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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 26th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 16

Ready for more water

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Bonds are sold, construction contracts are awarded, and the Nipomo Community Service District is counting on the arrival of a reliable supply of water from the city of Santa Maria sometime in late 2014.

After receiving the go-ahead to sell $10.5 million in bonds from the board of directors on June 12, the district opened up the bond sale on June 19. It wrapped it up three days later on June 21, and the board approved contract awards for the $17 million water pipeline project that same day.

District General Manager Michael LeBrun said it was a good thing the district didn’t wait any longer to price the bonds because bond market performance on the 20th and 21st wasn’t as good as it was on the 19th. Closing the bond sales enabled the district to cement construction bids on the project. 

Construction contracts totaling $14 million were awarded to three California-based companies: Spiess Construction Co. Inc. in Santa Maria, Specialty Construction Inc. in San Luis Obispo, and ARB Structures Inc. in San Diego. The district also awarded a $1.7 million construction-monitoring contract to MNS Engineers, headquartered in Santa Barbara.

LeBrun said three contracts were awarded because certain portions of the project need special expertise.

“It’s a very complex project,” LeBrun said. “People had to have experience with a like project.”

ARB Structures will take on drilling horizontally under the Santa Maria Riverbed, the part of the project LeBrun called the most specialized. They’re expected to begin work after July 10 and to be finished by Oct. 31—the Fish and Wildlife, and Parks departments’ mandated deadline for completion.

Specialty Construction will build the mile-long pipeline from Santa Maria to the river’s edge, and Spiess Construction will build pipeline on the other side of the river. Spiess Construction will also rework four of the district’s wells so they can pump and decontaminate surface water.

The project will bring 600 to 950 acre-feet of a combination of groundwater and state surface water from Santa Maria to supplement the water supply in the district. The pipeline will eventually expand to bring 2,500 acre-feet of water from Santa Maria to Nipomo, an area that’s been trying to supplement its groundwater supply for the last 20 years.