Rancho Cucamonga Spending Quarter Of A Million Dollars To Refill Red Hill Park Lake

(September 4)  The Rancho Cucamonga City Council this week made a $250,000 commitment to revitalize the signature amenity at Red Hill Park.
Earlier this year, upon the recommendation of Rancho Cucamonga Public Works Director Bill Wittkopf, the city council signed off on what was projected to be a $125,000 project to drain the man-made. 1 million gallon-plus capacity basin, known as Red Hill Park Lake, which had over its 29–year existence become encrusted with sludge, sediment and debris.
The plan called for draining the facility, which was put in place in 1985 as an artful manifestation of a runoff basin, and revamping its pumping system, circulation and aeration systems, intended to keep the water from becoming stagnant. It was intended that the lake, which had become a habitat for fish and turtles and a landing spot for many migratory fowl, to serve as a reservoir to store irrigation water for the park.
The city entered into a $99,880 contract with United Storm Water to undertake the job, and under the guidance of Wittkopf and city engineer Mark Steuer, the draining began in the spring. As the job progressed, the scope of the work changed, and Untied Storm Water’s contract was increased to $165,000.
As the lake stood bone dry over the summer, there was concern in the community that the lake as it had been was being abandoned.  A flood of calls to City Hall convinced city officials the lake should be maintained as both a irrigation reservoir and as a lake. The city utilized a consultant, Pacific Advanced Engineering to design the dual uses.
The lake will return, sans the turtles and fish. It will still be a watering spot for birds, according to Pacific Advanced.
At a specially-scheduled meeting on September 2, the city council unanimously approved a $250,000 conceptual plan to rehydrate the lake by next spring.
Rancho Cucamonga, which has the third largest overall municipal operating budget of San Bernardino County’s 24 cities, is one of the few cities in San Bernardino County equipped to spend that kind of money on a park amenity, and a passive amenity at that. The council’s action brings to $315,000 the city will spend this calendar year and next in preserving the lake. That does not include the roughly $45,000 needed to keep the lake maintained on a yearly basis, including water treatment and electricity to operate the pump and circulation systems.

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