By Rowena Coetsee

OAKLEY -- The city's downtown shopping center still might get a fountain, but the entryway decoration won't be quite as grand as council members originally envisioned.

Oakley City Council agreed this week to consider a few scaled-back designs in lieu of the original concept that the contractor described as "Bellagio" in its breadth, a $421,000 water feature with three dozen computer-controlled jets and four others that can shoot streams of water vertically up to 35 feet.

"No offense, but the architect had no idea what you guys had in mind," said Tom Wortham of Goodland Landscape Construction.

Reggie Decker, the city's engineering project manager, presented council members with the option of a fountain with nozzles that spray up to 12 feet and showed them the cost differences between recirculating water and having it flow into the sewer system.

The charts also included the costs of maintaining the fountain, which includes testing equipment and chemically treating the water to kill bacteria.

According to Decker's calculations, a fountain with a reservoir to recirculate water would use about 800 gallons a day as compared with 23,040 gallons daily for one that channels water into the local wastewater treatment plant.


Advertisement

"We're looking for a more environmentally friendly fountain that will be in use year-round and economically more responsible," said Councilwoman Diane Burgis, emphasizing that she doesn't like wasting water.

Recirculating water would enable the city to operate the fountain even during the hot summer months, replenishing only the water that evaporates, she said.

Most of the council is leaning toward the more traditional bowl design, Burgis added.

Council members spoke admiringly of the fountain that the city of Livermore installed in November 2005. The 4½-foot-wide bowl with a single jet stands 5 feet tall on its pedestal and cost an estimated $145,000.

Oakley council members are expected to decide on a design and cost at their April 9 meeting.

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.