Environmental Group Duped Into Award to Dixon Waste Water Plant, Mislead by City & Stantec

The City of Dixon is touting an award it received from Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) for the controversial wastewater plant – but ISI was not aware of the controversy at the time.
The award was based on an application made by the city and by Stantec Consulting, the firm which designed and oversaw the project – and made millions for its efforts.
The application claimed “The city demonstrated leadership and a strong commitment to stakeholders by establishing a Wastewater Citizens Advisory Committee…”
The application further claimed there was “robust public outreach program was initiated to inform and educate the public on the project plans.” It further claimed outreach “led to public and state regulatory approval…” It further bragged about “engaging stakeholders throughout the process,” It also took credit for reducing the number of salt-based water softeners, no reduce the salinity in the waste water
The application gave no hint of the controversy – the opposition via ballot petitions signed by a majority of all the registered Dixon voters; the council chambers repeatedly filled in protest; and the ultimate embarrassing defeat of the chief proponent of the project – Mayor Jack Batchelor who was kicked out of office largely on the basis of the issue. He came in third, barely garnering 27% of the vote despite outspending his two challengers.
Nor did the application point out the City Council paid City Attorney Doug White approximately $240,000 to sue the taxpayers to prevent the people from voting on the issue in an election.
Contrary to the applications claims, it was the people – not the City officials – who persuaded the state to change the law to allow banning of salt-based water softeners – including a couple dozen people demonstration at the HQ of the state’s water resources board – with a “Mr. Salty” mascot. And then lobbying our legislators and the Governor to pass the law.
While pointing to the Citizens Advisory committee as proof of “outreach to stakeholders”, when that committee refused to endorse the “activated sludge” option but pushed for more modern, less costly and more environmentally responsible solutions – the committee chairman, an ally of the mayor, refused to call any more meetings, and the city wouldn’t let the other members call meetings either. Then the City Council voted to disband the committee because “they haven’t been doing anything.”
The massive public opposition was not just over increased sewer rates, but fact the technology adopted by the City was 100 years old and obsolete and only dilutes the effluent, while not removing any pollutants.
The City refused to consider proven modern technology that actually removes pollutants, was less expensive, and was more environmentally responsible.
The city went so far as to refuse to accept a free six-month demonstration project from In-Pipe of their bio system that reduces sludge in the waste pipes before they even get to the sewer plants. In-Pipe has expanded the types of advanced technology, as have other companies.
Stantec will again insult the public by presenting the award, including a commemorative plaque, the City of Dixon a City Council meeting on July 11, 2017.

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