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The Rancho Murieta Community Services District held its monthly meeting Wednesday, approving a contract for construction management services for the water treatment plant and considering a request from the Rancho Murieta Association to provide $200,000 in funding for the North Gate rebuild.

Three of the five directors -- Jerry Pasek, Bobbi Belton and Paul Gumbinger -- were present. The following issues were discussed at the meeting, which lasted just under an hour.

Water treatment plant  progresses

The board approved a contract with Roebbelen Construction Management Services Inc. for an amount not to exceed $49,049 for pre-construction services for the water treatment plant upgrade and expansion. This includes independent cost estimates, an engineering review and other services in the design phase.

Roebbelen will be responsible for bidding the trade contracts in November and December in a public bid process, General Manager Ed Crouse said. After the bids are formally opened at the district office and the results are tabulated, "they will prepare a guaranteed maximum budget," Crouse said. The budget will become the basis of negotiating Roebbelen's service charge, "their incentive fee to bring the project in on time and on budget during construction," Crouse said. "... That will allow Roebbelen to proceed with the construction related services."

Payment terms in the professional services agreement between Roebbelen and the CSD include an estimate of the total fee for Roebbelen's services. In addition to the contract for pre-construction services, there are costs for the construction phase of $305,607 for general conditions during construction; $45,300 for insurance; and an incentive fee of 3.5 percent of the construction cost of the plant, currently estimated at $7,370,000. The agreement is in the board meeting packet.

Financing and services agreement update

General Manager Ed Crouse reported that work is continuing with members of the 670 developer group and developer John Sullivan on a financing and services agreement for water and sewer service for their developments. Crouse said a draft agreement was expected to come to the board for review and approval in October.

"That agreement may or may not include the Murieta Gardens project, which would be rolled over to a separate FSA with the remaining lands in Rancho Murieta," Crouse said. Murieta Gardens is owned by Cosumnes River Land LLC, part of the group of investors that purchased the Pension Trust Fund's Rancho Murieta holdings in August.  

Speaking for Cosumnes River Land and Rancho Murieta Properties, developer John Sullivan told the board, "I think we're looking at a parallel agreement or a companion agreement that speaks to all the remaining Rancho North properties and the Gardens and anything else that might be in the common or affiliated ownership."

RMA asks for gate funding

Director Paul Gumbinger said the CSD has received a request from RMA General Manager Greg Vorster for $200,000 for the new North Gate. "This is a request for new equipment, new gate arms and new bar code readers," Gumbinger said. "...I would say we need to look at purchasing that equipment."

When questioned by President Jerry Pasek, General Manager Ed Crouse said the total cost for the bar code readers and automatic gate arms is "roughly $90,000." "Hopefully that cost is a little high," Security Chief Greg Remson said when Pasek asked if he agreed with the cost estimate.

The North Gate, 40 years old, was one of the first structures built for the Rancho Murieta development.  Money to redesign and rebuild it,  $1.4 million, was included in the terms of a development agreement signed in 2003. Gumbinger, who was president of the RMA at time, signed the agreement. Although the funding mechanism was triggered the following year, the RMA didn't move forward on the project until 2009.

This year RMA secured the funding from the Pension Trust Fund and assumed full control over the project, establishing a committee with RMA directors to carry out the project. Gumbinger serves on the committee as one of its liaison members. Gumbinger, an architect, has said he is on the committee as a design consultant and does not represent the CSD.

At the RMA meeting Tuesday, Vorster said  that the North Gate committee was revising the scope of the rebuild project to keep it within budget.

The issue was discussed in more detail when it came up at the CSD Finance Committee earlier in the month. The initial estimate for the gate came in over $1.4 million, Security Chief Greg Remson told the committee. General Manager Ed Crouse said the planned gate house is 525 square feet in size, and the estimated cost of $210 per square foot plus site work brought the cost close to $200,000, while the cost for everything else in the committee's plan was $1.7 million. Two water features being considered for the North entrance drove costs up, Remson said.

The RMA has not shared its design ideas with the community yet.

The CSD has provided the RMA with a list of everything needed for the guard facility. "The best-case scenario is to replace everything. New gate, new equipment," Remson said. "...This again is part of the $1.4 (million)."

"I'm not sure that's clear to everybody," Pasek said.

"Well, it was clear when we were talking at the last (gate committee) meeting," Remson said. He added that it was also confirmed in an email sent to Vorster. "I'm not saying that they're not going to come back and say, 'We need money.' Matter of fact, I'm pretty much positive," Remson said.

At Wednesday's board meeting, it was decided to discuss the RMA request at the CSD's October Improvements Committee and bring it to the board in November.

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