New name for water system, K-9 cop on Angels docket

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat

PUBLIC MEETING: Angels Camp City Council, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Joe Carley Memorial Firehouse, 1404 Vallecito Road, Angels Camp.

The partnership agency that delivers water to Angels Camp, Murphys and some surrounding unincorporated areas is proposing to let the world know more about that role.

The Utica Power Authority - a joint operation of the city of Angels Camp and Union Public Utility District in Murphys - conveys water to both entities utilizing an historic flume and ditch system that snakes down from the mountains to Angels Creek in the city.

An amendment to the joint powers agreement that governs UPA is up for a vote at Tuesday's Angels Camp City Council meeting. It is also scheduled for a vote by UPUD Wednesday and the UPA board, which includes members from each entity, on March 26.

The amendment is a name change to the "Utica Water and Power Authority," intended to better reflect the agency's role. While providing drinking and agricultural water to a major section of the Highway 4 corridor, it also generates electricity it sells to help pay for the operation.

In other business Tuesday, the City Council is expected to swear in a new K-9 officer, 1-year-old Dutch shepherd, Kato. The city is also set up to purchase Kato for a nominal $1 price from Police Chief Todd Fordahl. Fordahl is Kato's handler and he got the dog via North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue.

Fordahl trained Kato and they, along with the team of Sgt. Steve Poortinga and his dog, Kain, certified as a narcotics detection team on Feb. 13.

The entry of Kato to the force will permit the department to retire 13-year-old Turner, an award-winning K-9 officer, who retired once in 2010 before an off-duty biting incident by successor Blaze forced him temporarily back into action.

It also gives the Angels Camp Police Department a seven-days-a-week drug detection capability, with Fordahl and Kato alternating shifts with Poortinga and Kain.

In other council business:

• The council will also hear a report from City Administrator Michael McHatten indicating various tax revenues from retail sales, lodging and property assessments will meet mid-year budget projections.

• An application for up to $445,000 in state transportation grants is up for approval. The city hopes to secure the funds to assist nonprofit Destination Angels Camp with planning efforts and to accommodate the Heritage Oaks residential/commercial mixed use plan, which seeks to develop a section of the city adjacent to the Frog Jump Plaza commercial center at highways 4 and 49.

The Union Democrat
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