Even as the region has been dealing with record-breaking heat and rolling blackouts as energy use is exceeding demand, Escalon City Council members are focused on the future.
Council members were to hear a report at a special Monday night workshop from representatives of ENGIE, a firm that specializes in customizing sustainable energy solutions.
“They did the solar project for the school district,” Escalon City Manager Tammy Alcantor explained of the Oakland-based organization.
For the city, ENGIE is working on a three-pronged project, including reviewing solar options, looking at the city’s water meter swap out program and investigating possible involvement with the wastewater treatment plant upgrade.
“We did a ‘Request For Proposals’ back in November of 2019,” Alcantor explained of working toward more sustainable energy sources for the city.
ENGIE was awarded the contract and is conducting its feasibility studies.
Monday’s presentation was to be a brief review of where they’re at with studies for the water meters, the HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning – systems and the ball lights at the various recreational playing fields.
That is considered Phase 1, with the wastewater treatment plant review, a more detailed study, coming as part of Phase 2.
“We’ll be looking at what they’ve done so far,” said Alcantor.
It’s hoped that there will be the opportunity to contract with the firm for some work as part of Phase 1, the city manager added, possibly as early as September.
In other city business, officials are looking to build up the reserve unit for the police department once again, as the promotion of Rob Lackey from sergeant to chief and the subsequent promotion of Anthony Hardgraves to sergeant resulted in former reserves being brought on fulltime.
Edder Cruz moved in to the officer position vacated by Hardgraves while Andrew Halvorson filled a position left vacant by a resignation. Now, the city is hoping to recruit additional reserve officers.
Alcantor said they also are still looking at the possibility of an early October ‘National Night Out’ event of some type but have not yet figured out the specifics.
Another October staple – the annual Citywide Yard Sale – is not something the city will be promoting this year, Alcantor said.
“That doesn’t mean yard sales can’t go on,” she said of residents hosting their own individual sales. “If they have social distancing, masks, hand sanitizers that would be good. We just don’t think at this time it would be prudent for the city to be promoting a citywide event.”