Heavy equipment

Municipal Utilities Director Mark Madison drove from City Hall this morning to an old alfalfa field north of Eight Mile Road, where construction was starting on the Delta Water Supply Project, Stockton’s $217 million campaign to pump drinking water from the Delta.

Madison said he found the property in 2003. “I was driving by it, and I just looked at it,” he said.

It was 130 acres, and the price – about $4.1 million – was right,┬áMadison said.┬áHe said then-Mayor Gary Podesto told him at the time, “If you don’t buy it, I will.”

Madison said it had been several years since he was last on the property. He walked Monday along an access road to where a crew was waiting for the first pieces of big equipment to come in (“We’re bringing in two scrapers and a bigger blade, which is a slang term for a road grader,” CDM Constructors Inc.’s Chad Brown said).

Madison said, “This is the start, effectively.”

A report is in the morning paper.

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