For those ECA veterans, you know that the Bridge Award has been an award “Occasionally given to a person or entity in the public sector that helps us bridge the adversarial gap between our industry and the public sector.”
This “occasional” award has traditionally been given out at the ECA Annual Public Officials Night that has been held in Petaluma for many years. Starting in 2016, the ECA is not only re-defining the Bridge Award, we are also moving our Public Officials Night to the Rohnert Park Community Center in Rohnert Park (April 7, 2016).
I am proposing to the Board of Directors that we change the language of the Bridge Award to state: “An annual award given to a Project that has demonstrated collaboration between the Public and Private sectors to create a project that has had major impact on the Community”.
The concept the ECA is trying to convey, is that there are “everyday” projects, and then there are those projects that have improved or impacted our lives in a manner that is extraordinary. Some of the first list of projects considered for this award were: SMART, the Highway 101 Widening Projects from Windsor to San Rafael, Warm Springs Dam, and the one the Board of Directors chose in 2015-The Geysers Pipeline Project.
This first year of “re defining” the Bridge Award, will be a special treat for all of us that will be attending Public Officials Night on April 7, 2016. We are started on a project that will create a short video of the Geysers Pipeline Project that will encompass some of the unique aspects of this remarkable effort. I have long stated that our area is unique to the entire world because we process our waste effluent and transport it up to the geothermal area called the Geysers, where it is reinjected underground to combine with the hot magma to form steam. That steam then is harvested by huge turbines to create some of the cleanest electrical power ever generated.
For those that recall the turbulent era when the City of Santa Rosa was under a moratorium due to “spilling” effluent that got into the Russian River, we can recall all of the justifiable outrage of the environmental community that gained a huge influence as a result of the wastewater dilemma caused by how the City of Santa Rosa was disposing of the wastewater. You might recall at one time an ocean outfall near Salmon Creek was the preferred disposal option. Or the giant facultative wetlands and pond concept near Lakeville Highway. How about the injection into the roots of redwood trees that was once considered a viable alternative? At any rate, the Geysers option became viable as a result of their geothermal fields depleting the steam reservoirs back in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
The first community to act was Lake County. You might recall a group of projects including a major pipeline by Argonaut that took wastewater from Lakeport all the way to Clearlake Oaks was installed. At the same time, Wastewater treatment projects were being built all around Clearlake. And the rest of the project involved installing intakes into Clearlake to draw off lake water, mix it with the effluent, and pump it all the way from Clearlake Oaks through Middletown and up to the Calpine Geysers steam-fields. Once that system proved worthy, the City of Santa Rosa worked at selling bonds and designing their own system to bring wastewater from Llano Road treatment plant, under the Russian River (two deep bores) and up Pine Flat Road at 600psi to the Geysers steam-fields.
The Geysers Pipeline Project was, and is a remarkable achievement and is truly worthy of honoring this project as the first and perhaps the most impactful Public-Private collaboration in our local history. The ECA is proud to honor this Project and all of the design consultants, contractors, suppliers, and public officials that were able to work through the environmental constraints and physical challenges to create a long range disposal solution for wastewater that was innovative, cost effective, and brilliant.
I hope you will “save the date” of April 7 and join us in honoring this great achievement as our ECA 2016 Bridge Award. There were a lot of local contractors, suppliers, engineers, and public officials that will be invited to enjoy this tribute in the Spring. Thank you to Sound Ideas for working with Dan Carlson (retired from the City of Santa Rosa) and the ECA to make this “documentary” video that will only be available at the April 7 meeting.
That’s All Folks!
Santa Rosa Community Development Changes
The City of Santa Rosa has made some major changes in their “old” Community Development Department. I have included a link to the latest update from David Guhin. Although the attachment is long, many of you will be most interested in the status list of proposed projects towards the end of the attachment.