According to city staff, using the well's non-potable water to irrigate the golf course, and schools and parks next to the pipeline, could save about 60 million gallons of potable water a year.
The park, located at 800 Middle Ave., has its share of neighbors who are less than thrilled with the plan. In a letter to city officials, Elizabeth Houck challenged the city's assertion that the well could save water, saying only the source of irrigation would change, not the amount. Tapping a public aquifer to service a private club runs the risk of depleting local drought reserves for the benefit of only a few, she wrote.
JoAnne Wilkes, who lives next to the park, questioned whether the plan even conforms to regulations governing the use of open space districts such as Nealon Park.
Former mayor and environmental advocate Steve Schmidt added his comments to the chorus of concern. "The fundamental question lies in the wisdom of drilling for ground water anywhere and at any time and especially if the driving force behind this idea is to irrigate a golf course," he said. "I presume there would be extensive testing of the ground water affected by this well and the potential impacts on the aquifer underlying Menlo Park."
The Aug. 24 meeting will be held at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 700 Alma St. in the Civic Center.
Council to weigh Walgreens appeal
Beer and wine are on the menu for the next meeting of Menlo Park's City Council. Walgreens has appealed the Planning Commission's 4-3 denial of a permit to sell beer and wine at its Santa Cruz Avenue store.
Daniel Beltramo of Beltramo's Fine Wines and Spirits submitted the single letter opposing the appeal, arguing that Menlo Park already has more than its quota of alcohol outlets.
Meanwhile, Walgreens representatives contend that the zoning along downtown Santa Cruz Avenue allows alcohol sales without creating exceptions based on business type, and that there's no empirical evidence supporting opposition statements that the sales would be detrimental to community welfare.
The council will also receive an update on negotiations with employee unions, and select a recruitment firm to find a replacement for now-Interim City Manager Glen Rojas.
The meeting starts on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers in the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.