Council OKs fresh face for Fruit Exchange building

By: Cheri March
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Colfax City Council members approved plans for renovations of a building within the historic Fruit Exchange district on Wednesday evening. “These are exterior improvements and corrections needed to take care of safety issues and improve the façade,” explained city planning director Brigit Barnes. Situated on Railroad Avenue, the two-story commercial building has fallen into disrepair. A second-story deck was recently removed after becoming a safety hazard. Architect Jerry Beck said updates would include installing a canopy in place of the deck and replacing brick veneer on the upper half with stained wood siding. Plans also include building a new rear stairwell to maintain secondary access and placing a decorative metal star on the front of the building. In the parking lot, a handicapped spot will be resurfaced and a handicapped loading zone added. The building’s condition prompted upper–level tenant Rainbow Music Company to move its studio into the city’s railcar earlier this month. A downstairs tenant, the Puzzle People, closed its doors this summer for unrelated reasons. Beck said work will begin as soon as a building permit is issued. Also on Wednesday, council members certified the city’s final sewer system management plan, a step required by both the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and a settlement agreement with the Edwards family. The document is meant to ensure the wastewater treatment system is organized to minimize sewage spills. As part of the plan, city engineer Ponticello Enterprises created an analysis of the city’s sewer system, known as a sewer evaluation and capacity assurance plan (SECAP) report, to identify and solve deficiencies in the century-old sewer system. The report focused on reducing infiltration and inflow by 88 percent, from the current 1,200 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) to 275 gpcd. Ponticello Enterprises recommended the city monitor system flow over the next five years and develop capital improvement projects to eliminate excess flow over the next 10 years, setting aside approximately $900,000 for I&I work over the next decade.