Levee repair bids to be awarded | RecordCourier.com

Levee repair bids to be awarded

Sheila Gardner

Bids will be solicited this morning for the long-awaited repairs of portions of the Gardnerville Ranchos levee badly damaged by the devastating New Year’s flood.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Douglas County Commissioner Bernie Curtis, part of a team which negotiated for access to the river.

“All agreements are apparently in place,” Curtis said. “This looks good for our future as long as it continues to freeze at night and we don’t have any warm rains. We’re sorry for some of the frustration on all sides of this issue, but we’ve got some positive forces going.”

Dan Kaffer, flood liaison for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said bidders would be taken today on a site showing. Bids will be opened at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

“We are really, really encouraged and proud of the fact that Douglas County, the Washoe Tribe, Carson Water Subsconservancy District, State Lands, Nevada Environmental Protection Agency and county, state and federal officials are all working together as a team to make these projects a reality,” Kaffer said.

Kaffer said Curtis, Washoe Tribe Senior Planner Dennis Gebhardt and deputy district attorney Tom Perkins were instrumental in completing the negotiations for access to the river at the site of the levee located off the fifth green of the Carson Valley Golf Course along the Carson River.

“Special thanks go out to the Washoe Tribe for providing land rights to the county for this project,” Kaffer said.

“Washoe Tribal Chairman Brian Wallace and his staff treated us with respect,” said Perkins. “The things they asked us to do are not any different from what other land owners asked in similar situations.”

He said agreement has been reached with the tribe for work on the northern portion of the levee project. Work on the southern half is still subject to approval of the tribal council.

Beginning with the Jan. 1 flood and the subsequent flooding in mid-January, the USDA has been doing damage survey reports on the Carson, Walker and Truckee rivers, Kaffer said.

“Our program obtained $1.1 million to do emergency projects and we’re waiting for Congress to appropriate the rest ($16.8 million) to do the remaining repairs in the three watersheds.”

Kaffer said 11 exigencies, or immediate emergency projects, have been considered.

“We’ve completed the engineering design and there will be a site showing on the project on Saturday. All contractors in the area have been notified.”

Curtis encouraged area contractors to submit bids.

“It’s going to be an open competitive bid,” Curtis said. “It’s something that happens very soon.”

Kaffer also said the state’s congressional delegation, Sens. Harry Reid and Richard Bryan, and Reps. Jim Gibbons and John Ensign, had been instrumental in seeking the federal funding.

“It’s kind of neat everybody is on the same page, pursuing the same goals. We’re in a time of crisis and we have to do something. If everyone can bind together, think of what we can accomplish.”

The project will be funded 75 percent through USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service funds and 25 percent county matching money, Kaffer said.