in construction right now and have that subcontractor extend some of that painting outside the lengths of the project.”
The department works with the Neighborhood Watch programs around the city; aiding in the placement of their signs.
Public Works places barricades for traffic control during the city’s Halloween, Veterans Parade and Christmas celebrations, so the department is assessing their resources for proper execution.
They are preparing for clearing of the city’s floodways and snow removal operations.
“Future projects include identifying future needs for this SB1 program for our Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance. They’re also looking at purchasing some maintenance equipment, which can come through that funding source. One thing I’d like to purchase soon is a crack sealer,” said Gibbs.
They are also considering a relocation plan for some of their materials and equipment at their yard. Gibbs said it would allow more space for expansion, efficiency and getting some of their equipment out of the weather.
The streets division is also looking to execute more FEMA repair work.
Leak repairs for mains were continuous for the division throughout the past few months.
The division continues to support the city for non-pay disconnects and turn-offs from unpaid bills. Gibbs expressed the program was “somewhat labor intensive” and expressed his interest in changing the way the program has customers rely on the department to notify them to pay.
The division maintains backflow prevention testing and continues servicing the community pool with geothermal energy.
In progress, the division continues to support the engineering staff of the Main Street water main project. They also maintain a water meter maintenance checklist; exercise zone closure valves and assist with the Cady Springs pump station.
The division is still operating hydrant replacements also looking at securing the Susan 1 geo-well, “which is a well right down along the river on South Lassen Street,” said Gibbs.
Their ongoing duties and responsibilities include compliance monitoring with state requirements for the water main system, submitted to a lab in Chico, California.
The division does water treatment as well as maintains and cleans well sites. The staff assists with underground service alert utility identification, service calls in addition to responding to complaints. The whole staff maintains testing, training and continued education to maintain their certifications, as well as monthly reporting to the state.
The division’s ongoing accomplishments comprise of installations of gas meters and new services to customers. The natural gas division, like the water and geothermal division, operates service calls and turn-offs. The staff is also involved with ongoing operator qualifications, required by the Department of Transportation, and corrosion protection training.
Natural gas maintains continuous meter calibrations and is currently performing a gas leak survey.
The department is currently updating its gas operator qualifications and is preparing its quarterly and annual reports to the California Energy Commission.
The division is in discussions, said Gibbs, “Between whether or not our system is classified as a transmission system or a distribution system. The two are distinctly different in how we have to maintain the system and one is extremely expensive. We are currently at a distribution level of classification but PHMSA … was regulating us they are claiming that a significant portion of our line is a transmission line. We have requested another hearing with them.”
“We are hoping to put together a program for Legacy Cross Bores, which is basically a situation in town where a gas system was installed a lot of the services … damaged sewer laterals and actually went through them. So that was not a good situation.”
The division is looking to create a program which identifies those problems.