The Redlands City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Parsons Water and Infrastructure, Inc. to begin Phase 2 of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project and an additional appropriation of $3.5 million during its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

On March 5, 2019, the council approved a professional services agreement with Parsons to conduct a field assessment, implementation plan and engineering design services to improve critical wastewater treatment plant components. During its field assessment, Parsons identified high-potential failures requiring immediate improvement. This resulted in Parsons revising its original plan for rehabilitating the plant to a two-phase approach. Separating the upgrade project into two phases allowed the city to accelerate the replacement of the membrane bioreactors to ensure continued operations while the plant was renovated.

After completing the Phase 1A project design, Parsons began engineering Phase 1B of the project. It included the furnishing and installation of equipment. On Oct. 8, 2020, the city clerk's office received and opened eight bids for construction. On Nov. 3, 2020, City Council awarded the construction contract to GSE Construction Co., Inc., and the project is 10% complete. Completion is expected in November.

Phase 2 of the project includes conducting additional facility condition assessments and evaluations, site investigations and engineering design services. Reliable operation of the wastewater treatment plant is expected for the next 20 years. The agreement with Parsons will expire on March 5. To ensure engineering continuity and reduce risk for the city, the work was expanded to include the additional Phase 2 tasks, and the agreement was extended through December 2022. The professional services fee was also revised. The existing agreement fee of $2.8 million was increased to $6.3 million, an increase of $3.5 million for the additional Phase 2 engineering services.

"I am truly excited that we are so close to seeing the last phase of this project," said Councilman Paul Foster.

The council also unanimously approved the agreement for the cooperative use of the San Bernardino Avenue Well for unused well capacity, use of the Texas Grove Reservoir and use of the Central Feeder with San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water.

The council accepted a Highway Safety Improvement Program grant for $1.1 million and an agreement with AGA Engineers, Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $121,500 for engineering services to complete the design phase of the project. The project's goal is to install emergency vehicle preemption devices on traffic signals throughout the city. The system detects electronic signals from emergency responder vehicles, disrupts the normal traffic signal cycle and provides a green signal phase for vehicles to pass through an intersection safely.

The council approved an operations and maintenance agreement with the San Bernardino California Transportation Authority for the city's maintenance and security obligations at the Redlands Passenger Rail Project's University Station.

Councilwoman Denise Davis recused herself from the vote as the university represents a former source of income. The Transportation Authority will reimburse the city for costs associated with maintenance and security for an initial two years. The city is responsible for 100% of the costs after the two years. The level of security will be re-assessed after 18 months.