City OKs sewer agreement with UAIC

By: Cheri March The News Messenger
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Lincoln City Council members on Tuesday approved an agreement between the city and United Auburn Indian Community to provide sewer service to Thunder Valley Casino. An almost identical agreement was reached in 1999, before the casino was constructed, said Community Development Director Rod Campbell. But as a result of a California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit, the agreement was set aside as the tribe was ordered to construct its own wastewater treatment system. The city of Lincoln and UAIC later agreed a South Lincoln sewer line should be constructed to connect the casino to Lincoln’s own wastewater treatment and reclamation facility. An ensuing environmental review process for the sewer line was completed in July 2006. But because the project is on hold as the city negotiates right-of-way, the agreement allows for Thunder Valley to build a temporary main to the city’s treatment plant while work is under way on the casino’s large-scale expansion. The temporary line would be abandoned once the permanent sewer line is constructed. Councilman Tom Cosgrove expressed concern over a portion of the contract that would credit the tribe for the temporary line. He worried the language was ambiguous because it didn’t specify the line would be turned over to Lincoln. “I’m not trying to delay (a decision) to avoid this,” Cosgrove said. “I just want to make sure the city is fully protected.” Council members agreed to approve the agreement with the added stipulation that the temporary line would be transferred to the city in order for the tribe to receive credit. Along with sewage service, the tribe has the option of connecting to the city’s water system once it becomes available in the area. As part of the agreement, UAIC will also provide $2 million to the city of Lincoln for the Ferrari Ranch interchange project, as well as amounts still to be determined for a Twelve Bridges Drive interchange and Fiddyment Road improvements. Additionally, it will contribute $50,000 for police services and $1,200 for emergency medical services to the casino, and $50,000 for youth recreational activities. In other business, the council awarded a contract for the construction of the North Tee Hangar development at Lincoln Regional Airport to LM Combs Construction Inc. In doing so, council members rejected the lowest bid by Flintco Constructive Solutions Inc. as non-responsive. Though Flintco’s bid was 16 percent below the design engineer’s estimate, the company failed to list a fire sprinkler subcontractor and is not licensed to perform fire sprinkler work, said Dave Daly, Lincoln’s airport manager. The contract went to second-highest bidder LM Combs for approximately $2.06 million – $30,000 more than Flintco, but still within the amount budgeted by the city for 2008-09. Along with the hangar buildings, the project also requires construction of utility infrastructure, site improvements, and building slabs. Groundbreaking is slated for July 18, with construction anticipated to take five months, Daly said. Customers have so far made deposits on 20 of the 32 hangars, he said. Lincoln hangars have in the past been leased by private companies. But in the future, the city will likely build and own the structures, said Mayor Primo Santini. “I have every reason to believe (the hangars) will generate positive returns to the airport in four, five or six years,” Santini said.