By Dave Schwab
La Jolla Shores merchants got a real sense of déjà vu when they were told yet another water project — emergency repairs to Sewer Pump Station 27 in Mata (Laureate) Park — needs to be done, disrupting business during its peak season, the summertime.
“This pump station needs a complete upgrade because it is having severe vibration and capitation issues leading to acute malfunction,” city civil engineer Luis Schaar told the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) at the advisory group’s Jan. 11 meeting. “Last New Year’s, the pumps failed. Our wish would be to postpone construction, but because the pump’s in such bad shape, we’re really concerned about delaying this project further.”
The news came as an unpleasant surprise to board members, who after months of deliberation, just got the city to agree to significantly downsize a storm drain project on Avenida De La Playa.
Merchants feared construction impacts from that project would have driven some of them out of business.
“You’re going to be putting three kayak businesses out on the street,” said board member Mary Coakley.
But Schaar warned the association, “If we have a pump station failure that closes down the beach, that will be catastrophic.”
Board member Tim Lucas suggested Schaar and the city “get the mediation group with the community and businesses back together again and meet with them to get a timetable up and see if we can get this work done in a way that’s not going to have a huge impact on the community.”
Engineers said they would consider what they had heard and return again with the city’s response to the advisory group’s request for community mediation.