Escalon City Council members on Monday night renewed the contract with QSI – Quality Services Incorporated – of Escalon for oversight at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
“We did a two-year contract,” said City Manager Tammy Alcantor. “The operator we had the last year will continue there.”
The city lost its staff member that handled the wastewater operations in September of 2014 and opted to go the contract route. They do have some staff in training that could be ready to take over in a couple of years, Alcantor noted, but felt retaining the services of QSI in the interim was the right way to go.
“We initially hired them on when our staff member left, they assisted us through the cease and desist order out there (at the treatment plant) and they have the experience, the resources,” Alcantor explained.
She noted that the two-year contact gives the city a bit of a break on the cost, which will be billed hourly. The operator is there on an as needed basis and they also have the ability to bring in additional staff from QSI if necessary.
She said while their own staff members continue working toward certification as operators at the wastewater treatment plant, this will serve as a “stepping stone” to getting the position back in house.
In other action at the Monday night meeting, the council renewed a groundwater monitoring contract and also approved the installation of a stop sign at Countrywood and Melissa, making that area a four-way stop as opposed to the current two-way stop along the Swanson to St. John route.
“There has been some trouble with speeders out there and it is a residential area so the concern is for the children,” said Alcantor. “The neighborhood actually got together and they had a petition they turned in, plus quite a few residents sent in letters of concern.”
The petition and additional investigation by the police department prompted the new signage.
Police Chief Mike Borges supported the move, noting there had been multiple enforcement stops there and officers also observed the speeding vehicles during a special enforcement detail.
Alcantor said the new stop signs would be going in within two to four weeks.