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City of Sparks, Reno collaborate in repairs to TMWRF
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Nov 12, 2013 | 1807 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed graphic -- The Sparks City Council was back in session Tuesday after the Veteran's Day holiday and approved additional funds for the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility electrical repairs.
Contributed graphic -- The Sparks City Council was back in session Tuesday after the Veteran's Day holiday and approved additional funds for the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility electrical repairs.
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The Sparks City Council convened Tuesday following the Veteran’s Day holiday and was right back to business as it approved additional reimbursement to the City of Reno for an amended contract for Phase 2 electrical improvements at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF).

The City of Sparks will give the City of Reno a little more than $86,000 covering its share of the additional $274,190 for the amended contract between Reno and CDM-Smith, bringing the total cost to $729,670 for CDM-Smith’s consulting and design services. The City of Sparks owns about 31 percent of TMWRF in a shared ownership with the City of Reno.

Deputy City Manager for Community Services Neil Krutz said Phase 2 electrical upgrades are still in the works, but Phase 1 replaced transformers, and the switch gears and low voltage distribution centers associated with them, at TMWRF in order to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency permit and to benefit the “health and safety of plant personnel.”

“During the course of design for the Phase II electrical, several needed improvements were identified that were not included in the original scope of work,” Krutz said in his report. “The additional scope of work will include addressing key electrical issues in the nitrification facility, filter building and the design of quick connects for generators to supply emergency power to facility buildings in the event of an electrical failure.”

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger said in a staff report that one major improvement as part of the amended contract will be installation of standby power quick connect facilities throughout the plant to help provide a quick access to mobile standby power facilities during a localized power failure. Design engineers discovered a near failure of the medium voltage switch gear during plant evaluation which, if failed, “would have left TMWRF unable to treat waste water for an extended period of time.”

The Sparks City Council also received a presentation on the Sparks Middle School Compassion Fund by Chris Askin, president of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. The fund was started the day after the fatal shooting at Sparks MIddle School in October and Askin said gifts began filtering in immediately through online, phone and mail contributions.

The Community Foundation said Tuesday more than 100 gifts were received totaling more than $16,000. Contributions were either sent in or were organized fundraisers through various outside groups who promised the donations to the fund.

Tracy Turner, chief philanthropy officer at the Community Foundation, cited the Swing for Sparks event Saturday at the Reno Aces Ballpark which raised nearly $3,700 for the SMS Compassion Fund. Turner said totals are tallied every Thursday, which means the fund will be close to $20,000 by the week’s end.

“Because we had the fund set up so quickly, many of the telephone calls coming in about planning fundraisers were very emotional,” Turner said. “We were able to refer them to sources where they could find help and relief as well.”

Turner held up a bucket bearing the Sparks Middle School logo and said it was placed at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Mackay Stadium entry gate during the Cannon Game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She said a thick layer of change was collected along with bills ranging from $1 to $100, collecting more than $5,200 in one afternoon.

“Three checks were delivered to the victim’s families and two more will go out this week,” Turner said. “It was important that we get the money out as soon as possible. The families had an opportunity to ask questions about how the fund works so they could have a high degree of confidence the fund was doing what it was supposed to do.”

Councilwoman Julia Ratti was the chair of the SMS Compassion Fund committee and she expressed her gratitude toward the Community Foundation and the Sparks community for supporting the affected families.

“Unfortunately, in situations like this, there is a lot of opportunity for fraud,” Ratti said. “I am so proud of the relationship with the Community Foundation and I knew they were the absolute right people to go to. I think it was important for the people at Sparks Middle School, and everyone affected, to hear the message being sent from the community and that they were there to support them in an unintrusive way.”
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