Poway City Council postpones Maderas water decision
By Emily Sorensen
The Poway City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to postponed for two weeks a decision whether to hire an independent, third-party consultant to review past research and reports done on the Maderas Golf Course Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
Residents in the Old Coach and Heritage areas, and members of the Green Valley Civic Association have long expressed their concerns about Maderas’ water usage impacting their water tables and drying up their private wells.
City staff was seeking approval to hire consultant from Dudek to analyze the data and conclusions that two previous consultations, one hired by Maderas and one hired by the neighborhood, and conduct an environment assessment of the proposal. Dudek was one of three firms to respond to the city’s request for proposals and was considered by staff the most suitable for the job due to the fact that they were the only one that had environmental and engineering staff in the same firm, and had a strong background in hydrogeology. The cost of Dudek’s services would be $64,220, which would be paid for by Maderas. The project was proposed to be finished by January 2013.
Tom and Pam Moore, who live in the Old Coach area, spoke at the meeting to express their wishes that the contract be delayed, as none of the neighbors affected by the Maderas water pumping had been consulted about what was to be reviewed. The Green Valley Civic Association, which had no representatives present at the meeting, apparently also wanted to have input into the scope of the project that will be conducted by Dudek.
Mayor Don Higginson “greatly opposed” the postponement, as any significant change in the scope of the project meant that the proposed contract with Dudek would no longer be valid and the entire project would have to go back to the beginning. Legally, the other two companies would have to be allowed to re-submit proposals and renegotiate, meaning delays for Maderas and the analysis of the data.
Other council members acknowledged the possibility of triggering a new RFP, but also wanted to make sure the process was fair and equal for all parties involved. The lack of representation by the GVCA was noted by Deputy Mayor Jim Cunningham as a sticking point in denying the postponement.
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