Lindsay Council — Studies look at city's water woes
City faces $52,500 cost increase
LINDSAY — Lindsay council members are hoping comprehensive studies of the city’s water system will not only clarify if the city is charging correctly, but what steps are needed to ensure an adequate supply.
On Tuesday, the council got an update on both the water feasibility and water rate study.
Mayor Ed Murray explained after the meeting the studies are, “to look at the cost of water from the canal and to look at the overall cost of water versus the rate we charge. It’s going to be a pretty comprehensive study, I hope.”
He noted that a lot of residents were complaining about their expensive water bill. Adding to concerns about water rates, said Murray, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation raised what it charges the city for water from the Friant Kern Canal by $21 per acre foot. The city has an allotment of 2,500 acre feet of water and the canal supplies the bulk of the city’s domestic water supply. The increase comes out to $52,500 a year.
“There is no increase right now in bills,” added Murray.
The studies are being undertaken by Provost and Pritchard Engineering of Visalia.
The goal of the water supply study is to evaluate the overall Lindsay water supply, it’s future needs and how it is dispersed. The next step is being undertaken as the data will be compiled which will then be presented to the council.
Overall, the studies are expected to take seven months with the presentation of the final reports to city council to take place in January or February of 2013.
Water issues have plagued the city for some time with two wells being out of service due to contaminants.
However, there could be other alternatives.
“Can we put scrubbers in the old well to remove contaminants? Can we drill new wells?” asked Murray, who added that the council would have to wait until the study was finished and the costs were calculated to see if fees would increase.
“It’s a wait and see issue,” said Murray.
In another infrastructure matter, the council prioritized the street projects that were brought up during the Oct. 9 meeting.
At that meeting, city prioritize several projects that could be done with $500,000.
Mike Camarena, city services director reported, said $104,000 will be needed for the Apia Street Overlay from Olive Avenue to Mt. Vernon Avenue; $106,000 for the Honolulu Street Overlay from Ashland Avenue to Mt. Vernon Avenue; $125,000 for the Samoa Street Overlay from Ashland Avenue to Mt. Vernon Avenue; $171,000 for the Mirage Avenue Overlay from Samoa Street to Hermosa Street and $143,000 for the remaining projects of Hickory/Parkside, Honolulu/Harvard, Lindmore/Mirage for intersection rehabilitation.
Council member Pam Kimball had a suggestion.
“If you can’t do all of them, then take out Mirage. It’s very expensive,” said Kimball.
Council member Ramona Villarreal-Padilla wanted to know how the prioritization was going to work.
“Apia is in really bad condition,” said Camarena.
After some discussion Mayor Pro-Tem Esteban Velasquez had a solution.
“Leave Mirage as the last and do the other four,” said Velasquez. The others agreed.
In Council reports, council member Kimball reported that Lindsay was awarded the Innovation Award, for their downtown project, at a luncheon for TCAG as the Tulare County Transportation Authority overseeing Measure R local motions awards.
“That was very satisfying to receive that, especially since we’ve been so beleaguered on aspects. It’s an example or template for other cities to use in utilizing Measure R pedestrian funds for downtown,” said Kimball, who read congratulation letters from state Sen. Jean Fuller and Assemblyman David Valadao.