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Publication Date: Friday, February 09, 2001


City looks at building reservoir under Graham City looks at building reservoir under Graham (February 09, 2001)

Underground tank could bring city to 2015 goal for water storage capacity

By Justin Scheck

At a study session Tuesday the Mountain View City Council spoke about plans to construct a 4-million gallon, $10 million reservoir under the playing fields at Graham Middle School.

The project would benefit the city by bringing its water storage capacity up to 22 million gallons, which is the city's goal for 2015.

"It gives us a chance to get about 10 years ahead of the curve," said Council member Rosemary Stasek.

By building the project under the school's athletic fields, the city could set aside money from it to fund upgrades and maintenance of the fields.

The meeting was attended by trustees from the Mountain View, Whisman, and Mountain View-Whisman merged school boards; Trustee Rose Filicetti, a member of the Mountain View and merged boards, spoke in favor of the plan at the meeting.

On Wednesday Carol Fisher, also a Mountain View and merged board trustee, said, "The plan is to upgrade the fields at Graham, so that's something that we realize we need to be doing anyway."

"By combining forces, we could end up with something that would serve a greater overall good for the community than either (the council or the school board) could do by ourselves," said Fisher.

"It's a perfect solution, because it would give the school a new playground and give us a needed facility," said Council member Ralph Faravelli.

Faravelli said that, since most of Mountain View's public water supply comes from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, increasing the city's water reserves will provide a needed safeguard in the case of a drought or natural disaster cutting off the city's supply.

Moreover, Faravelli said, at a tour of Hetch Hetchy last year, he was told by reservoir officials that "the environmentalists were raising hell, and wanted to return the Hetch Hetchy reservoir to its natural habitat." He said that a cut in water supply from the dam could be mitigated by an increase in the city's own reservoir capacity.

Faravelli said that the reservoir, if approved, would likely be funded with a bond measure. According to the city staff report, a possible funding situation would have water customers pay $1.21 per month to fund a $10 million bond at 6 percent interest amortized over 30 years.

While the measure did not garner any opposition from council or community members at the meeting, Faravelli said that certain issues, including constructions specifics and mitigation measures for noise generated by the reservoir's pumping station, would need to be worked out before the item is discussed by the council in a public hearing.

Jim Russell, the city's assistant public works director, said at the meeting that a typical 4 million gallon reservoir would be about 170 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 30 feet deep. It would be lined with concrete and have a concrete cap about three feet below the surface of the playing fields. 


 

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