ESCONDIDO — The Escondido City Council met on June 3 to discuss options for rehabilitating Lake Wohlford Dam, instead of building a replacement dam, and to award contracts for the Lindley Reservoir Replacement Project.
The council heard a report on the possibility of rehabilitating the Lake Wohlford Dam, which was first constructed in 1895 as part of Escondido’s local water system, to address seismic deficiencies rather than replacing the dam altogether.
According to the report, replacing the dam would cost more than $46.4 million, an amount much greater than the 2012 preliminary cost estimate of $30 million. Furthermore, it would cost an estimated $3.5 million to offset known negative impacts to the environment.
Councilmembers discussed four alternative options to replace the dam, one of which was eliminated. The most inexpensive option would cost an estimated $35 million and would have lower environmental mitigation costs.
The report also points out the possibility of additional funding:
“The State of California awarded the City a $15 million California Proposition 1E Grant. Staff are working, with the assistance of the San Diego County Water Authority, to sponsor legislation in 2021 to extend the term of the Prop. 1E funding. If the legislative extension is successful, the California Department of Water Resources has determined that the grant may be used on a project that mitigates the seismic issues, even though the original award was for dam replacement.”
The council agreed to further discuss these options at future meetings.
Also on the agenda was the Lindley Reservoir Replacement Project, which will replace an existing 2 million-gallon water reservoir near Hubbard Avenue and North Ash Street with two 1.5 million-gallon reservoirs.
The reservoir, originally constructed in the early 1950s, is deteriorating and in need of urgent replacement.
At the meeting, the council awarded contracts for $12.8 million to Pacific Hydrotech Corp. and for $1.15 million for construction management services and $169,400 for consulting services from Stantec Consulting Services Inc.