Eureka’s 5.6 Million Dollar Boondoggle

Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you…………just what you wanna hear.

3 monkeys


On Tuesday, the Eureka City Council held a special meeting regarding the recent troubles with the Martin Slough Interceptor.  The meeting was to decide whether to award a 3.9 million dollar contract to Wahlund Construction to complete the work which Apex Drilling had pulled out of.  That was the same amount originally awarded to Apex last year.  Watching the meeting, it was easy to see that the diligent and hardworking Council took this huge expenditure of public funds seriously.  Not.

The meeting lasted about 5 minutes and none of the Council members asked any questions of city staff.  3.9 million dollars and no questions asked.  WTF?  In looking at the agenda documents, Examiner staff saw numerous areas that demanded clarification.  The Council didn’t care or didn’t want to know any more information though.

First off, in the documents Apex Drilling claims that the project they bid on had a flawed soil analysis by SHN Consulting.  Instead of “Hookton Formation” soil, there was supposedly just gray sand.  They described the soil as “just like beach sand”.  Apex stated that a third party company conducted daily analysis of the soil, and gave those soil analysis reports to SHN on a daily basis.  SHN supposedly refused to accept those reports, or engineer changes to the plan to account for putting a pipe into the sand (as opposed to stable dirt).  To date, Apex has been paid 2.7 million dollars for the project.

That’s right, Apex has been paid 2.7 million and now Wahlund has been awarded the same contract as Apex which brings this Boondoggle to 5.6 million dollars.  Has the city analyzed the soil to check Apex’s claims?  Is the city still using SHN’s plans and analysis in their contract with Wahlund?  None of that is clear in the agenda documents, and certainly weren’t touched on in the meeting. We ask the question, is the same City Engineer that oversaw this disaster still in charge?

Also in the agenda documents, were references to the Cincinnati Insurance Company, who issued bonds regarding the work to be done under the contract.  The City had made a claim to the insurance company, but the insurance company hasn’t accepted the claim.  So, does that mean that the 2.7 million dollars paid to Apex might not be recovered?  We don’t know, because the Council never saw fit to ask.

The Examiner has to wonder whether it’s a lack of intelligence, complete hubris, or just not caring about spending the public’s money that causes this Council to vote on spending huge amounts of cash without asking questions or apparently really knowing what’s going on.

Or, maybe they have the answers to all of the above questions because they discussed them already outside of the public’s view.  Given the repeated Brown Act violations by this Council, it wouldn’t surprise us.


11 thoughts on “Eureka’s 5.6 Million Dollar Boondoggle

  1. “Or, maybe they have the answers to all of the above questions because they discussed them already outside of the public’s view. Given the repeated Brown Act violations by this Council, it wouldn’t surprise us.”

    I vote that one.

    No doubt there have been a few “conversations” among council members that covered this topic. I wonder if they were fool enough to use their city provided emails? Perhaps someone should ask to see them.

    What worries me is where was Linda Adkins (sp?) throughout this? She was supposed to be the one who would be looking out for “our” interests while the rest of the council looked after… well you know.


  2. Hey TEx you should refer to this from now on as “Tyson’s Tunnel”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They literally do as their told by city staff and the city manager. They run the show.


  4. Apex didn’t “pull out”, their drill string and bit are still stuck in the sand.

    (pun intended)

    They might have quit with their paperwork, but the whole point is they couldn’t pull out of the sand. The sand wasn’t expected, it was supposed to be Hookton formation according to the SHN Consulting report.

    Look in Fortuna waste water and Ferndale waste water plant construction and city council documents for cost over-runs caused by soils done by SHN. They never drill enough test holes, and leave the cities paying for the problems caused by insufficient data – even though the cities paid for SHN to collect accurate and useful data.

    Simple speak? It’s too much of a hassle to drill the industry standard number and pattern of test holes. Why? Who knows, it’s pretty much a guarantee for project problems down the road why SHN tolerates it and doesn’t catch it in internal quality control is the really big question.

    Neither midHum project was as big a deal as the Eureka sewers, but three towns, three problems… it’s getting to be a habit not an oops.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You vote the incompetent, self-serving, corrupt, lawless and baseless morons into office, YOU own them and whatever they do. Thank you for nothing.


  6. Tyson’s ‘shitty’ tunnel. It has a nice ring to it. Or is it going to become a cesspool, or it may already be one. It kind of reminds me of the way this council operates, trying to put ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag.


  7. We don’t see this kind of community-interest media anywhere in this county, except for the NCJ once or twice a year.

    Thank You!

    The ONLY saving grace for Tyson and Eureka is a persistent drought that halted millions of gallons of illegal discharges into Humboldt Bay with each heavy rain.

    The $40 million that this project will ultimately cost should be divided among the greedheads that knowingly built nearby communities beyond capacity.

    Clearly, sewer hookup fees for new construction are a fraction of what they should be.

    Liked by 1 person

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