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Alameda County, CA November 6, 2001 Election
Smart Voter

The four major issues facing the Sanitary District

By Ralph Edward Johnson

Candidate for Board Member; Castro Valley Sanitary District

This information is provided by the candidate
There are four major issues facing the Sanitary District at this time. The District is on its way to solving these issues, but there are many decisions that will need to be dealt with in the near future that will have an impact on rates and how the District complies with existing regulations.
Position Paper

There are four major issues facing the District. They are:

  • implementing the new solid waste contract
  • transitioning to a new District Manager
  • implementing the wastewater treatment plant master plan
  • completing and implementing the collection system master plan

Solid Waste

A new solid waste contract has recently been signed with Waste Management to collect all of our garbage and recycled material. Waste management plans on using a one pass automated collection system and is in the process of implementing this new system. It will need to be carefully monitored because there are many sections of Castro Valley and many people in Castro Valley who will need the process adjusted to meet their special needs.

We are also starting to collect kitchen scraps with the green waste on a pilot basis. This is necessary to meet Alameda County's goal of recycling 75% of our garbage by 2010. We are on the cutting edge of this technology in Alameda County and the process needs careful watching to insure its success.

New District Manager

The Board's only direct employee is the District Manager. Our current manager will be retiring in April 2002 and we have just selected his replacement. The replacement is an in house candidate and will assume full responsibility next April. It is necessary for the Board to have a good working relationship with the District Manager because we need to communicate our direction to staff through the Manager. Building a new working relationship with the new manager will be critical to the operation of the District.

Waste Water Treatment Plant

Castro Valley has a 25% ownership of the treatment plant operated by the Ora Loma Sanitary District in San Lorenzo. We have just completed a master planning process for the renovation of this plant. The master plan has given us several options, ranging in cost from $7 million to $ 30 million. Our job is to jointly work with Ora Loma to decide what the best option is and then how to finance it. We are very concerned about who pays for this renovation and at this time we are looking at new connections to fund these improvements.

Collection System

Our own 150 miles of collection system is aging. Some portions were initially installed in the 40's. The useful life for a sewer ranges from 50 to 75 years, so we need to begin replacing these old, and leaky, sewers. The District has started on this. Over the last several years, the District has replaced major sewers in Redwood Road, Norbridge Avenue, Stanton Avenue and will shortly do so along the LAVWMA alignment on Vegas. These were all done in close coordination with other Agencies and typically were done along with roadway reconstruction projects. This works to our advantage because we can get more of our funds spent on sewer construction by combining projects.

The next step is to complete the master plan and then work on a financing strategy so that implementation can commence. Our goal is to do this over several years, combining our projects with road reconstruction whenever possible, and to minimize the cost of these needed improvements.

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