Final bill for July sewer line break: $100,000

September 8, 2018

The Lake Havasu City Council is scheduled to approve an emergency purchase Tuesday that’s already been paid for.

In July, there was a break in a sewer main located in the area of State Route 95 and Mulberry Avenue. According to city documents, about 150,000 to 200,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled during the incident and nearly entered Lake Havasu.

City employees worked a total of 134 hours of overtime between July 20 and July 22 to clean up the area and Tri-Suns Engineering, Inc. was contracted to coordinate repairs to the pipeline, totaling $99,393.60, according to the documents. The company paid six other contractors to conduct the repairs, the documents state.

“When something like that occurs, even though it exceeds the staff’s ability to approve those costs, we can’t just let the break continue and then hold a council meeting so we make the necessary repairs and then, for transparency sake, we bring those approvals back to council and they approve them after the fact,” explained City Manager Jess Knudson, later adding that all the repairs have since been completed and “the bills have been paid.”

The city code states purchases that are exempt from the city’s solicitation requirements, such as emergency purchases, and exceed $50,000 requires approval by the City Council.

City documents state that the use of contingency funds is requested for the nearly $100,000 purchase. It adds that the Wastewater contingency fund was budgeted at $500,000 and that no expenditures from the fund have been approved to date.

The City Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Police Facility.

Prior to the meeting, the City Council will meet in executive session at 5 p.m. for “discussion or consultation for legal advice with the attorney or attorneys of the public body” related to “water quality assurance revolving fund update and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality access to wells,” the agenda states. The City Council could discuss and take possible action on the matter during its 6 p.m. regular meeting.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality began investigating a site located in the area of Lake Havasu and Holly avenues where soil and groundwater contaminants, including hexavalent chromium, were discovered in samples collected in 2014. At the time, Erin Jordan, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the site was a former McCulloch facility believed to be the cause of the pollution.

Additionally, at the time, Mayor Mark Nexsen said the city was not involved in the agency’s investigation of the site.

Last December, the City Council unanimously voted to award a professional services agreement to CH2M Hill Engineers, Inc. for a Kiowa Ponds Voluntary Remediation Program in which the ponds would be tested for contaminants over the course of 14 months. According to Today’s News-Herald, Kiowa Ponds is located at 1670 Cactus Wren Lane near the State Route 95 and Kiowa Avenue intersection and was a former wastewater treatment site for the McCulloch Corporation.

The council will also hold a special meeting at 5:45 p.m. to canvass the city’s primary election, making the results official, according to Knudson. The Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the canvass of last week’s election, which included the city’s mayoral and City Council races. Cal Sheehy won the mayor’s race and Michele Lin, Jeni Coke and Jim Dolan won council seats.

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