In an effort to gain more influence over how money is doled out for road improvement projects, the McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors voted unanimously Aug. 7 to ask for a seat on county-wide transportation planning committee.
The board approved the submittal of a letter to the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) requesting that MCSD Manager Greg Orsini be appointed to its Technical Advisory Committee.
So what is HCAOG? According to its website “(HCAOG) is a Joint Powers Agency comprised of the seven incorporated cities (Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, Rio Dell, Trinidad), and the County of Humboldt. It is the designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) as well as the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE). The agency is largely responsible for programming State highway, local street and road improvements, public transportation resources, and the roadside call box program. HCAOG also bears responsibility for preparing and implementing the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The transportation planning and programming processes are accomplished by a multi-layered committee structure.”
Basically, it’s an influential agency when it comes to doling out dollars for road projects.
Its Technical Advisory Committee is made up of public works directors and others with technical expertise when it comes to transportation projects. The committee makes recommendations to the full HCAOG board, which routinely approves the recommendations.
If the HCAOG board approves the MCSD’s request, MCSD Manager Greg Orsini will join the committee and give input on various road projects.
In the letter approved by the MCSD board, President Dennis Mayo makes the argument for why the MCSD should have a seat on the committee.
“As the district continues to grow, we will see the increased call for services and demands on existing services, including increased need for roads and transportation,” Mayo wrote. “To better serve the residents of the McKinleyville area and those within MCSD’s service boundaries we believe a voice on the TAC is significant. The District will continue to prudently manage and maintain the District’s assets, honor the public’s trust, and maintain public awareness and confidence in the District’s activities. We recognize the commitment and function in an advisory capacity and feel the lack of our representation affects those we serve. This vital role will allow MCSD to weigh in on and consider transportation choices and priorities that enhance quality of life, improve access to jobs and promote transportation mobility.”
Also at last week’s meeting, the MCSD board approved a $93,671 contract with Robinson, Stafford & Rude Inc (RSRI). to conduct what’s called a “value engineering review” of the MCSD’s proposed wastewater treatment plant upgrade. The company, based in Gulfport, Florida, will also review the entire process in an effort to find greater efficiencies and improvements.
The proposed sewer upgrade – the largest in McKinleyville’s history since the collection system was built 32 years ago – is estimated to cost from $8.5 million to $11 million.
RSRI has a team of engineering specialists who will pick apart the plans, conduct critical reviews of various elements of the sewer upgrade and crunch numbers to see to it that the district is getting the best deal for its money.